I feel that I appear to have been riding a hobby horse; when my intention was only to express my opinion, and then reply to my mentions. In fact why would my opinion, expressed once a couple of weeks ago, prevent a meaningful discussion of AI? That right there is a good question. Why don't people discuss AI? That's the point of the thread and it's the reason why I'm here. My remark about emergence was intended to be an offhand expression of a minority opinion that I happen to hold. People started pushing back and I've been replying. I'm not stopping anyone from talking about AI and I wish someone would.
I've been quite surprised at the reaction to my opinion. In terms of the subject of the thread it's not important to me at all. And I said exactly that about 8 posts ago if I recall. I simply expressed an opinion. I always reply to mentions.The more I reply, the more people think I'm invested in the topic. I'm not. I have an opinion, that is all.
Here is my last word on the subject.
I looked around for criticism of emergence and found two links that made me sufficiently happy to feel that I've at least made my point to myself, if nobody else.
1) From this SEP article I found two examples.
After A technical argument which I didn't try to follow, the article says:
So at least one professional philosopher is willing to use the word "incoherent." It's not just an over-the-top word invented by me. I am not the only person who finds emergence incoherent. Me for my amateur philosophy reasons, and Kim for his professional philosophy reasons.
And note the word epiphenomenal. It's a good description. Something that's there, but not essential because the thing in question doesn't need it.
SEP goes on to discuss another critic.
Again as with Kim we find that emergence is regarded as an epiphenomenon. That is, something that shows up whenever quarks turn into elephants, but that would make no difference if it didn't show up. Quarks turn into elephants whether you call it emergence or not. I think that's the point being made by calling emergence an epiphenomenon.
2) Eliezer Yudkowsky. Of all people. Do readers know who he is? According to his Wiki entry he is:
As I understand it, some consider him a genious and others not so much. I've read him a little but never been much of a fan.
But he wrote this essay ... it's literally word-for-word what I've been thinking. I could quote it but I'd really have to quote the whole article. I hope people will read it.
This essay is so uncannily like my exact thoughts on the matter, that it's not out of the realm of possibility that I actually read this many years ago and that's where I got my own ideas. I really can't say. I hope people will read it. It's as good a presentation of my ideas as I wish I could have written. I don't expect to convince anyone but at least I'm not alone.
The Futitliy of Emergence
Here are a couple of quotes.
So anyway to sum all this up, the set of professional philosophers who agree with me is nonempty. And for what it's worth, Eliazer Yudkowsky agrees with me. I'll take my agreement where I find it. I will now stop talking about emergence. I haven't said anything new for quite a while and the Yudkowsky article expresses my thoughts perfectly. "Your curiosity feels sated, but it has not been fed." THAT is what I'm getting at. Emergence is an intellectual snack made of empty calories.