Re: How Robots Will Steal Your Job

wrote or quoted :

Don't they have a spotted owl franchise in Oregon?
-- Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green. Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming. See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
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Humour. Lost on you?

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Airy R Bean wrote:

Possibly. I'm AS and saw that as merely a fLame.

            Observer aka DustWolf aka CyberLegend aka Jure Sah
C'ya!
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Bent C Dalager wrote:

-------------------------- Only a chipmunk only speaks chipmunk. Humans can speak anything that matters. They need only learn, but they can't learn chipmunk because it doesn't say anything they don't already know. -Steve
--
-Steve Walz snipped-for-privacy@armory.com ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
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R. Steve Walz wrote:

This is a totally humanocentric pile of bullshit, not to mention being logically invalid. Humans can speak a handful of languages, most of which are related to one of about 5 or 6 roots. Learning a new language requires assistance from someone who knows the other language, and preferably knows yours as well. It takes a /very/ long time for two people with no common language between them to learn each other's language.
Several years ago, during the height of the space craze, a number of attempts were made to create a system to initiate communication with an intelligent creature with no familiar language. Lots of linguists devoted insane amounts of effort, and they eventually came up with a system that all agreed was very good. Until they tested it. The test subjects had no common root languages with the testers, were judged to be of high intelligence, and yet several weeks passed without a single advancement in communication. From memory the whole project was dropped at that point, since if it couldn't be used to communicate with an intelligent subject who was so similar to the testers in every respect other than language, then what hope did the system have of working with an intelligent being with a potentially /very/ different mental structure?
But then from what you've already said, if it can't come and make itself intelligible to /us/, then you don't class it as intelligent.
All you've proved so far is that you mind is more closed than Fort Knox.
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wrote or quoted :

Has anyone done a serious study to find out?
Consider that hieroglyphics baffled scholars for centuries until someone found the Rosetta stone.
It seems to me from watching Walt Disney as a kid, that the chipmunk relative the prairie dog has a number of sounds, as do monkeys, to identify various predators.
What is a language? Something for communicating information through abstract sounds or symbols. It may not be that sophisticated a language, but it works to warn other prairie dogs to look up or down for danger.
-- Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green. Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming. See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
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Corey Murtagh wrote:

------------------- People are stupid universally. Steve's Law.

------------------- That's just it, you HAVE to have something you have in commmon before you can even imagine saying anything to each other, or why communicate at all?
-Steve
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<hogwash snipped>

starting, i presume, with steve ?
goose,
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Corey Murtagh wrote:

Depends somewhat on the people involved, doesn't it? It would take *me* forever and a day, but I know people who pick up new languages rapidly.

(I would prefer the word, sentient. My *dog* is intelligent.)
I still think a key difference is that--if you meet another human (or, presumably, alien), there would be obvious *attempts* to communicate and find common ground. This is missing with regard to our animal friends.
There is limited communication between my dog and me, but most of it comes from my attempts to communicate with her. She has very few messages other than, "Want food", "Want to go out", "Want food", "Want petting", "Want food",... and "Want food."
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Programmer Dude wrote:
<snip>

How do you know?

How do you know?
It may be that your inability to recognise "obvious"[1] attempts by your dog to communicate with you are most frustrating for her.
[1] Obvious to the dog, that is.
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Richard Heathfield : snipped-for-privacy@eton.powernet.co.uk
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On Wed, 3 Sep 2003 20:35:10 +0000 (UTC), Richard Heathfield

read my little story about the dolphin and the paddles at http://mindprod.com/intel.html . People's preconceived notions can make them miss cues obvious to others.
-- Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green. Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming. See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
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Roedy Green wrote:

Have read it, and as I've said, animals are clearly capable of communicating their basic needs and wants. Even cows communicate distress at not being milked (and cows ain't quite the brightest critters on the planet).
If your dolphins--or my dog--were truly sentient, they'd also try communicating on our level, since--to a truly intelligent being--it would be rather obvious the message wasn't getting through very well.
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Programmer Dude wrote:

How do you know they're not solving partial integration equations in their heads to relieve the sheer boredom of standing around in a field all day with nothing else to do?

You assume that a truly intelligent animal would want to communicate with us in the first place.
(a) If, somehow, an intelligent animal /did/ manage to communicate with a human, what is the likely outcome? That the human will simply not believe what he has heard/seen/smelt/thought/whatever; (b) if, somehow, an intelligent animal /did/ manage to persuade a human that it really could communicate, the human is unlikely to be silly enough to report the fact to anybody; (c) if, somehow, the human /was/ silly enough to report the fact to anybody, he is very unlikely to be believed by anyone worth persuading; (d) if, incredibly, the human /was/ believed, the animal is very likely to end up under a laboratory microscope.
A truly intelligent animal would try to act as if it were not intelligent, at least when around humans. The problem is that it is impossible to distinguish such animals (if they exist) from non-intelligent animals, provided they are sufficiently intelligent to disguise their intelligence.
If they're really bright and if they have the option, they'll choose an environment where we have trouble following them. Sea water is always a good bet, since we're having some difficulty destroying the sea, it being rather larger than the average Great Lake. (It's not for want of trying, though.)
Now, maybe there's no such thing as an intelligent, self-aware animal, after all. We don't know. It's unlikely that we shall ever know for sure. To claim that we /already/ know is IMHO to mistake absence of evidence for evidence of absence.
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"Usenet is a strange place." - Dennis M Ritchie, 29 July 1999.
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Richard Heathfield wrote:

I don't *know*, but I consider the idea far fetched in the extreme. Until I see clear evidence cows have any sense of mathematics, let alone higher math, I'll bet the obvious.

Yes I do. I assume any intelligence desires to communicate.

An appearance on Letterman, at the very least.
All seriousness aside, I think it would change the course of human history.

Some perhaps, but clearly there are people with a strong desire that animals are sentient, so I have to assume the message would get through eventually (if not, in fact, instantly, which is my guess).

Surely you jest? Miss the opportunity to become one of the most famous people on earth? The tv rights alone would set you up for life.

Again, I disagree completely. If I walked into any animal research facility with a talking dog, once it were established the dog does in fact talk, *history* would be made.

Very possibly, but the whole scenario makes a silly assumption: that no animals are intelligent until one suddenly becomes intelligent, looks around, figures out the ramifications of revealing intelligence and decides to tell no one.
Richard, I think you've got old Occam spinning like a dervish in his grave! (-:
Consider: if *an* animal is intelligent, and if this is "normal", then doesn't this require that many animals be intelligent? And what is the likelyhood of them *all* deciding to play mum? What is the likelyhood that *none* of them get the message through? What is the likelyhood that *all* of them fool *all* of us *all* the time (and there is a *saying* about THAT idea!).

But you provide no sensible reason for this silence.

That would suggest they needs be *much* more intelligent than us, since it's manifest that humans can't keep a secret. What are the chances this intelligence was able to evolve and surpass us without our noticing it?

Actually, some scientists are quite concerned about our seas. Vast coastal areas have been entirely fished out, and pollution has been found through out the seven seas.
And we are exploring the sea. Deep thermal vents and all that. Ever been down in a sub? It's interesting. After about 100 feet, all the rich life (corals, fish, etc.) thin out leaving a fairly barren environment. Things do live down there, but it's nothing compared to the first 100 feet or so.
But in any event, what are you suggesting here? That a species *decided* to return to the sea? Or *decided* to never leave it? Pretty neat trick--deciding to evolve in a given direction!

Agreed. But the odds and the evidence suggest there isn't.

Also agreed, but to imagine small chances into larger probabilities is wishful thinking at best.
A favorite contemporary SF author, David Brin, wrote a collection of essays and SF shorts, called OTHERNESS. His theme is the tendency in Western thought to bend over backwards to accommodate off-beat "It could be true, you never know" ideas.
A big part of his point is that, yes you often can't know for sure, but action requires picking a position until that position is shown to be wrong somehow.
Until someone demonstrates more than wishful thinking about cows doing higher math or entire species conspiring to conceal themselves from us--admittedly we being in a position to do great harm to them, but also being in a position to provide great help--I'm going to go with what *appears* now to be real.
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Programmer Dude wrote:

No doubt they consider the idea of your being able to do higher math equally far fetched. They know they're right. How will you prove it to them, since you are ignorant of their rather intricate symbology?

The obvious is that you don't know either way.

I see no reason to make that assumption. Just because humans are chatty, that doesn't mean that all intelligent creatures are chatty. Nor does it mean that humans are intelligent, by the way.

And how would that benefit the animal?

Sure, with possibly catastrophic effects on the relevant species, whatever it might be. An intelligent species might be able to predict this, and stay the hell away in the first place.

Only if the animal wishes to communicate. My point is that this would be against the animal's best interests.

There's a great cartoon about a singing frog. Warner Brothers, I think. This guy discovers a singing frog in a box. The frog does the whole top-hat-and-wand song-and-dance routine, and has a remarkably fine singing voice. Excited at the prospect of fame, the guy takes the frog to a theatrical agent, where the frog just sits there going "ribbit". Whenever the guy is alone, the frog will perform, but /only/ when the guy is alone.
My point? Simple really - don't make the mistake of thinking that an animal that made the mistake of communicating with a human would be obliged to repeat that mistake.

Not if the dog doesn't want to talk. And, if it is truly intelligent, it won't say a word, even if it has the vocabulary and linguistic skill of Shakespeare himself.

No, it doesn't make any such assumption. It certainly doesn't make the assumption that no animals are intelligent. Rather, it attempts to demonstrate that, if some animals are intelligent *and* capable of communicating that intelligence to human beings, evolution could easily have selected against those that chose to succumb to that temptation. In other words, if you're stupid enough to talk to people, you don't live long enough to breed.

On the contrary. I'm making no assumptions whatsoever. You are making the fundamental assumption that, if animals were intelligent, they would attempt to communicate with us in such a way that we could understand.
Note that this is a self-defeating assumption, since mankind has made very few genuine attempts, and possibly no successful attempts, to communicate with animals in such a way that /they/ could understand. Therefore, if using your arguments, an intelligent animal would have to deduce that humans are not intelligent.

Yes.
High. After all, have you heard from any? No? Well, then. (This is your own argument, played back against you.)

High. For a start, they might be too bright to try. Secondly, we're not really listening terribly seriously. Thirdly, we don't actually know their language (if they have a language).

I think that, if some animals are intelligent, the vast majority of those animals fool the vast majority of us the vast majority of the time, and that's enough.

Oh, come on. Look at the problems:
1) Self-preservation. Any animal successfully communicating with us would become an instant research project, almost certainly resulting in the loss of liberty and, perhaps, the eventual death-in-captivity of the animal. Bit of a downer. 2) Apathy. We don't speak KomodoDragonese or DuckBilledPlatypian, and nobody seems to be making any serious attempts to learn those languages. If we can't be bothered to communicate with animals, what makes you think they're bothered about communicating with us? 3) Cultural differences. We place a high value on communication because we're good at communicating. Perhaps an intelligent animal might have a very different set of values. For example, it might consider our fetish for communication to be a sign of /non/-intelligence. ("For heaven's sake, mankind, how can you sneak up on an antelope if you're yapping all the time?")

Well, being much more intelligent than humans wouldn't be hard, I'm afraid.

High. Humans not only can't keep secrets, but also are very unwilling to notice anything that they weren't expecting to notice or don't want to notice. For example, most of us refuse to believe that we are governed by self-serving idiots, because to believe that would be to understand that we were pretty dumb for putting them in charge, and nobody likes to think of themselves as dumb. In the same way, we rather like being the only intelligent species on the planet, and we'd really rather not share the honour. Of course, you can find quite a few humans with more intellectual honesty than that, but they are surprisingly rare.

Oh, I know. I'm not saying we can't do it. I'm just saying it's taking longer than usual.
<snip>

Perhaps the latter. Perhaps, even, the former.

Humans do this already.

I must disagree here. The odds are not capable of calculation because we lack data. As for evidence, I think it's trivial to interpret the observable facts as evidence for, or evidence against, the intelligence of animals, depending on what we wish to believe.

Whoever said anything about small chances? As for wishful thinking, I don't recall claiming that I want to show that animals are intelligent. In fact, I hope for their sake that they are not, in a way. I'm just trying to show that the arguments presented so far against the idea are not even remotely compelling.

Yes, that's fair enough, but you should not then consider the fact of picking a position to constitute evidence that the correct position was picked!

Until someone demonstrates more than wishful thinking about animals being mere automata put here for no other reason than to give us something to prod and poke at, I'm going to go with what appears now to be real. I've seen alertness, curiosity, playfulness, and even mischief in animal behaviour; it seems very clear to me that animals are self-aware, intelligent to at least some degree, and very definitely conscious. Prove that they aren't, and I'll cheerfully acquiesce. So far, you have advanced no proof, so I have to go with what seems self-evident.
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Richard Heathfield wrote:

"No doubt"? So you actually believe this is possible? Do you *really* believe that a food source of centuries that spends its time in pastures chewing the regurgitated contents of one of its stomachs and walking around in its own feces is doing higher math?
As I said, it seems far fetched (in the extreme) to me, but if you can demonstrate any evidence for this, I'd be fascinated to see it!

As I said. I also don't *know* that Pluto isn't made of brie, but I consider that extremely unlikely, too. Until someone or something demonstrates the intelligence of cows or the cheese of Pluto, I'll select the most *rational* interpretation of the data.

I think it's probably a good bet, though. *Curiousity* seems to be a characteristic of intelligence, and it seems contrary to the desire to know and understand to *choose* to not communicate.

You usually don't defy Occam so much, Richard. (-:
"Possibly catastrophic", "might be able to predict"... And they somehow managed to achieve this better-than-human level of intelligence *without* going through a period of lesser smarts wherein they *would* likely reach out?

My point is, I don't think that's evident at all. I would think a mother cow would have some concerns about her offspring being converted to veal and a *serious* vested interest in speaking up.
Consider also that an intelligence smart enough to understand the value of secrecy should *also* understand that our society DOES attempt to succor the weak and helpless. Thus, I can see no real reason to keep mum and a very compelling reason to speak up.

Irrelevant to the point that if it DID talk, history would be made.

[shrug] All I can say is I disagree completely. I see no real value in keeping mum and definite value of speaking up (consider the lot of women and non-whites until they *demanded* equality in Western society). I also think it's absurd to think all members of all intelligent species all choose to keep mum and have pulled it off for centuries.
If they were as intelligent as you suggest, they would certainly be in a position to demand equality. Your position seems to have a contradiction inherent.

The assumption is *necessarily* implicit in the point of view. To reach that level of intelligence, they must pass through the earlier stages, and surely somewhere along the line speaking, intelligent animals would have been noticed! It would be a most remarkable event.

On what basis are you so sure that would happen? It seems to me quite the opposite: that NOT speaking up places them below us and makes them chattel. ONLY through *demanding* parity will they ever achieve it. ONLY by demonstrating their intelligence will they convince us it exists.
If they are capable of acting in concert such as you suggest, they are equally capable of making a stand and demanding their share.

You are making a great many assumptions, and they are assumptions that defy observations of centuries. You are assuming intelligence could evolve completely undetected. You seem to be assuming this happened to many species (cows & squirrels have been mentioned). You are assuming all members of all these species all decided to keep an incredible secret *despite* our attempts to communicate with them. You are assuming cows would rather die young than speak up. You are assuming a species would *decide* it was in their best interest (what, some form of global meeting?) and act in concert over centuries.
I find this all very hard to credit.

Yes. That is about the only assumption I'm making. That any intelligence would seek out other intelligences. Also that it would very likely speak up to obtain parity.

What about those dolphin, primate and elephant scientists who have a life dream of proving the intelligence of their subjects?
What about my lifelong attempts to communicate with my own pets? (And some simplistic level of communication is achieved, both by the scientists and by me. Which in turn suggests that, if your theory were right, not only are they choosing to keep mum, they are actively *fooling* us despite genuine efforts on our part to reach out.
Consider one of the most intelligent animals: dolphins. Don't you think a truly intelligent species--one smart enough to recognize the *possible* danger of speaking up--would recognize the equally possible benefits of speaking up? In today's world, don't you think *proven* intelligence in dolphins would end gill netting pretty much overnight?
(Equally, if they were as intelligent as suggest, wouldn't they be smart enough to avoid tuna boats altogether?)

That defies logic. All species planetwide have through out the centuries acted in concert to deceive us? Unless you want to postulate some form of planetary communication, we must then believe large numbers of animals came to identical (and I think somewhat fantastic) conclusions AND decided to act identically on them.

"Might" be. What if not? All it takes is *one* slightly less intelligent animal, or one slightly less inclined to adhear to the party line, and the cat's out of the bag. (Heck it could even BE a cat that lets *itself* out of the bag! :-)

THAT is just flat out wrong. Many of us listen desperately. I've often said I'd give part of a lung to know my dog's mind.

Why does my dog communicate with me, but only on crude, simplistic fashion? When she wants a treat, she just stares at where they are kept. She's clearly *trying* to send a message... why not choose a more effective means IF she's capable of it?

No. The whole point here is that that is precisely *not* enough. Your theory requires ALL animals planetwide and throughout history to keep the secret ALL the time.
Do the math. There are billions of animals and thousands of years. Even if a tiny, tiny fraction of them let the secret slip, that's a LOT of talking animals. How could that not be noticed?

If it were a *single* animal, probably. If an entire species chose to speak up? Or several species? A few might become subjects of research, but the bulk would benefit.
By your own theory, there are many intelligent animals out there, and their lot would clearly improve through speaking up. Cows, in particular, would stand to benefit hugely (if you know anything about the meat industry).

100% False. People, highly trained people, are working very hard trying to communicate with those species that have shown the most intelligence.

Or because it's so effective in getting things done. Or because it's a property of ANY intelligence.

I find that hard to believe. Many of their values match ours (security, food, safety), and we have much in common with them (starting with our DNA and working upwards). I cannot imagine they are *that* alien from us.

Any animal that watched a hunter would recognize how silly this statement is. Humans CAN shut up when they want to, and animals are quite vocal in the right circumstances.

Which may be more about the difficulty achieving intelligence than anything else. Some think intelligence is a consequence of our generality as a species (can't run that fast, can't fly, can't stay under water, can't jump that high, no claws, no fangs, no fur,...). Why would an animal that has achieved balance with its environment NEED to develop intelligence? It would almost seem *counter*productive.

But certainly not all. The numbers involved alone suggest the secret could not be kept.

I'm not sure I agree. Many of us are painfully aware of the short- comings of those who govern, but the situation seems to be the least worst of the options available. And many people just don't want to be bothered as long as things go along reasonably smoothly.

You've taken a poll on this? Most of the people I know would be *delighted* if animals were more intelligent. I know I would!

Even if they were a mere 0.0001% of the population, there would still be plenty to go around. Even if only 0.00000001% of the animals spoke up, there would be plenty of talking critters.

Do we? Not very well. There isn't a whole lot of difference between me and our Greek ancestors. (Consider that Greek comedys are still funny today, and comedy is a subtle thing!) A few things have changed--life span and such--but it's a slow thing and not really a choosen direction so much as a consequence of civilization.

No we don't. We have literally thousands of years and billions of animals... all who haven't said a word. If all you can see is sand, how long before you decide that you are most likely in a desert?

That would be me. There is a small chance (in view of the data) of you're being right. A very, very, very, very, VERY small chance. :-\

I'm not.

A point of view I've *never* suggested nor felt.

Squirrel human-behaviorists and cows doing higher math? Okay.

As have I.

I fully agree with intelligent to some degree and conscious. I'm not sure about self-aware, mostly because I'm not sure how you define it.

How about this: Sam (my dog) had leg surgery last year and had to wear The Cone Of Doom for three weeks. My buddy's dog had surgery recently and also had to wear a cone for three weeks.
In both cases (and in all others I know of), the dogs never, and I mean NEVER, fully adjusted their new morphology. They were CONSTANTLY hanging up the cone on door frames and other vertical and horizonal edges. Walk through the same door twenty times, catch the cone twenty times.
A human--and I would imagine ANY intelligent self-aware mind-- would adjust very quickly, if not instantly. You or I with some form of prostheses would quickly learn to get around.
The dogs *began* slowly to learn adaptive behavior, and if they wore the cone long enough may well come to adapt fully. The neural net would eventually re-train. But there was no evidence whatsoever of a conscious recognition of the device, nor was there any evidence of a deliberate coping strategy.
Also, the cone was clearly causing some level of distress, BECAUSE it was hard to get around it. Surely any intelligent, self-aware being would have done better.
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I expect noone's ever actually told her :-)
If cattle were sentient, it might be interesting to see what metaphysical properties they would associate with the slaughter house truck.
Cheers     Bent D.
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Bent C Dalager wrote:

[grin] True enough. However, in the theory under debate, the cow is smart enough to realize it must not communicate with man for fear of a negative reaction. Recognizing the theft of her offspring seems a much lesser realization.

Something like a Cargo Cult.... (-:
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Programmer Dude wrote:

Yes, I believe it's possible. No, I don't believe it's likely.

Since nobody has ever actually bothered to ask any of them, I have no reason to express an opinion either way.

No, I can't demonstrate any evidence for this, any more than you can demonstrate evidence against it. You see, I've never bothered to ask them either.
<snip>

There is an easy way to sort out the Pluto question. Find the density of Brie. Find the density of Pluto. Compare. You can't compare the intellectual density of people with the intellectual density of cattle, though. It doesn't work, because we have no way to measure either quantity. Some people think we have a way to measure humans' intelligence, but we don't, really - all we really have is a way to measure humans' ability to pass IQ tests. If we were to write such a test for a cow, it would probably fail the test (or eat it). But would that mean that the cow should be adjudged unintelligent? Or would it just mean that the cow adjudged /us/ to be unintelligent by the mere fact that we'd gone to all the trouble of chopping down a tree, sawing it up, pulping it down, smoothing it out, writing a lot of unintelligible symbols on it, and then waving it in front of the cow's nose, when any fool could see that there was plenty of edible stuff right there on the ground.
We are hamstrung by our inability to see that the way we see intelligence might not be the only way to see intelligence.

Yes, I know. I happen to disagree.

I agree that curiosity seems to us to be characteristic of intelligence, but perhaps curiosity-about-humans is not a survival trait, and so intelligence in the animal kingdom has had to branch out in other areas?

I don't think I'm needlessly multiplying entities. I think I'm reducing the number of assumptions that have to be made when trying to make our model of reality fit the true reality. You seem to be postulating that mankind is necessarily unique in being intelligent. I think /that/ is defying Occam's Razor.

Whoever said "better than human"? Try "different from human" for size.

In the last 20 or 30 years or so, you might have a point, provided the animal chose its human carefully. But it's a heck of a risk, and for most of human history it would have been darn stupid.

I share your pessimism, if not your level of certainty, about the intelligence of the cow. I certainly don't think it's likely that cows are going to learn human speech any time soon. But of course I don't think it's likely that we are even going to discover /whether/ cows have a language of their own.

Most of it doesn't, actually. Most of it is too busy trying to get enough clean water to drink and enough rice to feed the family for another day.
Consider: 5% of the world population is responsible for consuming 20% of its resources. That doesn't look to me like an attempt to succour the weak and helpless. It looks more like an attempt to get the last cake.

Alas, I cannot share your optimism about mankind.

Not really. You see, the whole "talking" thing is a blind alley. If dogs /do/ talk, they talk in a language we don't understand. And because we don't recognise it (if it exists), we assume it doesn't exist.
<snip>

Yet another assumption on your part. You assume that intelligence and "demands" go hand in hand. What if they needn't?

No, it isn't.

So you are assuming that animals gain intelligence only after humans have gained sufficient intelligence to recognise intelligence in animals (which we /still/ can't really do) and to be interested enough in it to study (which, clearly, most people seem not to be).
I, on the other hand, am making no such assumption.

I'm not. You are trying to push my argument from the moderate view I actually expressed ("could easily") to an extreme view that I did not express and do not hold ("so sure"), presumably because an extreme position is easier to defeat.
That's an underhand debating trick. If you care that much about winning this debate that you are prepared to resort to trickery in the hope that I don't notice, then I am no longer interested in continuing it.
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"Usenet is a strange place." - Dennis M Ritchie, 29 July 1999.
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Richard Heathfield wrote:

And later you seem to say you agree cows probably aren't smart. I guess I don't understand your point. I've never denied that animal high intelligence is *possible*...
What are we arguing about?

But I have. Thousands of years and millions (if not billions) of cows. No math evident. Maybe you can hand-wave that away, but I find it--at the least--a significant fact.
Your theory will have to account for nearly *every* cow in the history of man failing to demonstrate any math sense whatsoever.

Obviously. You miss the point, though. Right now, we can't do that any more than we can measure intelligence accurately. So, by your own logic, Pluto COULD be made of brie. But everything we know *so* *far* about planets suggests very strongly it isn't.
Likewise animals *could* be smart and deceiving us all these centuries, but *so* *far* everything we do know about them suggests otherwise. Big time otherwise.

I disagree that we are ALL so blind to the possibilities. I also disagree that intelligence would be so different. Some things are universal: numbers, shapes, colors, sounds, etc. After all, we all do live in the same universe and share a lot of the same DNA and a lot of the same brain structure.
You'll need to account for how, with so much similarity, they could so different as to be undetectable.

I find that hard to credit if for no other reason than: Know Your Enemy! (-:

You're not. I listed the assumptions your theory requires. Looks like you snipped them. The big one is how do you explain a planetwide, centuries-(heh, millenmium!)-long, cross-species *active* deception?

No, no necessarily involved and no requirement. As I pointed out last post, the only assumptions I'm making is that (1) intelligence would be recognizable to another intelligence, and (2) intelligence is (IMO) very likely to want to communicate with other intelligence.
Everything else I've said is supported by observational data.

You did. You said they were smarter than us at least once. It also seems implicit in your theory: they would *have* to be smarter than us to pull off a planetwide, cross-species, centuries- long active deception.

"Cows storm Washington, D.C. Demand end to the slaughter!" Film at 11.
If we agree the time has come that smart animals might finally find their true place as peers, .... why hasn't it happened?

Enough of it does. If such a planetwide, cross-species conspiricy did exist, they would surely be smart enough to choose their moment effectively, wouldn't you think?
(Smart money would be to hit the media first and make sure the message got out *everywhere* fast.)

Let's not get lost in hair-splitting. You originally suggested even if an intelligent animal did convince someone it could communicate that nothing would happen. I'm saying it sure as heck would!
If I walked into an animal research facility with a dog that could clearly communicate IN ANY FASHION, history would be made.

No I don't. I said they would be in a *position* to make a demand. Which they would. If they were as smart as you suggest, they would equally be in a position to make their message undeniable.

Then how did they get there? Instant HIGH intelligence?

No more than you are assuming an alternate and apparently *much* fast intellectual evolutionary path. Which seems the more likely assumption?

First, if they were that smart and wanted parity, studying them would be irrelevant. They'd just speak up. Second, "most people" doesn't cut it. This sort of thing, it only takes a few to change the whole picture, and those few do clearly exist.

Oh, please. First, "could easily" is not a moderate view. Second, I'm just asking you by what mechanism do you propose "could easily". (Aren't you the guy who's always saying amUSENET demands a thick skin? What's going on here??)

Underhanded because I asked you how you could be sure your theories have a basis? Hmmm, didn't you START this debate by asking me how I knew about cows? I'm not sure I see a difference here.
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