Fare's response on threads
Lynn H. Maxson
Sat, 16 Sep 2000 22:19:04 -0700 (PDT)
As the designated "moron" of these hallowed chambers it should
surprise no one that at times I get confused. In this instance it
lies with Fare's response to Derek Verlee's inquiry about threads
within Tunes. Maybe the phrasing does me in.
I refer to the phrase in question, "...the system must learn to
dynamically decide for itself; if you think some method is better
than others in some cases, you may tell the system about it." You
see I don't know how any software system discussed here makes any
decision in any manner except as it is told. In short it is not
an option: the system and what is does is not independent of the
I do not oppose evolving software-based automata into a sentient
form. I simply don't know how to do it, have never seen it done,
and no one within this group has offered any operational means to
achieve it. I know I have question this interpretation of
"reflexive" before and received assurances that it did not "cross
the line" (from automata to sentient).
Unless someone believes that you can initiate an automata process
and with the addition of a "little something" have it crossed the
line from deterministic to free will (and I doubt anyone even with
"dynamic expert system optimization ... through monitoring by a
meta-system" has pulled this one off), any discussion of such a
system in which the body of tellers appears separate quite frankly
is false to fact.
Whether you have 100% monitoring or some less extensive sampling
rate no reflection will occur by the automata on its own. It
cannot reflect that which we do not permit. I may have missed it,
but so far I have seen no example of software capable of producing
higher-level abstractions on its own nor of finding reusable
patterns of logical equivalent objects. In short such software
does not "understand" the instruction sequences it executes and
certainly has no means on its own of constructing (and
understanding) higher level constructs as we do with the language
we use in describing such processes.
It is one thing to talk the talk. It is quite another to walk the
walk. The trick lies in taking our talk to where it can walk. No
system, no software system ever written, does that trick without
assistance, without deliberate instruction from the talkers. That
includes meta-systems, meta-objects, and meta-programming.
"I was looking back to see if you were looking back to see if I
was looking back to see if you were looking back at me" is a human
activity. No means except human means exists to transcribe it
into software. No software however cleverly written will ever
"reflect" in any human sense of the verb. It cannot "understand"
what it is doing and without that understanding it cannot
"reflect" on what it is doing. Reflection however we instill it
in software remains something of our doing with the software only
providing the means.
Therefore I must protest any claim or inference that the "system"
does anything on its own, dynamic or otherwise, without our
determining it in every detail. I don't believe that we serve the
"lofty" goals of Tunes in treating software as if it were
something of an independent third party, a peer of its
progenitors. Whatever it does it does because we told it to do
so. In every instance.