Wednesday, June 27, 2012

C&C vs Haugeland on high-bandwidth connections

Adams and Maher read C&C and Haugeland as agreeing that high-bandwidth "connections" are not really interfaces.  They read the C&C "trust and glue" conditions as high-bandwidth conditions.  (cf. pp. 2-4.)

A) I don't think that that is a correct reading of C&C.

B) I don't think the trust and glue conditions are high-bandwidth conditions.

Regarding A), there is some place where Clark challenges Haugeland's idea that there cannot be a high-bandwidth interface.  Why, Clark asks, can there be no such thing?  I don't have my copy of Supersizing here with me in Germany, but I think it's in there.  (One could probably check the index of Supersizing for "Haugeland" and track it down.)

Regarding B), I think you can separate the trust and glue conditions through the example of trusting a coin toss in navigation.  (This is in my Philosophical Explorations paper, "Distinguishing Virtue Epistemology and Extended Cognition".)  Basically, you have Otto who trusts whatever the "lucky" coin tells him in order to navigate through NYC.  (Set up the story to fit the trust and glue conditions.)  But, a coin toss only carries, what, one bit of information?  Low-bandwidth.  So, you can trust and be glued to a low-bandwidth connection, it seems to me.


  1. As regards the notion of interface, high or low bandwidth: the problem of bottle-necking is still a problem. For every interface is a point of contact and place of exchange of information, be it simple or complex--such as regular environmental sensorimotor stimulation, or "plugged-in" Internet gaming, for example. The case of the "coin toss" easily passes the low-bandwidth requirement, but shouldn't it? What about the case where high bandwidth is the norm, as well as the requirement. Shouldn't this constitute a case where bottle-necking is a real problem for the "trust and glued" scenario? Being connected to an interface via a "trust and glued" coupled relation means one is bound to the result of the flow of information between source and ground, as it were. This, is the place where bottle-necking is the problem, not whether high or low bandwidth is the case, especially as it concerns the fictitious appeal to trust and glued conditions.

  2. HI, REA,

    I'm not sure what you are driving at. My point is that "trust and glue" conditions are not to be identified with high-bandwidth conditions. I think I would agree that there could be a bottle neck at a low-bandwidth interface and maybe even at a high-bandwidth interface. So, what conclusion are we supposed to draw from this?