For anthropic machines of my age, I have gone through a good number of papers and undergrad & grad texts, (some of which I’m still struggling to decipher) - I am fortunate to have a sister currently in NUS, whose student ID can be used to gain access to databases of publishing firms around the world - and sat through a good number of video lectures - once again, I am fortunate to have been born into the era of Open Course Ware, a point in time in human history when it is possible to learn everything taught in undergrad classes by yourself without the necessity of spending a tremendous sum of money. Nonetheless, I have never physically attended a univ lecture before, until yesterday. It was a lecture on computer vision and pattern recognition, or to be more precise, that was the name of the module, CS4243, and one of the topics in CS that I am least bit familiar with and not especially passionate about. (There are pretty few modules with first digit n ≥4 whose lecture is on Monday so I ended up taking that). The professor was a man in his forties. He was not particularly charismatic but neither was he a bore. He did a great job making the lecture as interesting as possible, and it was really fun.
I enjoyed it.
As an anthropic machine, what it “feels like” in one’s mind plays a significant role in one’s overall evaluation of a certain experience. Somehow to the mind there is a remarkable distinction between watching a video recording of a lecture, and being in the lecture room attending the lecture in person, despite the fact that as far as the content of the lecture is concerned, they are just different mediums presenting the same information for the process of knowledge acquisition. As much as I hate to admit it, in the end of the day the way our minds works is hugely dominated by the “feeling” aspect of our lives, no matter how rational we may want to believe we are. But how can we give a more formal definition for these things that we label such ambiguously as “feelings” which may turn out to play a rather fundamental role in the process of thought composition?