Re: MD Can Only Humans Respond to DQ?

From: Glenn Bradford (
Date: Mon Nov 18 2002 - 07:50:33 GMT

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    If we accept the common notions that speaking a language involves
    symbol manipulation, and that saying someone is "nowhere intellectually"
    means he or she is "not intellectual", then the definition of
    'intellectual' as the ability of the mind to "collect and manipulate
    symbols" is incompatible with the statement that Lila is "nowhere
    intellectually", because Lila speaks a language. Until recently I'd
    have said this was a contradiction, but I've come to understand that
    this is merely a difference of opinion over the MOQ between Pirsig,
    who penned the definition, and Phaedrus, who judged Lila. As to
    which of them is the higher MOQ authority is not for me to say, but
    in any case, it's not our problem:)

    On the debate over whether an instrument can detect the President of the
    United States, the answer depends on how you interpret the phrase
    "President of the United States". If you take this to mean a particular
    man, like George Bush, then the answer is yes. You simply run his finger-
    prints through a national database. If you take it to mean something more
    abstract, like "presidency" or "presidential", then the task gets tougher,
    or impossible. There are many qualities that make a person presidential,
    not all of them are hard and fast, and many are not detectable by current
    technology. One that might be is poise under pressure. You can wire up
    two candidates during a presidential debate and monitor their perspiration
    and respiration. A machine could have predicted that JFK was more
    presidential than Nixon on this count. As for the things that are hard to
    objectively quantify, like loyalty to country, democratic convictions, and
    a love of freedom, it's worth noting that even people have trouble assessing
    these qualities accurately in a person, and suffer the same barriers to
    these that an instrument would.

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