Setanta
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 07:49 pm
@maxdancona,
I use the term moron when people behave and post in a moronic manner--such as trashing threads in a frenzy of "look at me, look at me" behavior. I'm good. You, I suspect, not so much. Of course, as The Girl pointed out to me this morning, you're probably delighted that someone is actually paying attention to you. That won't last, though.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:11 pm
@Setanta,
1. You should listen to the Girl. You seem to be ignoring her, and you are dragging her into our little spat. She deserves better.

2. The problem here is that I posted an opinion that you don't like. The opinions that upset you are relevant; this is thread about Koko, I wrote posts about Koko. You made this about you.

3. When someone posts an opinion you don't like you have three options

- you can ignore them.
- you can engage them constructively.
- you can attack them personally to try to shut them up.

In thread after thread you seem to choose the third option.

4. I offered several times to stop this little personal feud. You don't seem to be able to do this.

5. I don't think it is ever appropriate to call people "morons" on a public forum. This is bad behavior, and it shuts down any chance for civil discourse. You are the only person on this thread that is acting this way.

6. I have no problem with you expressing your opinions on the matter even when I disagree with what you are saying. When what you say interests me, I will engage you. When I am not interested I will let it go.

This is my choice. Your repeated demands that I give you satisfaction are ridiculous. I don't owe you anything.

So let's try this again. If you don't mind me expressing my opinions about Koko on a thread about Koko, then we are good. All I ask is that you refrain from disrupting this thread with personal attacks. It's bad behavior.

Expressing dissenting opinions does not disrupt a thread. Calling people who disagree with you "morons" (even if you believe they are actually "morons") does disrupt a thread.

So please. Listen to The Girl. She knows what is best for you.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:20 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Of course, as The Girl pointed out to me this morning, you're probably delighted that someone is actually paying attention to you.


I just realized... this means you and the Girl are talking about me offline. I am really upsetting you, aren't I? Sorry, but I am going to keep expressing my opinions. If you believe that no one is paying attention to my opinions, then you don't need to spend all of this time attacking them.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:22 pm
Can we get back to talking about Koko?
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:27 pm
I think it's sad that some members loosely connected to human race are so insecure about their place in the world that they must destroy any notion that other blood pumping, living beings who also have offspring and care for them are of no value to the earth.

It has to suck like a Hoover, to be worried that animals might be smarter than you.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:30 pm
@glitterbag,
Quote:
I think it's sad that some members loosely connected to human race... It has to suck like a Hoover, to be worried that animals might be smarter than you


Is this meant as a personal attack, Glitterbag? You are doing the same thing that Setanta is doing.

The scientific question is whether primates (or any other animal) can master human language as it is defined by linguists. Many (if not most) experts say no, and the work of the Koko team has been questioned (if not discredited).

Whether you like it or not, there are two sides to this discussion. There is no reason that you or Setanta couldn't just say "I disagree with you" and state your case without the personal insults.


glitterbag
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:40 pm
@maxdancona,
Why do you think I'm talking about you???? I don't think I lobbed an insult, I made an observation......and by the way, I am a linguist. It seems you are sorely uninformed about linguists and the science.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 08:44 pm
@glitterbag,
Yeah right, Glitterbag. Which members do you think are "loosely connected to the human race"? And which members do you think are worried that "animals might be smarter than them"?

If you are linguist, then you can contribute to this thread in a constructive way. You can talk about Chomsky, and Pinker and Terrace and why you disagree with their conclusions (Terrace is an interesting part of this discussion since he came to the debate about animal language believing that Chomsky was wrong... and then after doing the research changed his mind).

I welcome your opinions Glitterbag. I would actually like to hear them. It is just the personal attacks that I don't care for.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 09:00 pm
@maxdancona,
Your a sad case, Max. Start another thread if you want to talk about Chomsky, Pinker and Terrance. If you post an interesting question perhaps I will join in because I know how much you value other peoples opinions. Good luck in all your endeavoures.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 09:58 pm
@glitterbag,
Quote:
Your a sad case, Max.


You don't want to talk about Chomsky (a famous linguist who talks about animal language. But, you do want to talk about me. I guess I should be flattered.

I wish that you and Setanta didn't need to make these personal attacks. But if you are going to make childish insults, at least have the decency to use correct grammar.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Tue 26 Jun, 2018 11:56 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't want to think about you, and I long ago gave a happy crap about indulging your diversions. Also, I doubt that Setanta wants to be lumped in with me. But you should take your teeny tiny successes when you can......let me see if I have this straight...you know more about women's issues than women know, you know more about science than scientists know, and now you know more about linguistics than Chomsky?????? You are a superficial person....Want to know what I wish???? I wish you wouldn't troll me or a few others every time others express a view you think needs to be obliterated . Terrific example of intellectual curiosity, bravo.
Lash
 
  1  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 04:20 am
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:

I think it's sad that some members loosely connected to human race are so insecure about their place in the world that they must destroy any notion that other blood pumping, living beings who also have offspring and care for them are of no value to the earth.

It has to suck like a Hoover, to be worried that animals might be smarter than you.

These are great examples of extended personal attacks.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 05:16 am
@glitterbag,
Quote:
I wish you wouldn't troll me or a few others every time others express a view you think needs to be obliterated . Terrific example of intellectual curiosity, bravo.


You are so full of crap, Glitterbag. The problem is that I expressed an opinion (relevant to the topic of the thread) that you didn't like. You may think that posting the wrong opinion on the internet is "trolling". I disagree.

Trolling doesn't mean "posting a relevant opinion I don't like". Trolling means.

- Making off-topic personal attacks (for example saying "your[sic] sad" or calling someone a 'superficial person') is trolling.

- Holding grudges, bringing in disagreement from thread to thread (for example, talking about 'woman's issues' in a thread about Koko) is trolling.

- Writing posts to attack another member that has nothing to do with the topic on hand is trolling.

You and Setanta are the people who are trolling this thread.

Quote:
I don't want to think about you, and I long ago gave a happy crap about indulging your diversions


Good, Glitterbag. There is an ignore button... I am pretty sure you know how to use it. If you don't want to read my posts, please apply it. Even if you don't use the ignore button, you always have the choice to not engage.

If other people want to read my posts, that is their decision.

I am not victimizing you. I am just expressing my opinions. No one is forcing you to read them.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 05:29 am
Is there anyone on this thread, besides me, who wants to talk about Koko?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 05:57 am
Noam Chomsky is pretty critical of Koko and the other animal language studies. He devised this thought experiment.

You can set up four buttons in a row labled "one", "two", "three", "four". When the animal presses all four buttons in sequence, out pops a food pellet. It would not be that unbelievable to train an animal to press all four buttons in a row. And, the animal would do just that. This is not an example of animal language skills.

You can change the labels on the buttons to anything you like. It won't change the fact that the animal is responding to its training.

You could even change the labels on the buttons to "please", "give", "me", and "food". It doesn't change the experiment (the labels are for the humans, not the animals). It still isn't animal language. That is what Chomsky suggests is really happening in these experiments.

[Note: I am trying to steer this thread back to the topic of Koko. If you disagree with this post you can ignore it, or post your opinion in a responsible way.]

0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  5  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 06:26 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Linguists (the experts who actually study language) will tell you that no non-human animal has come anywhere close to mimimicking the human ability to express new ideas or abstract thoughts using language.

Leaving aside trained dogs and apes, there are natural animal languages in the wild. Less sophisticated, complex and rich than human languages obviously, but still able to carry important information for survival. e.g. the geographic information sign-language of bees, the singing of marine mammals, etc. Nature proves therein that language is not strictly human.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 07:50 am
@Olivier5,
The question is how do you define "language".

Human language is fundamentally different than communication practiced by other animals. I think it was Pinker who pointed out that a human being can dance around like a bee; we can move around in an figure 8 wagging our butts, but what we would be doing is mimicry (and a little ridiculous), we wouldn't actually be doing what bees do. Sniffing ant pheromones is as useless to us as listening to a TED talk would be to them.

When animals mimic human communication (i.e. waving their hands around or making sounds), they are just doing mimicry. Animals have never been shown (by an independent researcher) to actually be doing meaningful human communication. If you could set up a test where animals conveyed meaningful information that was previously unknown to the animal handler, that would be impressive. This test has never successfully been done, the handlers already know the answer before "interpreting" it from the gesticulating animal.

This is an interesting page on the topic from the NCBI. I believe this represents the view of the scientific community on the topic.

Quote:
Human language is distinct from all other known animal forms of communication in being compositional. Human language allows speakers to express thoughts in sentences comprising subjects, verbs and objects—such as ‘I kicked the ball’—and recognizing past, present and future tenses.... human language is also referential, meaning speakers use it to exchange specific information with each other about people or objects...


Quote:
... non-human animal communication is principally limited to repetitive instrumental acts directed towards a specific end, lacking any formal grammatical structure, and often explainable in terms of hard-wired evolved behaviours or simple associative learning [2]. Most ape sign language, for example, is concerned with requests for food. The trained chimpanzee Nim Chimpsky’s longest recorded ‘utterance’, when translated from sign language, was ‘give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you’ [3]. Alarm calls such as observed in the vervet monkeys often evolve by kin-selection to protect one’s relatives, or even selfishly to distract predators away from the caller. Hunting and social group communications can be explained as learned coordinating signals without ‘speakers’ knowing why they are acting as they are.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525259/
Ponderer
 
  2  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 11:42 am
The fact that Koko named her pet kitten All Ball makes me consider that she understood the meaning of some words and how to communicate those words.
Maybe she understood "all" meant "total".
Maybe to her, "ball" meant "play", "fun", or "happy".
livinglava
 
  2  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 11:56 am
@maxdancona,
I would avoid getting hung up on anthrocentric definitions of language. Whatever humans do with language that is special and great, it makes no sense to apply that definition to other species in order to misunderstand how they use language. It is better to focus on common aspects of language use when examining interspecies communication like that with Koko.

In the Robin Williams video, Koko suggests "chase" and "tickle" to Williams. It seems reasonable to me that she would want to play by being chased and tickling/being tickled because those are common primate fun behaviors, probably because we have fingers to tickle with.

I think Koko could have been trained to push a blue button to request tickling and a red button to request play chasing. The fact that she learned to say these things in sign language is not that important.

What is interesting is that she was able to come up with the idea to play independently and suggest it to Williams. I wonder, however, whether she did this out of a totally independent interest in playing with him or whether she was trained to associate such play with other rewards like food, candy, etc.

Either way, though, her mind was certainly capable of coming up with the idea to play, how, and the will to communicate it to a human person by means she had learned, i.e. sign language. How could you reduce that to a behavioral response to training?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Wed 27 Jun, 2018 12:40 pm
@livinglava,
There is no evidence that Koko wanted to be tickled at that moment. The only reason that Robin Williams thought "tickle" or that you thought "tickle" is because the human handler said that Koko wanted to be tickled.

This is how sceances work... The mediums tell you what the ghosts are saying, and you believe them because they are mediums. Koko's handlers tell you what Koko "means". You have no way to confirm it... you believe it because you want to believe.

 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » RIP Koko
  3. » Page 3
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/20/2019 at 06:00:37