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Trying To Think
Thursday, November 25, 2004
 
Natural-Born Cyborgs
Natural-Born Cyborgs (Andy Clark, T14.5.C58/2003)

The more closely the smart world becomes tailored to an individual’s specific needs, habits and preferences, the harder it will become to tell where that person stops and this tailer-made, co-evolving smart world begins. (p30)

Well-fitted transparent technologies have the potential to impact what we feel capable of doing, where we feel we are located, and what kinds of problems we find ourselves capable of solving. (p34)

Study of chimps: those who learnt to use plastic tokens to stand for objects were able to solve problems that other chimps were not (p70)

The whole imposing edifice of human science itself is testimony, I believe, to the power and scope of this species of cognitive shortcut (p71-72)

There is, to be sure, a kind of low grade, approximate numerical sensibility that is probably innate and that we share with infants and other animals. Such a capacity allows us to judge that there are one, two, three, or many items present, and to judge that one array is greater than another. But the capacity to know that 25 + 376 is precisely 401 depends, Dehaene et al. argue, upon the operation of distinct, culturally inculcate, and language-specific abilities. (p72)

References:

J. Elman “Learning and Development in Neural Networks: The Importance of Starting Small”, Cognition, 48 (1994): 71-99

S. Fahlman and C. Lebiere, “the Cascade-Correlation Learning Architecture”, in Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 2, ed. D Touretzky (1990)

C. Thornton, Truth from Trash (MIT Press, 2000)

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