Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
>>> If all you have is a bunch of numbers (or 4-20mA current loop
>>> signals or 1-5V signals) dancing away, and you have no
>>> a-priori knowledge of the external world, how are you to
>>> create any sort of model of the external world in the first
>>> place? You don't even know it is there. That is the world
>>> devoid of phenomenal consciousness.
>> You could say exactly same thing about a bunch of neurons and chemicals.
> Yet they produce consciousness.
> Yes. Neurons and their chemicals do contrive to construct phenomenal
> scenes. The question to ask yourslef is what is different about their
> circumstance that this be so? Or better..what is missing from my way of
> thinking that has me unable to imagine how neuron behaviour can produce
> such a thing - and what is the difference between that and wired signals,
> numbers and rules?
>>> If humans give you a model. You still don't know what it is about.
>>> It's just a bunch of rules (when this input does this, do that...
>>> and so on). None of which is an experience. None of which gives
>>> you any innate awareness of the external world.
>> If you can learn and act you do know what it is about.
>> You're just making an assertion that none of it is
>> experience or innate awareness.
> Hmmm. OK. So you're 'learning', are you? What rules of learning are there
> and how did you get them? How do you 'know' what appropriate action to
> take? Rules for learning are rules like the others. Tell me how a system
> devoid of a phenomenal representation of the external world could ever
> form a representation of the external world without knowing how to do that
> already.

a) Darwinian evolution b) genetic learning algorithm.

>>> That's why a real phenomenon happening in your head that innately
> connects to the real phenomemona in the external natural world
>>> and constructs an experienced representation of it, devoid of
>>> all knowledge 'about it',is necessary before you can know
>>> anything "about" it _at all_.
>> Unsupported assertion.
> OK...want proof? Let's do a test. You are a scientist. You are about to do
> science on a coffee cup in front of you. Close your eyes.
> Now explain how you could possibly be as scientifically broad/adept in
> your description of coffee cups. (Meanwhile I have filled the coffee cup
> with acid, something of which you are completely unaware). The whole
> phenomenal scene connecting you with the external world is GONE. What more
> support do you want? What more is possible before a simple statement such
> as the one I make above becomes reasonable?

Nonsense.  On you're theory blind people aren't conscious.  And there are even 
a few blind scientists.  The support I want is one that isn't hand waving and 

> Or, put it another way...exactly what is it that you are asserting acts in
> its place? Maybe you could tell me what that is I might understand.
>>> There is a natural tendency to anthropomorphise our experiences
>>> into the artifact. Imagine yourself in a black silent room with
>>> a bunch of numbers streaming by and a bunch of dials you can
>>> use to send numbers back out. Now tell me how you can ever deduce
>>> the real external world from all those numbers. You can't.
>>> You can say 'when I poke this dial that number over there does
>>> that'. That is your whole universe. You have to stop thinking
>>> like a human and really imagine 'what it is like' to be a zombie.
>> To imagine is to create an internal model - so imagining what it
>> is like to be a zombie seems to be a contradiction in terms.
>> Brent Meeker
> Erm.... I am trying to convey what it is like to be a human contrasted
> with a zombie. YES...I am using human imagination to do that. You can't
> use that back against me... please try to do the imagining I suggest
> instead of criticising the attempt. I KNOW humans have imagination and
> zombies don't...sheesh! cut me some slack here!
> OK....If you like then....consider this bit
>>> Imagine yourself in a black silent room with
>>> a bunch of numbers streaming by and a bunch
>>> of dials you can use to send numbers back out.
> Delete all that as well. NOTHING. No awaness of even the numbers. For that
> is what the zombie has...even worse. No awareness even of its own sensing.
> nothing. Now put yourself in the zombie's shoes for a while.

You just referring to the definition of "zombie" as not having consciousness.  
Let me see if I can repeat your argument:

1) A zombie has no internal narrative (i.e. "phenomenal consciousness").  
Functionally, it just manipulates inputs and produces outputs.
2) I can't imagine doing science without an inner narrative.
3) (1) and (2) entail that a zombie a can't do science.
4) A digital computer just manipulates inputs and produces outputs.
5) Therefore a digital computer is necessarily a zombie.

Is that it?

Brent Meeker

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