About David Deutsch

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My first conversation with ChatGPT

2022-12-03 19:17:47

I was told it can write a poem to order, in a given style with a given subject. So I thought I’d start easy. (You needn’t bother to read the whole poem. The issue is always in the first couple of lines.) Write a poem about electrons that scans Electrons, small and fleetDancing through circuits, ... Read more

My opinion about theories of consciousness, creativity or artificial general intelligence

2018-02-24 03:17:22

I have settled on a simple test for judging claims […] to have explained the nature of consciousness (or any other computational task): If you haven’t programmed it, you haven’t understood it. See The Beginning of Infinity page 154. (E-book readers please search for “I have settled on a simple test”.)

Macaulay on what happens when a religion casts itself as a political movement

2017-06-11 20:09:06

From Macaulay’s History of England, Volume 2, here is a startlingly contemporary warning of what happens when a religion casts itself as a political movement: The extreme antipathy and dread with which the English people regarded [Roman Catholicism] was not to be ascribed solely or chiefly to theological animosity. That salvation might be found in ... Read more

Donna Clara

2015-12-16 21:35:10

My translation of Heinrich Heine’s 1823 poem Donna Clara.

Simple refutation of the ‘Bayesian’ philosophy of science

2014-08-24 22:48:11

By ‘Bayesian’ philosophy of science I mean the position that (1) the objective of science is, or should be, to increase our ‘credence’ for true theories, and that (2) the credences held by a rational thinker obey the probability calculus. However, if T is an explanatory theory (e.g. ‘the sun is powered by nuclear fusion’), then ... Read more

Longitude Prize for Antibiotics – Right Problem, Wrong Criterion

2014-07-07 20:45:59

I voted for the problem of rising antibiotic resistance in disease organisms to be chosen for the new Longitude Prize. I’m delighted to see that it was chosen. But I’m horrified to see what the organisers propose as the criterion for winning the Prize: “The challenge for Longitude Prize 2014 will be set to create a cheap, accurate, ... Read more