Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Twitter | Previous | Next

C[omp]ute

Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

C-ORM: docs, API.

Last 100 entries

[Link, Computing] Useful gcc flags; [Link] Voynich Manuscript Decoded; [Bike] Notes on Servicing Suspension Forks; [Links, Computing] Snap, Flatpack, Appimage; [Link, Computing] Oracle is leaving Java (to die); [Link, Politics] Cubans + Ultrasonics; [Book, Link] Laurent Binet; VirtualBox; [Book, Link] No One's Ways; [Link] The Biggest Problem For Cyclists Is Bad Driving; [Computing] Doxygen, Sphinx, Breathe; [Admin] Brokw Recent Permalinks; [Bike, Chile] Buying Bearings in Santiago; [Computing, Opensuse] Upgrading to 42.3; [Link, Physics] First Support for a Physics Theory of Life; [Link, Bike] Peruvian Frame Maker; [Link] Awesome Game Theory Tit-For-Tat Thing; [Food, Review] La Fabbrica - Good Italian Food In Santiago; [Link, Programming] MySQL UTF8 Broken; [Link, Books] Latin American Authors; [Link, Computing] Optimizatin Puzzle; [Link, Books, Politics] Orwell Prize; [Link] What the Hell Is Happening With Qatar?; [Link] Deep Learning + Virtual Tensor Machines; [Link] Scaled Composites: Largest Wingspan Ever; [Link] SCP Foundation; [Bike] Lessons From 2 Leading 2 Trailing; [Link] Veg Restaurants in Santiago; [Link] List of Contemporary Latin American Authors; [Bike] FTHR; [Link] Whoa - NSA Reduces Collection (of US Residents); [Link] Red Bull's Breitbart; [Link] Linux Threads; [Link] Punycode; [Link] Bull / Girl Statues on Wall Street; [Link] Beautiful Chair Video; Update: Lower Pressures; [Link] Neat Python Exceptions; [Link] Fix for Windows 10 to Avoid Ads; [Link] Attacks on ZRTP; [Link] UK Jazz Invasion; [Review] Cuba; [Link] Aricle on Gender Reversal of US Presidential Debate; {OpenSuse] Fix for Network Offline in Updater Applet; [Link] Parkinson's Related to Gut Flora; Farellones Bike Park; [Meta] Tags; Update: Second Ride; Schwalbe Thunder Burt 2.1 v Continental X-King 2.4; Mountain Biking in Santiago; Books on Ethics; Security Fail from Command Driven Interface; Everything Old is New Again; Interesting Take on Trump's Lies; Chutney v6; References on Entropy; Amusing "Alexa.." broadcast; The Shame of Chile's Education System; Playing mp4 gifs in Firefox on Opensuses Leap 42.2; Concurrency at Microsoft; Globalisation: Uk -> Chile; OpenSuse 42.2 and Synaptics Touch-Pads; Even; Cherry Jam; Lebanese Writer Amin Maalouf; C++ - it's the language of the future; Learning From Trump; Chinese Writer Hu Fayun; And; Apricot Jam; Also; Excellent Article on USA Politics; Oh Metafilter; Prejudice Against The Rurals; Also, Zizek; Trump; Why Trump Won; Doxygen + Latex on CentOS 6; SMASH - Solve 5 Biggest Problems in Physics; Good article on racism, brexit, and social divides; Grandaddy are back!; Consciousness From Max Entropy; Democrats; Harvard Will Fix Black Poverty; Modelling Bicycle Wheels; Amusing Polling Outlier; If Labour keeps telling working class people...; Populism and Choice; Books on Defeat; Enrique Ferrari - Argentine Author; Transcript of German Scientists on Learning of Hiroshima; Calvert Journal; Owen Jones on Twitter; Possible Japanese Authors; Complex American Literature; Chutney v5; Weird Componentized Virus; Interesting Argentinian Author - Antonio Di Benedetto; Useful Thread on MetaPhysics; RAND on fighting online anarchy (2001); NSA Hacked

© 2006-2017 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Problematic Idealists, Kantian Machines, Noise

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 13:19:49 -0300 (CLST)

My (possibly somewhat limited :o) understanding of Kant is that he is
trying to bootstrap an epistemology by trying to find a self-consistent
(and necessary) set of requirements.  And in general terms he concludes
that you can't get anywhere without:

- An outside world
- Perceptions of the outside world that allow structured interpretation -
Principles that impose structure on perceptions
- Imagination that uses principles to impose structure on perceptions - A
persistent consciousness to provide temporal coherence

To me, one reason that this is interesting is that it suggests how we
might structure intelligent machines.  And, indeed, the parallels with
"old fashioned" AI are clear (and no doubt indebted to Kant).

This leads to thinking about people as "Kantian machines" - machines
structured following the principles outlined above.  When we do this one
thing we can look at is the jump from outside world to perceptions.  This
is the work of "detectors" - the retina, for example.

These detectors can be noisy.

Now Kant seems to argue that perceptions have no inherent structure
themselves.  The structure is imposed by our imagination, which applies
certain principles.  But presumably the outside world is itself structured
in a way that makes our principles effective, and so perceptions do have
some kind of latent structure.  So we might be able to distinguish between
noise and "genuine" perceptions because only the latter match our
principles.

But we know from experience - particularly if we have a scientific
training and experience with statistics - that at least some Kantian
machines impose structure on noisy inputs even when no noise is present. 
We know this because it is what people do.  They are unreliable witnesses,
seeing shapes in shadows.

This seems to be a problem for Kant's argument against problematic
Idealists (people like Descartes who argue that we cannot trust our
senses).  Kant's argument is that we must have once experienced the
outside world, or we would not be able to structure our imagined thoughts.
Yet we seem to be able to impose structure on noise.

So there seem to be two choices.  Either the principles that structure our
perceptions are learnt (and so require "genuine", structured perceptions),
or problematic idealism remains possible.  But principles cannot be both
learnt and apriori.

Andrew

Comment on this post