Odds and ends

February 26, 2015
  • Roger Scruton has had his ups and downs, but has learned something along the way, about love, about parenting, about education, and many other things that are part of becoming a family. This old essay is well worth reading:

What we have discovered through marriage is not the first love that induced it but the second love that follows, as the vow weaves life and life together. Western romanticism has fostered the illusion that first love is the truest love, and what need has first love of marriage? But an older and wiser tradition recognizes that the best of love comes after marriage, not before.

  • The Academy Awards came and went. I note that Ida, one of my favourite films from last year, won in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Well done, Academy.
  • That film about Alan Turing was nominated for Best Picture, and lost. In much the same spirit, Ed Feser took a close look at the Turing Test and gave it a failing grade.
  • I did not see any of the films nominated in the Best Animated Feature category, but, just based on the trailer, I’m pretty sure I know which should have won. Check this out:

4 Responses to “Odds and ends”


  1. That piece about the Turing Test is excellent. I’ve always been frustrated by its acceptance as the criterion for deciding whether a machine can think. Is it not obvious that a successful imitation of something is not the same as the thing itself? AI is never going to be anything but ingenious engineering. The test has been passed but it apparently is not the big deal that might have been expected when Turing wrote.

    The animation is definitely intriguing.

  2. cburrell Says:

    I agree that the Turing test is badly confused; I can also see how, as a kind of practical matter, it could seem sensible to someone with a technical focus.

    I had not heard that a computer had passed the test.


  3. There was this report. But there are dissenters who claim it wasn’t really valid.

  4. cburrell Says:

    This is one of the other problems with the Turing test: whether the computer passes depends on who is interacting with it.


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