Rex definitely makes the most sense in this group...
On Jun 6, 10:16 pm, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 10:00 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> How can any of those questions be approached by conscious entities in
> >> a deterministic computational framework?
> >> Everything you’ll ever learn, every mistake you’ll ever make, every
> >> belief you’ll ever have is already locked in.
> > This is fatalism. By AR+Comp you will experience all possible experiences,
> > perhaps an infinite number of times (recurring endlessly?). But this does
> > not mean we are powerless to affect the measure of those experiences. A
> > simple example: Some think that QM implies that in half the universes they
> > put on the seatbelt and in half the others they don't. This is not true, if
> > the person is conscientious enough they probably put on the seat belt in
> >>99% of the universes. That depends entirely on them. A
> > less safety-concerned individual may have the opposite probabilities.
> If the evolution of the universal wavefunction is deterministic, then
> it doesn't depend entirely on them...it depends entirely on the
> universal wavefunction.
> How could it depend entirely on them - using "depend" and "them" in
> the usual senses of the words? You're not surreptitiousness using
> "non-standard" definitions of words without making that explicit, are
> Once the initial state of the wavefunction are fixed and the rules
> that determine its evolution are fixed - then everything else,
> including seatbelt usage, is also fixed.
> If anything depends on anything, *everything* depends on the initial
> state and the rules that "govern" (describe?) how the state changes.
> In your example, they don't put on their seatbelt 99% of the time
> *because* they are conscientious - rather, they are labeled
> "conscientious" because they put on their seatbelt 99% of the time.
> See how the arrow is reversed there?
> >> Your life is “on rails”. Maybe your final destination is good, maybe
> >> it’s bad - but both the destination and the path to it are static and
> >> fixed in Platonia.
> >> Further, nothing about computationalism promises truth or anything
> >> else desirable...or even makes them likely.
> >> In fact, surely lies are far more common than truths in Platonia.
> >> There are few ways to be right, but an infinite number of ways to be
> >> wrong. If you think you exist in Platonia, then surely you also have
> >> to conclude that nearly everything else you believe is a lie.
> > What is true in this universe may be false or meaningless in most of the
> > universes, but there might be some things which are true in every universe
> > (such as 2+2 = 4).
> It seems conceivable to me that you might have trouble convincing the
> inhabitants of every (or even most) universes of that, even by appeal
> to experience.
> Just set up the initial conditions correctly, and the state changes
> correctly, and viola! A whole universe of people who have funky
> beliefs that are reinforced by experience at every check. Or are
> contradicted, but the contradictions as misinterpreted as
> Maybe that's us...
> Maybe my imagination is more vivid, or my checks on it less stringent.
> Have you tried imagining such a thing? Living in such a universe?
> As a spur to imagination: Have you read Jonathan Strange and Mr.
> Norrell? The role of madness? The gentleman with thistle-down hair?
> > (I can easily prove to you at least one thing must be
> > self-existent for there to be anything at all)
> Conscious experience.
> >> Can I change it? No.
> > Then why bother to get food when you are hungry?
> It's entailed by the brute computational structure of Platonia, I assume.
> >> Why 9/11, Auschwitz, AIDS, famine, bigotry, hate, suffering? They are
> >> computationally entailed.
> > This is just reductionism taken beyond the level where it should be taken.
> > You might as well answer: It is physically entailed, chemically entailed,
> > biologically entailed, etc. I don't see the point of the argument.
> Hmmmm...I don't see how you could miss the point of the argument...?
> See above on seat-belts.
> >> Platonia actually sounds like more hell than heaven.
> > You base that on the small part of Platonia you have seen in your decades as
> > a human on this remote planet floating through an infinitesimal part of the
> > universe. Perhaps life in other alien civilizations is comparatively a
> > heaven.
> Actually I would tend to think that the number of hedonists and
> masochists in Platonia would balance each other. For every entity
> that loves pleasure, there's another who loves pain. Just flip a few
> bits, and there you have it - heaven transformed into hell, or vice
> >> Oh wait...maybe I can’t invent such a book, because I’m not a very
> >> good writer, and people don’t find the structure of my fantasies
> >> compelling or believable or interesting or useful. Rats.
> > My point was that mathematics has its own rules, it is not something where
> > anyone can add their own arbitrary axioms as they see fit.
> I would tend that good fiction also has its own rules. At least
> fiction that would be considered "good" by some particular audience.
> >> Well, according to you I shouldn’t feel bad. My failure was entailed
> >> by the computational structure of Platonia. My efforts to achieve
> >> success were...futile.
> > Who determines what song you choose to listen to on the radio (or music
> > player), you or the atoms bouncing around in your brain?
> Neither. I'd say it's purely contingent. Not determined by anything.
> > As thinking beings
> > we have a will which we can exercise. Don't let deterministic or
> > non-deterministic theories of the universe tell you otherwise.
> Ya, I don't see how that could be.
> >> BUT...it’s just a story. There’s no absolute against which to judge
> >> these stories, and so there can be no matters of fact except relative
> >> to the stories.
> > So ultimately, where do these stories come from?
> Nowhere. They're purely contingent. Without any reason or
> explanation whatsoever.
> >> No. Information is something that observers have. Observers are not
> >> something that information has.
> > I agree. Observers are aware of information, and that makes them conscious.
> > You say observers interpret information. Well explain what you
> > mean precisely by interpret.
> I take interpret to mean "experience as meaningful". Which doesn't
> mean that it *is* meaningful...just that it's experienced that way.
> I could go a little further and add "experienced as meaningful in a
> way that connects to other beliefs."
> Though I'm not sure that's necessary.
> > I define interpretation as a system which may enter one of multiple states
> > based on that information (information processing). This is different from
> > information travelling through some pipe. The atomic elements of
> > computation compare and contrast information through logical operations AND,
> > OR, NOT, etc.
> > There is only so much that can be done with information. Whatever your
> > interpreter does with it, can be replicated by an appropriately programmed
> > Turing machine.
> An appropriately programmed Turing machine can experience information
> as meaningful?
> It could possibly interpreted as doing this...but given that there's
> not much to a Turing machine, I'd have my doubts as to whether this
> was actually the case.
> So, I take experience as fundamental, and work my way out from there.
> I'm not starting with an abstract concept like computation and trying
> to work my way *back*.
> Computation is just a way of looking at things, a way of thinking
> about things. It's not a thing in itself.
> >> Our positions are mirror images.
> >> Reverse the arrow of explanation, and you’ve got it!
> This still seems to be the case to me.
> >> But this doesn’t make much sense to me. There’s nothing in my
> >> conception of particles or configurations or sequences that would have
> >> led me to predict that combined they would give rise to something like
> >> my conscious experience.
> > Lightly press on the back of your hand with your finger and spend a few
> > minutes concentrating on the qualia of that experience. What more can you
> > describe it as beyond the awareness of information?
> Consciousness experience is fundamental. Fundamental concepts can’t
> be described in terms of anything else..they’re fundamental.
> This is why you can’t explain “red” to a blind person. It’s a
> fundamental concept. If you don’t have it, it can’t be transmitted to
> you or explained to you, because it can’t be “built up” from more
> basic concepts.
> What do we mean by “communicating information”? When we use a word,
> it just picks out an idea or a thought that exists in your mind. For
> instance, out of all of the concepts that humans are capable of
> thinking, the word “Red” picks out one of them. But nothing of the
> experience of redness that is conveyed by the word “Red”. Just like
> there is nothing of the idea of two-ness conveyed by the word “two”.
> You already have to know about “two” to correctly interpret the word.
> No fundamental concepts are ever communicated via words.
> Let’s say I tell you, “I have a red cube that is 2 inches on a side.”
> To understand that message, you must already have the fundamental
> concepts of redness and of spatial distance and dimension and be able
> to map the words I’m using to those concepts.
> Note however, that the concept of a “cube” is obviously not
> fundamental…but fully grasping its meaning requires possession of the
> fundamental concepts of spatial distance and dimension.
> So, I can communicate the meaning of “cube” to you because it isn’t a
> fundamental concept…it’s defined in terms of spatial dimensions.
> However, I cannot communicate the meaning of “space” or “color” or
> “emotion” to someone who has no subjective experience of those
> concepts, because they are fundamental.
> *That* is why qualia are ineffable.
> read more »
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