Mystic Pizza

Norm Nason and Paul Almond, over at Machines Like Us, have managed to pull quite a coup and conduct a long and fascinating interview with the philosopher John Searle, on his Chinese Room argument and others.

As anyone who’s read my books may have surmised, I don’t agree with all of Searle’s arguments and I don’t share his disbelief in the possibility of Strong AI (even though I doubt very much that a digital computer is a practical medium for such a thing, long-term). But rather than discuss it here I’ve posted a long comment on the original site. It’s too big a subject to tackle in a blog post really, let alone a comment to one, so maybe I’ll have to write another book. I can’t make up my mind whether I next want to write a book called “Machines like us” (Norm borrowed the title for his site from one of my talks), about mechanism and the human condition, or whether to write one about “Un-physics” – a more general elucidation of a process-oriented view of nature, the behavior of complex feedback systems and self-organization. Does anyone care either way? I don’t suppose so.

Anyway, Paul’s excellent interview with John Searle can be found here, and my somewhat inept and hurried attempts to put forward an alternative view are here. Enjoy.