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Author Topic: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O  (Read 5876317 times)

Dunamisdeos

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137925 on: September 18, 2018, 12:30:39 pm »

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Marina Chapman lived with weeper capuchin monkeys in the Colombian jungle from the age of four to about nine, following a botched kidnapping in about 1954.[6] Unusual for feral children, she went on to marry, have children and live a largely normal life with no persisting problems.
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Oxana Malaya was an eight-year-old girl who lived with dogs for six years. She was found in a kennel with dogs in 1991. She was neglected by her parents who were alcoholics. The three-year-old looking for comfort crawled into the farm and snuggled in with the dogs. Her behavior imitated dogs more than humans. She walked on all fours, bared her teeth, and barked. She was removed from her parents' custody by the social services.[citation needed] As she lacked human contact she did not know any words besides "yes" and "no".[14] Upon adulthood, Oxana has been taught to subdue her dog-like behavior. She learned to speak fluently and intelligently
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The "ostrich boy" A boy named Hadara was lost by his parents in the Sahara desert at the age of two, and was adopted by ostriches. At the age of 12, he was rescued and taken back to society and his parents. He later married and had children.

Apparently it is not impossible to learn language past a certain age, according to the Wikipedia link. Ostrich kid was raised by fukkin' birds for a decade and then married and had kids. There is an ideal timeframe in which a child should learn language, but it is not a hard necessary (or a bear necessity teehee ha ha).

It seems that not learning human behavior, including (or perhaps primarily) speech, can have an extremely damaging effect, which can certainly result in a person not using speech or never interacting with other humans in an acceptable manner. However, this may well be caused by the trauma caused thereof and not an outright inability to learn language. The page on Critical Period Hypothesis states that:

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Detractors of the critical period hypothesis point out that in these examples and others like them (see feral children), the child is hardly growing up in a nurturing environment, and that the lack of language acquisition in later life may be due to the results of a generally abusive environment rather than being specifically due to a lack of exposure to language.

In short we have evidence that not learning speech within a certain timeframe is damaging and makes learning difficult, but this can be overcome in at least some cases with therapy.
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137926 on: September 18, 2018, 12:34:06 pm »

I don't feel like we've really tried hard enough at teaching them the traditional way to say that we need to "uplift" them through some kind of technology. It's still possible that we could turn whole species into people just by refining our techniques for teaching them language.

Yeah, no. Humans have the in-built ability to learn "language" in an abstract sense. Other animals - they just don't. We don't have to do anything special for humans to learn languages. Humans even without formal teaching will learn all sorts of connections about the world around them in ways other animals just clearly don't.

Other animals, even the smartest ones hit a bottleneck with learning even simple languages, and they fail at teaching this to their own kin. For it to be viable, a chimp would need to learn language and also impart that language onto it's young. No amount of magical-thinking teaching techniques is going to make this happen, chimps just cannot comprehend it. If you teach a chimp 100 signs in sign language but it fails to comprehend how it could show signs to other chimps, then you're at a dead-end with trying to educate chimps: there's no synergy there, you're just painstakingly teaching each chimp what each sign correlates to through rote learning. They don't get the snowball-effect where learning earlier signs opens up a huge world of combining signs and abstraction to learn future stuff much more easily. Chimps can do a couple of combining-symbols things, but they're more like diminishing returns than opening up a vista on how to use grammar to construct more interesting things. Human language manipulation definitely seems like an evolved capacity that is in fact specifically evolved in humans, so there's no reason to expect that animals have that capacity. If they had the capacity, they'd already be using abstract languages long before we got to them.

The only really viable thing we could get without uplifting is some sort of technological communicator that can decode/encode dolphin speech and we can perhaps talk to dolphins in their own language.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 12:45:04 pm by Reelya »
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scriver

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137927 on: September 18, 2018, 12:46:57 pm »

"Babies are cute" is an instinctual reflex, a visceral feeling, how you interpete it is an opinion, the feelings are present BEFORE your self-representation with linguistic tools.

So are all my opinions too though.
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dragdeler

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137928 on: September 18, 2018, 12:56:34 pm »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 02:35:23 pm by dragdeler »
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137929 on: September 18, 2018, 01:02:07 pm »

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an extremely smart dog

The problem is that a sufficiently smart dog would learn to understand language just by being exposed to it. Painstakingly teaching each animal to learn a list of commands is all that's really possible. Dogs cannot use abstract reasoning to communicate with other dogs in novel ways. A dog can't come up with a sign and teach another dog that sign, in other words. It just doesn't happen.

The point is, it's arrogant to think that they just need us to come along and show them how. If dogs had the mental ability for that, they'd have worked out how to do it millions of years before we even existed.

"intelligent" and "smart" are the wrong metric. Humans don't just have abstract "smartness" that allows us to learn and utilize language, we have very specific custom brain circuitry which allows us to do that efficiently.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 01:12:34 pm by Reelya »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137930 on: September 18, 2018, 01:09:08 pm »

How many humans have learned to speak dolphin yet?
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MrRoboto75

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137931 on: September 18, 2018, 01:13:46 pm »

How many humans have learned to speak dolphin yet?

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Dunamisdeos

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137932 on: September 18, 2018, 01:14:18 pm »

Far Side is the best.
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137933 on: September 18, 2018, 01:15:31 pm »

Dolphins, like Humans, would have specific brain-circuitry that evolved to deal with their language use. The category error is to assume that some generic "smartness" automatically bestow language abilities. So, there's no reason to expect that just because humans and possibly dolphins have complex languages that cats and dogs can be taught complex languages, even above-average intelligence cats and dogs.

dragdeler

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137934 on: September 18, 2018, 01:25:31 pm »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 02:35:16 pm by dragdeler »
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Dunamisdeos

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137935 on: September 18, 2018, 01:35:22 pm »

The very interesting argument for free will/no free will aside, that is a poor example against because I can choose to eat anyway even though my stomach hurts.

Also, intelligence refers to the ability to retain and utilize knowledge in a practical fashion, so saying that a cat is not intelligent enough to use language because it lacks the ability to retain and comprehend its purpose is a valid statement.
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FACT I: Post note art is best art.
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137936 on: September 18, 2018, 01:52:16 pm »

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if we did teach some rare specimen to use some language, and that if there is a huge mass of animals that understand some language. They could theoretically. I agree with category error, but in our pipedreams, we were asking for a PERSON, weren't we ?

Yeah we were talking about whether they can be person-ized. But how does rote-teaching a large number of dogs to sit, fetch, beg or even 165 commands (which is supposedly how many distinct words a very smart dog can learn) make them "people" any more than they are now?

Memorizing a bunch of words and having been painstakingly trained to do a specific action for each one is only a crude zombie-like imitation of the type of language manipulation skills that we'd be talking about for a reasonable definition of "person" that does not already include dogs. Dogs are already a "person" in the sense that they are sentient beings.

The more rigorous definition of "person", as a being that can conceptualize it's own existence as a member of a society and make decisions appropriately, isn't approachable no matter how many individual words a creature can be taught to memorize. That needs abstract thinking.

Some examples given for animal abstract thinking could be correct, but some of them are easily debunked based on what we know about hard-wired human thinking.

For example, the first example given for "abstract thinking" in dogs, is that dogs can recognize a dog of any breed, so dogs must have some abstract cognitive notion of dog-ness. However, humans have a specific neural circuit that exists to recognize human faces, and humans who have just that neural circuit damaged have a recognized disability where cannot recognize other despite otherwise being very intelligent and accomplished in other areas of their lives. This proves that the mental task of identifying a fellow human isn't due to abstract reasoning skills, it's due to custom circuitry that evolved for that single purpose.

Hence, dogs almost certainly also use hard-wired circuits that are designed to recognize fellow dogs, rather than using abstract thought to determine this. There's no reason to believe it's a rational abstract thought process behind the ability, because that specific ability in humans is not determined by rational abstract thought processes.

When humans who've lost the face-recognition subroutine try and recognize a face, they're trying to do it through using abstract reasoning against the flow of raw sensory data, and they do so really badly. What this shows is that brains very rarely deal with raw sensory data, they deal with data in forms that have been manipulated by custom brain circuitry that evolved over millions of years for specific tasks. Teaching a non-language animal human language is like the face-blindness person trying to recognize faces. The animal doesn't lack "intelligence" they lack the custom circuitry that allows even the dumbest humans to do this processing.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 02:20:43 pm by Reelya »
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LordBaal

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137937 on: September 18, 2018, 02:07:17 pm »

Don't dogs know that other dogs are dogs by scent?
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dragdeler

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137938 on: September 18, 2018, 02:08:22 pm »

-snip-
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 02:35:08 pm by dragdeler »
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Reelya

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Re: Things that made you go "WTF?" today o_O
« Reply #137939 on: September 18, 2018, 02:22:55 pm »

I already said that dogs can be called a person now.

The original point I was replying to was that by teaching them language we can make them a "person". I didn't make that choice of term. Obviously, any sentient being can be said to be a person already, so whatever the original poster who said "person" in this thread meant was clearly something different to that.

In that case, we're clearly talking about something other than concrete thinking. For example, could you teach a dog that there are 7 days in a week, and that today is Wednesday and have them just infer that tomorrow is Thursday from a set of rules?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 02:34:30 pm by Reelya »
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