Monthly Archives: November 2017

Chinese Room

The Chinese room argument holds that a program cannot give a computer a “mind”, “understanding” or “consciousness”, regardless of how intelligently or human-like the program may make the computer behave.

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Michael Townley

Michael Vernon Townley is a former agent of the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional currently living under terms of the US federal witness protection program. Townley worked in producing chemical weapons for Chilean dictator General Pinochet.

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Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication

It took three years to design, and another five years to manufacture the watch, which was delivered to Henry Graves on January 19, 1933. The Supercomplication was the world’s most complicated mechanical timepiece for more than 50 years, with a total of 24 different functions.

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Varangian Guard

The Varangian guards’ loyalties lay with the position of Emperor, not the man that sat on the throne. This was made clear in 969 when the guards failed to avenge the death by assassination of Emperor Nikephoros II. A servant had managed to call for the guards while the Emperor was being attacked, but when they arrived he was dead. They immediately knelt before John Tzimiskes, Nikephoros’ murderer and hailed him as Emperor. “Alive they would have defended him to the last breath: dead there was no point in avenging him. They had a new master now.”

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