Re: The Chinese Room

I admit it. I need some help with “The Chinese Room,” by Alec Deason.  From the first line, it paints a curious scene, full of wonderful details:

It held out its palm for Jason to see. There was a single grain of sand on the worn plastic surface.

“I have many thoughts,” the thing elaborated.

A thought in a grain of sand. That is so cool. The way the thing speaks and acts are even cooler. And yet. I like the story, but I don’t really know what happened. I’m left with the sense that I need to be deeply steeped in computation theory to have a clue. Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Re: The Chinese Room

  1. If you want a very readable (though rather long) book that talks more seriously about the same ideas, try Douglas Hofstadter’s _Gödel, Escher, Bach_. There is also an excellent Wikipedia article on the Chinese room thought experiment, which is what gives the story it’s title. Cheers.

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