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Blockhead

Blockhead(s) may refer to:

  • Idiot, a mentally deficient person
  • Fans of the American singing group New Kids on the Block
  • Blockhead!, a block stacking game
  • Block-Heads, a 1938 film starring Laurel and Hardy
  • Blockhead (film), a 1966 film
  • Blockhead (computer system), a theoretical computer system devised by Ned Block
  • Blockheads (Gumby), a pair of fictional characters from the TV series Gumby
  • Human blockhead, a circus sideshow performer
  • African blockhead cichlid or Lionhead cichlid, a fish
  • The name used for a character in the game Blockland
  • The Blockheads (video game), a handheld device game released in 2013

In music:

  • Blockhead (music producer), an American hip-hop producer
  • Blockheads (French band), a French grindcore band
  • The Blockheads, a United Kingdom's rock band
  • "Blockheads", a song by Ian Dury from New Boots and Panties
  • "Blockhead", a song by Devo from Duty Now for the Future
  • "Blockheads" (Arrested Development), a season four episode of Arrested Development

Blockhead (computer system)

Blockhead is the name of a theoretical computer system invented as part of a thought experiment by philosopher Ned Block, which appeared in a paper titled Psychologism and Behaviorism (though Block does not name the computer in the paper). In this paper, Block argues that the internal mechanism of a system is important in determining whether that system is intelligent, and also claims to show that a non-intelligent system could pass the Turing test.

Block asks us to imagine a conversation lasting any given amount of time. He states that, given the nature of language, there are a finite number of syntactically and grammatically correct sentences that can be used to start a conversation. From this follows the point that there is a limit to how many "sensible" responses can be made to this first sentence, and then again to the second sentence, and so on until the conversation ends.

Block then asks us to imagine a computer which had been programmed with all these sentences—in theory if not in practice. From this, Block argues that such a machine could continue a conversation with a person on any topic, because the computer would be programmed with every sentence that it was possible to use. On this basis, the computer would be able to pass the Turing test despite the fact (according to Block) that it was not intelligent.

Block says that this does not show that there is only one correct internal structure for generating intelligence, but simply that some internal structures do not generate intelligence.

The argument is related to John Searle's Chinese room.

A recent objection to the Blockhead argument is Hanoch Ben-Yami (2005), who agrees that Block's machine lacks intelligence, but compares its answers to a poetic dialogue (in which one man is whispered romantic poetry to recite to his would-be lover), as it only answers what it has been told to answer in advance by its programmers.

Blockhead (film)

Blockhead (, also spelled Testadirapa) is a 1966 Italian comedy film directed by Giancarlo Zagni. It was screened at the Venice Film Festival, in which it won the Leone di San Marco Plate.

Blockhead (music producer)

James Anthony Simon, better known by his stage name Blockhead, is an American hip hop producer based in Manhattan, New York.

Aside from his solo efforts released on the Ninja Tune label, Blockhead is most associated with producing for Aesop Rock, a rapper for the indie hip hop labels Definitive Jux and Rhymesayers. He is also a member of the comedy hip hop group Party Fun Action Committee and has previously worked with rappers Cage, Hangar 18, Open Mike Eagle and Murs. According to him, his stage name comes from the shape of his head: "While it's not square, it's pretty close."

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

blockhead

also block-head, "stupid person," 1540s (implied in blockheaded), from block (n.) + head (n.); probably originally an image of the head-shaped oaken block used by hat-makers, though the insulting sense is the older one.

WordNet

blockhead

n. these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence [syn: dunce, dunderhead, numskull, bonehead, lunkhead, hammerhead, knucklehead, loggerhead, muttonhead, shithead, fuckhead]

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Blockhead

Blockhead \Block"head`\, n. [Block + head.] A stupid fellow; a dolt; a person deficient in understanding.

The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head.
--Pope.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

blockhead

noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ There are blockheads among the critics too.
Wiktionary

blockhead

n. (context colloquial English) A stupid person.

Usage examples of "blockhead".

Hampstead, what the disaffection of a clergy would amount to, gaping after this graduated bounty of the Crown, and whether Ignatius Loyala himself, if he were a living blockhead instead of a dead saint, could withstand the temptation of bouncing from 100 pounds a year at Sligo, to 300 pounds in Tipperary?

I have felt in my very blood, ever since I was born, a most unconquerable hatred towards the whole tribe of fools, and it arises from the fact that I feel myself a blockhead whenever I am in their company.

After supper, I drew a most affecting picture of my position, shewing that I should be in need of everything until my arrival at Rome, where I was going, I said, to fill the post of secretary of memorials, and my astonishment may be imagined when I saw the blockhead delighted at the recital of my misfortunes.

I could very well understand that my colleague, Sanzonio, should not complain of such treatment, because he was a blockhead, but I did not feel disposed to allow myself to be put on a par with him.

The whole imposture would soon have been discovered if anyone had possessed a peerage, but it just happened that there was not a copy in Corfu, and the French consul, a fat blockhead, like many other consuls, knew nothing of family trees.

Esther impatiently called her a blockhead, and entreated me to let her ask another question.

In the meanwhile I bore as well as I could the poor figure he must be cutting before the officers at table, who, after hearing the insolence of this young blockhead, might take me for a coward.

The young blockhead seemed taken aback and in his turn bit his lips, but his evil genius made him, strike in again at dessert.

I had scarcely finished what I had to say when Master Blockhead said, with a laugh, that he knew Lolotte to be a good sort of girl, as he had slept with her at Paris.

As for the Corticelli, she soon passed from tears to laughter, and would have done it well, but if, as I feared, the canon was a blockhead, I should have been degrading myself.

The fortunate governor presented himself, and the monarch, after honouring him with the title of blockhead, proceeded to scold him roundly.

With these words I made my way out of the hall, and on turning my head round I saw that the two elderly men were keeping the young blockhead back.

I am the greatest owl, monkey, baboon, rascal, oaf, ignoramus, blockhead, buffoon, or what you will.

Dunlop with what pangs of heart he was compelled to take shelter in a corner, lest the rattling equipage of some gaping blockhead should mangle him in the mire.

He started the game, having locked out the blockhead of a waiter and dropped the key into his own pocket.