That Reminds Me of a Story

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Celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, and systems theorist Gregory Bateson:

There is a story which I have used before and shall use again: A man wanted to know about mind, not in nature, but in his private large computer. He asked it (no doubt in his best Fortran), ‘Do you compute that you will ever think like a human being?’ The machine then set to work to analyse its own computational habits. Finally, the machine printed its answer on a piece of paper, as such machines do. The man ran to get the answer and found, neatly typed, the words: THAT REMINDS ME OF A STORY.1


  1. Gregory Bateson, Steps to an ecology of mind, (New York: Ballantine Books, 1988) 13.