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A.I. Smart or Dumb?


AI has focussed on algorithms for robots to mimic human behaviour. Imitation is prevalent for young children, but for teenagers and adults much learning is by trial and error, insight and critical thinking. They solve problems, make comparisons, judge situations, synthesise and create. AI would have to recognise what situation to imitate with its algorithm, without dumbing itself out of business. If you want smarts, use a human.

What is the burden of proof?

When a claim is falsifiable, Karl Popper had the burden lying with others to try and falsify it. If it is not falsifiable, Bertrand Russell had proof lying with the person who made the unfalsifiable claim. Could this mean a researcher cannot gather data to verify their thesis unless it is unfalsifiable?  My paper explores proof in climate change. Greenhouse Teapot 040717

Balancing gender types

The herd stretched from horizon to horizon, with zebra and wildebeest grazing on their annual migration across the savannah. The two types had equal numbers and were evenly spread. Wildebeest had excellent smell but poor sight. Zebra had poor smell but excellent sight. The types complemented each other in a balanced response to predatory lions, when they tried to get close enough to run them down, undetected. When there was detection, they would escape. The mutualism had existed since time immemorial.

But all was not constant, for the wildebeests, who had always controlled the progress of the herd, were under pressure to share control with the zebras. Equal control by the two species was mooted. This was rejected by the wildebeest because they detected more lions and gave the alarm more often than the zebras, this being the rationale for the endemic imbalance. The zebras countered that their accurate vision enabled the subsequent escape to be navigated safely. It was unfair that their contribution had historically been rated lower and they should get at least equal control because of the importance of their vision to the group.

The elders met to consider what should be done. Control of the progress of the herd did not require an amount of ‘wildebeest smell’ or an amount of ‘zebra vision’. There were no grounds, other than traditional contributions, which the zebras rejected, for believing that any ratio of the two, other than equal amounts, could be better. Therefore, for group decisions, there should be equal numbers of voters and representatives. The two types could continue to balance each other, making their unique contributions, at all other times.

This allegory explains a case for equating numbers of representatives of each gender in the parliament of a population with equal gender numbers.

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Types of evidence


Direct evidenceof an occurrence is perceived by a witness using their senses.For example: a witness who testifies that he saw the defendant shoot the victim.

Indirect evidenceestablishes immediately collateral facts from which the main fact may be inferred e.g. Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have accumulated indirect evidence for an object that’s more than twice the diameter of Earth, but 10 times as far from the sun as Pluto.

Circumstantial evidenceconsists of a fact or set of facts which, if proven, will support the creation of an inference that the matter asserted is true e.g. a fingerprint at the scene of a crime.

In the crime fiction novel Presumed Dead, evidence of these types is used to reconstruct the crime.

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