Posted by Nikos Salingaros on January 25, 1999 at 11:25:02:
In Reply to: Re: A comment posted by Tom Cole on January 25, 1999 at 09:46:55:
The answer to Tom Cole's inquiry is contained in the
material I supplied initially, which was rejected
as too far out.
Let us consider a computer that judges the quality
of a carpet. We have to program certain rules,
like the checklist given in this salon; perhaps
made to include several times the number of criteria,
with the present checklist representing the rough
initial judgement, and sublists that establish the
fine degree of judgements. If we do our job correctly
then we may come up with a list of lists, each acting
on a different level of fine judgement, and sublists
that expand the fine points of a single criterion.
Such a computer will, I think, provide a relatively
correct judgment, in the sense of accurately
finding the "dancing" quality, or "life" in a good
carpet design. If it doesn't, we can certainly
refine the program by adding further and finer
criteria until its performance is satisfactory.
Those among the readers who know some computer
science will immediately recognize the definition
of a neural network. An artificial neural
network can be trained to recognize some desired
qualities through the use of programmed rules.
My claim is that the human mind acts in precisely
the same way. A knowledgeable carpet dealer trains
his or her mind over years, building up a list of
rules exactly as described above, which are
programmed in the human neural system of learning.
The response of the computer (mind) is
instantaneous. It is still, however, dependent
on some set of rules, and that's what we are
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