Computing

Why AI is Deficient and Yet It Seems Very Powerful

In the last post, I discussed the implementation of AI and its use for controlling markets, governments, and people. In this post, I will do the opposite: Talk about why AI is deficient. To reconcile these two seemingly contradictory positions, we will then discuss how AI becomes powerful if society becomes homogeneous. The fact is that society has been progressively homogenizing...

The Laws of Nature in Vedic Philosophy

Modern science uses two kinds of laws—these are called “conservation laws” and “predictive laws”. A conservation law states what cannot happen, and a predictive law states what must happen. For example, the law of conservation of energy says that if two particles collide then the sum of their energies cannot increase or decrease. The conservation of energy law doesn’t say what...

The Paradox of Natural Laws and Its Resolution

In an earlier post, I described the problem of computing in nature, namely that scientific laws employ mathematical formulae, but it is not clear how these formulae are being calculated in nature. The reasons for this are historical and date back to Newton’s formulation of the three laws of motion. While Newton had produced mechanics, he had not himself envisioned machines....

Reasoning and Semantic Computation

Since the advent of computers, it has been widely believed that the human mind is just like a computer. I have previously described why this is a false analogy due to two problems: (1) the problem of meaning, and (2) the problem of choice. I have also discussed the problem of meaning in computing theory in the book Gödel’s Mistake. However,...

Sāńkhya, Reductionism, and New Science

Many people believe modern science is reductionist and an alternative anti-reductionist science must replace it. This post discusses why Sāńkhya is reductionist—because it reduces everything to only three modes of nature (sattva, rajas, and tamas). It also discusses why Sāńkhya is anti-reductionist—because the first mode of nature in this reductionist theory (sattva) represents the whole, which precedes the contradictory parts (rajas and...

The Problem of Meaning in Artificial Intelligence

Since the 1960s, when computers first appeared,  a machine that can think just like humans was claimed to be just a few years away. This idea has been called Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it reappears every few years in a new form, the latest being the brouhaha around “Machine Learning”, “Deep Learning”, etc. The algorithms and techniques underlying these trends have...

Computers and the Mind – What’s the Difference?

This post discusses the widespread notion that the mind is some kind of computer; that the computer is able to represent knowledge, and this knowledge can be about the world. As we shall see, this notion is quite silly, although people—who are either not physicists, mathematicians, or computer engineers, or just happen to have an academic title without an understanding of these subjects—tend...

Evolution and Mechanism – Are They Compatible?

A computer is a canonical example of a machine. Every machine can be described by a mathematical theory, and every mathematical theory can be automated on a computer. Therefore if you could describe something mathematically, you could also automate it in a computer. People often suppose that this means if we had a mathematical description of nature, that description could also...

Evolution’s Halting Problem

This post describes a problem in Evolutionary Theory that arises when we consider why all living beings eventually die. I will compare the death of a living being to a computer program that halts after completing execution. The issue of program halting is problematic in computing theory because current computing models do not incorporate meanings. A similar problem exists for living...

The Scientific Method – Does it Deliver Truth?

The below is a modified version of a response I wrote recently on Google+ in response to a question about the conflict between reason and faith. The response is also detailed in my recent book Uncommon Wisdom. This essay will argue that the manner in which science has construed the use of reason (and experience) – i.e., the path to discovery – cannot...