Dogs and lower animals may solve complex problems
Yep. That’s what I was told in a real FTF conversation tonight 2021-09-04 between 20:00 and 21:20PM. Some must wonder why I even engage in those kinds of discussions.
Well, I discover how the average human being thinks. It’s stupid basically – the patterns of thought – and the gross disregard for the rules of logic.
Person A is French, a male of 52 – who is not my bosom buddy (because I have no ‘bosom buddies’). His English is not good. So we were using Microsoft Translator app – him on his tablet and me on my phone – to have this discussion. At this point I expect some fool to go, “Well there we are, there must have been a miscommunication and misunderstanding! How could anybody have a sensible discussion by using translation apps?” I’ll leave that right there because most people have not used these apps. Person A agreed that the translation from English to French was very accurate – and I agreed that the translation from English to French was very accurate. You who reads this was not there! So you can turn ideas in your own head into facts if you want.
We reached a point of exploring intelligence. He asked me what is intelligence and responded, “It’s the ability to cognitively adapt to novel and complex situations.” He accepted the definition instantly and without persuasion. Yes I know that that is not the full definition but it sufficed for our discussion.
Then we began to discuss stupidity – my fav topic. His point was well taken that even the intelligent average human being is very stupid. But then he used that to argue that we – the human race – are less intelligent than animals. I put forward the argument that 6 mm of neocortex is what leads us to the intelligence we have and that took 1 million years to evolve. But I could see in his eyes that his religion – Islam – was a problem. Most religions reject evolution, so my reasoning on that point was doomed to fail. But I persisted a bit more by saying that there are primitive parts of the human brain that are very close to the functioning of lower animals – and so we have both great intelligence and great stupidity all mixed into one. Well that part of the discussion was flushed like quickly because he was not in a position to contribute or rebut.
I then said, “Well, if it’s that simple let’s hand over those complex problems to dogs, cats and ants to solve.” Instantly there was a sort of dismissive superficial laughter from him. His line of reasoning was that the origins of our problems are simple so the solutions must be simple i.e. things like atomic weapons and global warming. He then argued that “Dogs and cats did not create those problems.” I agreed with that because it is an unarguable fact. So his point was that it’s not for them to solve. I could and did agree with that too. But I then put it to him that it matters not the origin or creator of the problem – the issue was whether it was complex. He struggled to agree that those sorts of issues were complex. He saw them as simple e.g. global warming is due to excess C02. And there we had a problem – because global warming is not just due to excess C02 – contrary to what is thrown around in the media.
So I asked him what he thought was the definition of complexity. He struggled. So I told him that a complex problem – regardless how it came about – was one that involved a number of dynamically interrelated variables. He understood all that from the translator. Get it in your head – this is not a debate that was driven by misunderstanding caused by a linguistic problem. Both parties continued to agreed that accuracy of translation was not an issue.
The problem was having accepted my definition of complexity, he then moved to origins of complexity and then had only a very rudimentary understanding of what complexity was. So – the divide ended up in a lack of common ground about complexity. We ended on a pleasant note, him agreeing to search Google for what complexity means.
But in the mean time he believes that dogs and cats etc may well be able to deal with complex issues like global warming but they won’t because it’s none of their business, since they did not create those problems in the first place. I said that there are complex problems being solved right now by artificial intelligence machines, regardless of who created those problems – and it would take us thousands or millions of years to find solutions without them. He didn’t respond on that one – no surprise there.
Well, I think that if dogs and cats could do us a favour and solve our complex problems in the world I’d be very delighted. I don’t know how much we would have to pay them. Maybe a few bags of doggy biscuits and for cats a few sachets of catnip! I say lets give it to them! 🤣😂
Oops – somebody is banging on the door to get in on this blog. I just double-locked the door, so no chance! I’m seriously now drained of energy to take on another ridiculous conversation.
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