John Searle The Chinese Room

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Discussion of the science behind the story (including an admission by the author, who should know better). I have tried to be as accurate as possible about the science behind the story, but I realise that many people cleverer and more informed than me may find errors or omissions. However, I confess that I wilfully ignored at least one major issue. So, I thought that I should come clean about some of the facts that I have ignored for the sake of the story. Some might argue that robots cannot be self aware. Professor John Searle has made a convincing argument known as “The Chinese Room” to this effect. Others seem to believe that self aware robots are inevitable. I make no scientific case for the use of self aware robots in this story.…show more content…
I apologise for this ‘half truth,’ particularly if it annoyed the pedantic reader. Returning home will cost fuel: about the same fuel per kilogram as it would cost to take us to Mars. The BIG problem is that carrying fuel costs fuel! For my car, if I half fill the tank it will travel roughly half the distance that it would on a full tank. This is generally true because the mass of the car is much larger than the mass of the fuel. Most of the rocket mass on the launch pad is fuel & oxygen! It would require a similar rocket on Mars to return to Earth. If the payload is only a small fraction of the mass of the ship, carrying a rocket sized payload to Mars (to enable a return) would require a monster rocket. This may practically prohibit any return. This is, I believe, a big problem faced in putting a human on Mars. It seems like a one way…show more content…
It worked for the Rover. Before the shuttle we tipped returning astronauts into the sea! Mars has no sea and no landing strip. The lunar landings used rockets to decelerate the Lander. I understand that the first moon landing almost ran out of fuel, trying to find a safe spot. Mars escape velocity is more than double that of the Moon. Using reverse thrusters to slow down a descending ship will require a great deal more fuel. Air braking, which the shuttle uses on returning to Earth, is simply not an option on the moon, were there is no air. Mars has an atmosphere, but it is very thin. Landing people safely is a challenge. Even if a Lander does not use retro rockets to land, rockets will certainly be required to return from the surface to the

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