The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"


Artificial Intelligence has been researching human intelligence and machine intelligence, possibly abusing the term “intelligence” from the beginning. It can be educational to focus for a few minutes on the opposite quantity, stupidity. Common sense seems to have a perfectly clear understanding of what stupidity is. Most people would agree at once that some statements are stupid.

“Which is the shortest river in the world?” There is no shortest river, because one can always find a shorter stream of water, all the way down to the leak in your bath tub and to a single drop of water in the kitchen sink. While it makes sense to ask which is the longest river in the world, it makes no sense to ask which is the shortest one. As the length gets shorter, the number of rivers increases exponentially.

“ Is everybody here?” The question is stupid because if somebody is missing she won’t be able to answer the question.

 “Does everybody understand English?” exhibits the same type of stupidity.

What do these questions have in common?


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