Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> Stathis wrote:
> I can understand that, for example, a computer simulation of a storm is
> not a storm, because only a storm is a storm and will get you wet. But
> perhaps counterintuitively, a model of a brain can be closer to the real
> thing than a model of a storm. We don't normally see inside a person's
> head, we just observe his behaviour. There could be anything in there - a
> brain, a computer, the Wizard of Oz - and as long as it pulled the
> person's strings so that he behaved like any other person, up to and
> including doing scientific research, we would never know the difference.
> Now, we know that living brains can pull the strings to produce normal
> human behaviour (and consciousness in the process, but let's look at the
> external behaviour for now). We also know that brains follow the laws of
> physics: chemistry, Maxwell's equations, and so on. Maybe we don't
> *understand* electrical fields in the sense that it may feel like
> something to be an electrical field, or in some other as yet unspecified
> sense, but we understand them well enough to predict their physical effect
> on matter. Hence, although it would be an enormous task to gather the
> relevant information and crunch the numbers in real time, it should be
> possible to predict the electrical impulses that come out of the skull to
> travel down the spinal cord and cranial nerves and ultimately pull the
> strings that make a person behave like a person. If we can do that, it
> should be possible to place the machinery which does the predicting inside
> the skull interfaced with the periphery so as to take the brain's place,
> and no-one would know the difference because it would behave just like the
> original.
> At which step above have I made a mistake?
> Stathis Papaioannou
> -----------------------
> I'd say it's here...
> "and no-one would know the difference because it would behave just like
> the original"
> But for a subtle reason.
> The artefact has to be able to cope with exquisite novelty like we do.
> Models cannot do this because as a designer you have been forced to define
> a model that constrains all possible novelty to be that which fits your
> model for _learning_. Therein lies the fundamental flaw. Yes... at a given
> level of knowledge you can define how to learn new things within the
> knowledge framework. But when it comes to something exquisitely novel, all
> that will happen is that it'll be interpreted into the parameters of how
> you told it to learn things... this will impact in a way the artefact
> cannot handle. It will behave differently and probably poorly.
> It's the zombie thing all over again.

Of course that's just your theory of what would happen.  So far as I know the 
experiment has never been carried out and is beyond current technology.

> It's not _knowledge_ that matters. it's _learning_ new knowledge. That's
> what functionalism fails to handle. Being grounded in a phenomenal
> representation of the world outside is the only way to handle arbitrary
> levels of novelty. No phenomenal representation? = You are "model-bound"
> and grounded, in effect, in the phenomenal representation of your
> model-builders, who are forced to predefine all novelty handling in an "I
> don't know that" functional module. Something you cannot do without
> knowing everything a-priori! If you already know that you are god so why
> are you bothering?
> Say you bring an artefact X into existence. X may behave exactly like a
> human Y in all the problem domains you used to define you model. Then you
> expose both to novelty nobody has seen, including you.... and that is
> where the two will differ. The human Y will do better every time. You
> can't program qualia. You have to have them and you can't do without them
> in a 'general intelligence' context.
> Here I am on a sat morning...proving I have no life, yet again! :-)

So your theory is that the electromagnetic field has an ability to learn which 
is not reflected in QED - it's some hitherto unknown aspect of the field and it 
doesn't show up in the field violating Maxwell's equations or QED predictions?  
And further this aspect of the EM field is able to effect behavior - at least 
in brains?  

Apparently this aspect of the EM field is not affected by external fields;  
otherwise thought processes would be affected by standing near power lines and 
Van de Graf generators.  It is essentially independent of EM fields as 
described by known physics.

Brent Meeker

 You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For more options, visit this group at

Reply via email to