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Member Since 29 Jan 2006
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:17 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Objectivism and Artificial Intelligence

17 December 2014 - 02:45 PM

While I'm not a heavy-duty student of the topic, I've enjoyed the writings of Hubert Dreyfus (What Computers Can't Do and Mind Over Machine) and The Improbable Machine by Jeremy Campbell.  They treat AI as a case of rationalism, the mistaken attempt to treat all intellectual activity as rule-bound deduction.  Campbell draws an explicit analogy to Hayek on this point, digital AI being the counterpart of centralized economic planning.


Dreyfus allows that formal calculation can simulate the real thing ever more skillfully but still argues that such simulation won't amount to human reason.  Software is much better at this than it was when he wrote, but I suspect I'd still agree with him if I were to revisit the question.

In Topic: resist your gag reflex...

15 December 2014 - 08:38 PM

Tonie Nathan, LP VP candidate in 1972, was the first woman to receive an electoral vote.

In Topic: Unexplained coincidence

12 December 2014 - 06:31 PM

How Branden died is a matter of record, though I don't know offhand what it is.


Why you posted this is a mystery I cannot fathom.

In Topic: Unexplained coincidence

12 December 2014 - 01:49 AM

1. Somebody other than Branden, perhaps not a member of the collective at all; not my burden of proof.

2. Don't remember.


I wonder if the industrialist Mr. X mentions was the Bogart character in Sabrina.  The problem is that it would have been a current movie at the time, not an oldie.

In Topic: Unexplained coincidence

11 December 2014 - 06:27 PM

He's not NB, even allowing that Rand may have changed minor details for confidentiality.  Mr. X was in therapy, and he suffered what appears to be chronic depression.  Branden in his twenties had no romantic failures behind him.  He was married to his first serious partner and - well, you know the rest.  Those major features eliminate him.  Mr. X was probably someone in the inner circle, though, given that she was willing to spend time with him.  I've heard that they were all Branden's patients at one time or another.  I've never heard of any of them being an engineer, and I don't know how old they were when they met her (NB was nineteen and making a career in psychology; those count as minor details).  For that matter Mr. X may have been a woman.


I don't see that it's a coincidence.  She was writing an accurate-enough account of someone she'd known.