Re: Key Post 1, toward Church Thesis and Lobian machine

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 12:31:01 +0100

Le 07-déc.-07, à 00:22, Russell Standish a écrit :

> On Thu, Dec 06, 2007 at 03:37:10PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Thanks Russell.
>> About the use of "asshole" I am afraid it is more popular, or vulgar,
>> than I thought. You are very kind to tell me.
>> Should I use "dumb" instead? The idea consists in not attributing
> No "dumb" is the wrong word. Dumb people can of course be quite
> creative (literally dumb means not able to speak, but derogatively it
> also means "stupid", which is a slight on dumb people).

All right. I knew only the derogative meaning.

> I would have gone with something like "mindless robot" - although this
> has problems of implying artificiality.

Ah Ah .... I was expecting someone asking if the "asshole" I did
mention (sorry), was not just the one we are used to call "machine".
As you say, this implies in general some artificiality, but not
necessarily so. After all the doctrine of Mechanism (related to
Descartes) is the thesis that we (actually only animals for Descartes)
are machine. And this does not mean we are artificial. BTW note that
the term "artificial" is artificial" itself, and so is natural, and
thus artificial, and thus natural, and thus artificial ....
But yes, in the informal ,pregodelian sense of machine, the term
"machine" is not so bad (and obviously more polite than the one I

> Perhaps "mindless servant" -
> you want to get across the idea of following orders to the letter
> without question.

Mindless servant is rather good too, with the informal sense. But
saying that a function is computable if it can be computed without mind
can be considered as a definition as negative as saying that a
computation can be done without invoking Gods. Term like "mind", "God"
are a bit problematic when used at the start of the enquiry.

> Doesn't "trou de cul" have a similar meaning to "arsehole" in French?

Yes, literally. But "trou de cul" is a bit old fashioned.

> I suspect the closer translation might be "connard" though.

Or the simpler "con", which is used a lot, but it is not only vulgar,
but also disrespectful for woman (like most insults in french).



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Received on Fri Dec 07 2007 - 06:31:25 PST

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