Q and A: The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do

Do you like questioning answers? Do you enjoy answering questions? Do you get a kick out of questioning questions and answering answers? If you do this post is… well, it’s something, still haven’t decided what kind of something it is, what kind of something do you think it is?

“The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.”


― B.F. Skinner, Contingencies Of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis

The questions in this post were kindly shared by Scherezade Ozwulo of The Introverted Christian. She received a Sunshine Blogger award nomination from Pointless Overthinker, and invited anyone who would like to do so to answer the questions on their own blog. 

Since I’m me (a mistake-making mess extraordinaire), I’ve decided to borrow three sets of questions from the Sunshine Blogger award nomination chain. I have separated the sets and linked back to the original post they are contained in. Blog Award Nomination chains are a great way to discover blogs, so if you have the time, please click and visit… I’m fairly certain they don’t bite (and yes, if you end up getting bitten you can return here and shout at me for your recklessness in listening to me)!

And no, I’m not angling for a blog award nomination, I’ve had loads (omg, what a quadruple toast toaster she is!) of those over the years (you can find them on a page in the header menu), mostly during my early years of blogging… (I wonder why people stopped giving them to me, is it because I made such a shambles of receiving them and passing them on?) … I just love Q and A’s (unless they’re tests… do not like tests, that’s an order)!

So, let’s cut to the Q chase!

Questions from A Peep Into My Travel Diaries :

  1. What prompted you to start writing?
  2. How has your blog changed you as a person?
  3. Assuming you read books, name that one book which you often quote from.
  4. Name that one writer whose works you keep going back to read.
  5. Assuming you listen to music, what is that one song that you feel was written for you.
  6. Assuming yet again that you watch movies, name that one movie that made you rethink the way you lived your life.
  7. Who is that one person you love so much that you hate yourself for it? (in other words that one person you cannot imagine life without?
  8. What is your worst fear?
  9. What motivates you to wake up each day?
  10. Given a choice, would you hike up a mountain or go diving in the ocean?
  11. Happiness or Contentment? Why?

  Questions from Pointless Overthinker :

  1. What do you do on a daily basis to achieve your dreams?
  2. What would you like to achieve by the end of this year?
  3. What do you do when you feel the need to motivate yourself?
  4. What easy change could you make in your life which would have a great impact?
  5. Which is the biggest obstacle you face right now?
  6. Which area in your life needs most of your attention?
  7. What is your biggest enemy?
  8. What is your most useful hobby?
  9. Which part of the world is a “wanted to visit” and why?
  10. What do you want the most in this life and why?
  11. What is the most interesting you’ve learned about yourself this year?

Questions from  The Introverted Christian :

 

  1. If you could meet one person living or dead, who would it be?
  2. What is your personality type and what have you learned from it?
  3. What books are you reading now, why?
  4. The meaning of life is…
  5. If you could talk with God what would you talk about?
  6. Favorite movie of all time?
  7. Favorite song?
  8. Do you have a favorite number, why?
  9. On a scale from 1 -10, how excited are you about this new year?
  10. Best holiday memory?
  11. Love is…

  

  

And now for the rest of the post wherein I answer these questions and pretend to myself that I’m going to keep it short (but never sweet, I prefer salty).

A quick tip: If you’re reading this in the WP Reader… it might be easier to read on my blog (not sure what the reader does with the Gutenberg editor, but I’ve coloured in the questions to define them from the answers… and it’s oh so pretty!) Or…

You can ignore whatever happens after this paragraph, it’s basically just me interviewing myself, having a larf with myself, arguing with myself (also known as an intellectual but not intelligent debate), pleasantly conversing with myself, and probably proving to everyone but myself that…

“Exactly!” said Deep Thought. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.”


― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

What prompted you to start writing?

I can’t remember, but I’ll hazard a guess that my early attempts to draw turned into writing at some point and I just shrugged and went with it.

How has your blog changed you as a person?

For an in depth answer – read my blog. For a quick answer – it’s helped me to realise that it’s okay to be me, myself, and I as is.

Assuming you read books, name that one book which you often quote from.

  

 

Name that one writer whose works you keep going back to read.

“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”

― Carl Gustav Jung

Assuming you listen to music, what is that one song that you feel was written for you.

This is the most recent song which I connected with (it should be ‘with which I connected’ not… shut up… okay) and felt expressed something deep within for me.

 It’s an aria from an opera (which was used in the film – Farinelli), and you can read more about it here – ThoughtCo: Lascia Ch’io Pianga lyrics and text translation.

Assuming yet again that you watch movies, name that one movie that made you rethink the way you lived your life.

I was recently reminded of this film, which, when I saw it, inspired me to write a post about it: Variations on a Theme – Stories we tell

  

  


Who is that one person you love so much that you hate yourself for it? (in other words that one person you cannot imagine life without?

Myself (I was going to try and explain my answer, but then I remembered that some answers are best left unexplained).

What is your worst fear?

Why do you want to know?

What motivates you to wake up each day?

Nature… sometimes its the need to pee.

Given a choice, would you hike up a mountain or go diving in the ocean?

I’m a Capricorn Sun = the sea goat = I have hooves to climb mountains and a fish tail to swim oceans, which means that I can’t really do either but DAMN! do I ever try to do both usually at the same time (the Cappy glyph sometimes looks like a vs = versus).

 

 

Happiness or Contentment? Why?

I agree, Why? choose one or the other, why not enjoy a bit of both.

You have been offered the dessert menu in a restaurant, and as you peruse the selection of delicious delicacies your eyes (acting on behalf of your taste buds and tummy) bounce between two desserts both of which you want – Why do you think you only have to choose one of the two? Why not order all of the desserts on the menu with a handful of spoons, forks, and share them with the other diners.

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”

― Albert Einstein

    

What do you do on a daily basis to achieve your dreams?

I was going to call this post Taurus Smokes Aries Eats, but it’s not an astrology post, and neither was the dream. It was about watching constellations as they moved and lived their lives. The constellation of Taurus was puffing away smoking a cigarette (or it could have been a cigar, couldn’t tell as there was too much smoke and I couldn’t smell it), while the constellation of Aries was heartily eating a drumstick… not sure if it was chicken or turkey, probably turkey because it was huge.

What would you like to achieve by the end of this year?

Solve that puzzle I mentioned a few posts ago, as if I don’t it’ll become even more complex to solve.

What do you do when you feel the need to motivate yourself?

Wait to respond.

“We live on an earthly plane in which the one thing that stands out is the deep, deep, deep frustration that is the hallmark of life on this planet. It’s not like I want Generators to feel guilty; though, I don’t mind if they do, quite frankly. Anything that can wake a Generator up, I’ll take.

Manifestors like me, who go plowing through this life, do not have in any way shape or form the same capacity to transform the life as a Generator. It’s the Generators that I can impact as a Manifestor that might, in fact, be able to change the world because they are the world, they are life, and they are the life force.


You take away all the Generators, and the Reflectors and the Projectors and the Manifestors wilt like cut flowers. It’s a Generator world. It’s my joke about the temple at Delphi, the one that said, “Know Thyself.” There used to be a sign above it that said, “Generators Only.” And at the same time, the Generator Strategy seems to be on the surface the simplest damn thing you could imagine: Respond, don’t initiate, respond, don’t initiate, respond. It’s so incredibly simple it’s mind boggling, and it’s perfect.”

– Ra Uru Hu on the Generator via International Human Design School

What easy change could you make in your life which would have a great impact?

Delete my blog (technically it is easy to do, and it would have a great impact on me and thus my life).

Which is the biggest obstacle you face right now?

I enjoy adding images to my posts for various reasons (one of which is that I’m a visual thinker). It’s blogging etiquette to give credit to the creator of the image, and link to source if possible. Sometimes I don’t have to give credit or link to source, especially if it’s a meme. Sometimes I forget or tell myself to do it later and forget. Sometimes I spend what feels like hours reverse searching on Google Image Search to find the artist, photographer, point of origin, particularly when Pinterest has pinned the image into infinity and beyond. I gave up on finding who created the Capricorn image above, but figured that it was okay to use it (if you know who originally designed it, please let me know).

Which area in your life needs most of your attention?

I copy/pasted this question twice and almost did it a third time before I realised what I was doing… was not paying attention.

What is your biggest enemy?

  

  

What is your most useful hobby?

Blogging.

Which part of the world is a “wanted to visit” and why?

  

  

 

  

What do you want the most in this life and why?

Magic powers, because they’d be bloody useful… and right now they might help me avoid some potential bloodshed. There’s this huge pile of logs in the barn which are beautifully seasoned thanks to the incredibly hot Summer we had, I have to cut them up into smaller pieces, then split those smaller pieces into choppable chunks to make them the perfect size for the wood burner to heat the house this Winter. This grasshopper keeps putting her ant duties off… but if I could just think-blink… done!

What is the most interesting you’ve learned about yourself this year?

That I don’t always have to do things the hard way… and doing things the easy way isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

  

“The “silly” question is the first intimation of some totally new development”

― Alfred Whitehead

  

If you could meet one person living or dead, who would it be?

The first person who popped into my mind was Richard Feynman and I was going to share a clip of my favourite lecture of his but I couldn’t remember which one it was in the old black and white series.

Then Donald Hoffman came to mind because I love this article – The Atlantic: The Case Against Reality – but I had a quick look at his TED Talk and recalled why I don’t like TED Talks.

Next up was Socrates because you can chat with him in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and the chats are hilarious…

But frankly those meetings would all probably be a disaster, another chance to learn that lesson – never meet your heroes – so… I’ve always wanted to meet Noel Fielding (but I may be a bit too weird and too crazy for him, and I think he may be a bit too normal for me).

  

  

What is your personality type and what have you learned from it?

I know that when Scherezade created this question she was thinking about the MBTI because I read her answers to the questions she’d been asked, and we’ve comment-chatted before about this particular personality type system. So I’ll answer accordingly (because I can do that too).

I’m an INTP (and like a typical INTP I took the MBTI test, several of them from different sites, several times just to make sure that the result was correct, but really I should have just read the descriptions of the type because it’s me).

  

created by sunflowersanddandelions

   

The INTP image above was created by Sunflowers And Dandelions for her wonderful post on being an INTP –  The Joys of being an INTP

Aw c’mon, editor, stop glitching out on me, you can handle one more link….

  

  

What have I learned from finding out that I’m an INTP… Hmmmm… that it is actually possible for me to fit into a category and belong to a group (here’s something I wrote earlier inspired by my experiences of being a misfit: Strange Gifts – Being a Misfit).

What books are you reading now, why?

I’m not reading any books at the moment, I prefer reading blog posts, articles, and words strung together online… it’s easier to look up everything I suddenly need to look up after new information, perspectives, ideas, etc, enter my mind space.

The meaning of life is…

Still under construction.

If you could talk with God what would you talk about?

I chat with everything (real people… not so much as much). If Big Brother is watching me (whoever was assigned to watch my feed has probably retired to an asylum), it would have observed me the other day asking the boiler to tell me what it needed me to do to ease its problems (it’s easier to fix things if you get to know them a bit better and listen to them), or seen me cussing out a ladybird for being unladylike when she launched herself into my ear canal (that was not pleasant but not as bad as the moth), or complimenting the shooting star on its brilliance.

I talk with my cat all the time and she replies. I also try to get the atoms which make up my body to reveal to me wtf they’re doing this time, but they’re very cagey and rarely answer except with a Mutley snicker.

  

  

I regularly chat with the universe, and we discuss this and that. We don’t always communicate in words. I’ve become better at listening, and understanding… it’s been very helpful recently in nudging me through, out of, and over old issues. It can be very entertaining in the way it gives you a message… sometimes it’ll surprise the crap out of you.

Many years ago when I was in a very dark place, in the wee hours of a night of intense depression the radio suddenly turned itself on. The voice of the presenter of some talk show was discussing guardian angels and said something along the lines of: “They’re always there watching you, guiding you, you are never alone…” It briefly shocked me out of wallowing in self misery, made me laugh at the absurdity of the happening, and… although I don’t believe in angels (because I don’t really ‘believe’ in anything as nothing can really be proven – see the Donald Hoffman interview after the link above – I prefer to leave the mind open and not shut things out with ‘belief’), it seemed as though angels believed in me.

“We should never ask of anything “Is it real?,” for everything is real. The proper question is “A real what?,” e.g., a real snake or real delirium tremens?”


― C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Pra

Favorite movie of all time?

   

    

Favorite song?

   

   

Do you have a favorite number, why?

It should be 8 because it’s the only number which stays the same, doesn’t wiggle and jiggle, and morph into another number when I look at it.

On a scale from 1 -10, how excited are you about this new year?

I tend to just prefer to just be here now in the here and now and so I don’t think that much about the there and then until I’m there and then.

However…

In this new year I’ll be turning 50 years old, and for some reason I’m very excited about that!!! I’ve enjoyed my 40’s, they’ve been truly bizarre. I’m looking forward to graduating into the 50’s to discover what strangeness it brings.

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”

― Euripides

Best holiday memory?

I met my partner while we were both on holiday… or did you mean that other kind of holiday? In which case the first X-mas my partner and I spent in our new house and first proper home.

Love is…

Still buffering and loading…

   

   

That’s it… over to you!

Feel free to answer the questions which you want to answer in the comments of this post.

If you’re a blogger and decide to answer all or some of the questions in a post… pingback or pop the link in a comment here please so I can read it.

“I have always thirsted for knowledge, I have always been full of questions.”


― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Any questions?

4 thoughts on “Q and A: The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do

Add yours

    1. You are right, please remove the link 😉 Was having the night owl syndrome and did the post in my wee hours, just duly followed the instructions in your post Lol. Thank you so much! 🙂

      Like

  1. Thank you so much for mentioning me and for answering the questions! I love to get in touch with another question-obsessed human being! How else could we receive answers if we don’t ask the questions? 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you very much, DM 🙂

      Asking questions can take you on some magnificent adventures, as well as get you into heaps of trouble (which can be fun too, but not always). It can be very addictive, and can become all about the asking of the questions… sometimes the asking of questions is a defense mechanism. The best part of asking questions, imo, isn’t the receiving of answers (it’s a bit like getting what you wanted and finding that getting it wasn’t as interesting as wanting it), but the journey the question quest sets you on, all the people you meet along the way in person, through books, through film, through blogging, all the knowledge you uncover, all the places you explore inside and outside of yourself, and how it reveals to you more about yourself, how it guides you through the inner caverns, the darkness, the pink labyrinth, etc. and shows you that the mind and thought are but a fragment of the whole of the hard problem of consciousness.

      How could we receive questions if we don’t ask the answers why they’re an answer? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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