2009/8/24 David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com>: > Having said all this, it is interesting to reconsider your formulation > "the brain did its thing without us understanding it, creating its own > context". What is it about *being* the brain that causes this context > to be self-referentially available, but hides it beyond possibility of > recovery from 'observation'?
Whether it can be hidden beyond the *possibility* of recovery is an interesting question. Certainly it would be very difficult to figure out what an alien brain is thinking about from observation, like cracking a very difficult code, but could it be made so that it's impossible to figure out? We would be able to figure out something about an alien code, such as a written language, by observing various regularities, but we would be unable to figure out the actual meaning of words unless we had some extra-language information; that is, we could figure out the syntax, but not the semantics. Similarly with the brain, we might be able to figure out certain patterns and regularities, but without further information obtained by connecting I/O devices or perhaps by obtaining the instruction manuals, we would have no idea what the brain activity means, let alone what it feels like from the brain's point of view. But would it be possible for the brain's activity to be deliberately obscured such that not even the syntax can be guessed at, the equivalent of encryption using a one-time pad? -- Stathis Papaioannou --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---