"Your brain contains information received by the senses, it is a
which can enter many different states based on that information "

It is so amazing to me how blind people are who actually believe this
clearly ridiculous notion.

"information" as used by geneticists and brain-scientists is a
metaphor of a metaphor.

First. There is information in the sense of words and ideas, in the
sense of reading or hearing and learning something.
Second. We take that and make a metaphor of it, and apply it to
machines or computers, and also to dna and the brain... the metaphor
"information" which sometimes is used in a double metaphor sense....
is used to mask the fact that we really don't know what is going on
but we are using our convenient notion and understanding of
information to apply it to the case.

On Jun 7, 3:53 am, Pete Hughes <pet...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Jason,
> I found this compelling, are you saying that the difficulty of explaining
> qualia is due to the language centre of the brain being able to access only
> an abstract 'interface' (I'm a object oriented thinker) of the sensors? then
> what about emotions? I'm trying to pre-empt your response to 'why don't you
> put your hand in the fire and enjoy the information' and I just can't, I
> like the way you talk so I will pester you with the question.
> "Your brain contains information received by the senses, it is a system
> which can enter many different states based on that information (it
> interprets it).  One of those states is your brain thinking about the fact
> that it knows it is touching the back of your hand with one of your fingers
> (that may represent only a few bits of information), now consider that your
> brain has 100,000,000,000 neurons and you can begin to see that more complex
> qualia such as vision involve vastly greater amounts of information (some
> 30% of your cortex is devoted to processing visual information).  Together
> with the modularity of mind (different sections are specialized and compute
> different things, and share the results with other brain regions), you can
> begin to see why qualia such as Red or Green are so hard to explain.
>  Consider Google's self-driving cars.  They need to determine whether the
> stop light is Yellow, Red or Green.  The cameras collect many MB worth of
> raw R,G,B data per second which is processed by a specialized function which
> determines the state of the stop light.  The result Red, Green, or Yellow is
> transmitted to other parts of the driving software, for example the parts
> which control acceleration.  This part of the software knows there is a
> difference between "Light is Red" vs. "Light is Green", but it cannot say
> how they are different or why it knows they are different (this was decided
> elsewhere).  It is much like the verbal section of your brain trying to
> articulate the difference between red and green, it knows they are different
> but cannot say how.  It does now have access to the raw data received from
> the millions of cones in your retina."
> On 7 June 2011 03:00, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> > On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >>> Perhaps so, perhaps there is only Rex's beliefs.  Perhaps only rex's
> >> >>> beliefs at this exact moment.
> >> >> Not obviously impossible.  Thought not obviously necessitated either.
> >> >> Does the possibility that there are only Jason’s beliefs at this exact
> >> >> moment scare you?
> >> >> Would you prefer it to be otherwise?
> >> > It makes the universe much smaller, less varied, less fascinating, etc.
> >> to
> >> > believe my current thought is all there is.  It also makes answering any
> >> > questions futile (why does this thought exist?, can I change it?  Am I a
> >> > static thought or an evolving thought?  What determines or controls the
> >> > content of this thought?)  How can any of those questions be approached
> >> if
> >> > only thought exists?
> >> 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.
> >> 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).  If it is true in every universe, even in those having
> > fewer than 4 things to count then by extension they are true even in
> > universes with nothing to count, and correspondingly, would be true even if
> > there was nothing anywhere.  Math is self-existent (I can easily prove to
> > you at least one thing must be self-existent for there to be anything at
> > all) and it is much easier to see how math can be self-existent compared to
> > observable physical universe.
> >> ***
> >> Computationalism’s answers to the questions you pose are:
> >> Why does this thought exist?  There is no reason except that
> >> computation exists.  Big whoop.
> > Computationalism (mechanism, functionalism) is a theory of mind, which I
> > believe is superior to its contenders (immaterialism, interactionalist
> > dualism, epiphenominalism, biological naturalism, mind-brain identity
> > theory, etc.) which all have big flaws.  While immaterialism cannot be
> > disproved, it explains nothing and therefore fails as an explanatory or
> > scientific theory.  It
> >> Can I change it?  No.
> > Then why bother to get food when you are hungry?
> >> Am I a static or evolving thought?  Neither.  Your are computation.
> >> What determines or controls the content of this thought?  The brute
> >> fact of computational structure.
> >> ***
> >> Why did your momma love you?  It was computationally entailed.
> >> Why did Jeffry Dahlmer kill those people?  It was computationally
> >> entailed.
> >> 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.
> >> 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.
> >> SO...what is it that computationalism gives you over solipsism,
> >> exactly?  What makes this picture more varied, more fascinating, less
> >> futile?
> > It answers questions which cannot be answered correctly with other theories
> > of mind.  Given what I know, it is the theory of mind I would wager on as
> > correct above the others I know about.
> >> I’m not saying you’re position is worse than mine, but surely it’s no
> >> better.
> >> >>> What is the engine providing the computations which drive the
> >> universe?
> >> >> That assumes that computations do drive the universe.
> >> >> Which is the assumption that I’m questioning.
> >> > The physical universe may be computational or it may be a mathematical
> >> > structure, but what enforces its consistency and constancy of its laws?
> >>  If
> >> > it were a mathematical structure, or a computation then the consistency
> >> > comes for free.
> >> But doesn’t computationalism predict that their should be conscious
> >> entities whose experience is of inconsistent, contradictory, shifting
> >> laws?
> > We went over this a few months ago without ever reaching an agreement.
> >  Surely there are some, but I think such universes occur less frequently
> > and/or preclude conscious life forms from evolving.  You said they would
> > occur more frequently because there are more unique descriptions (given the
> > fact that they are longer and there are more possibilities the longer a
> > string is).
> >> In fact, this sounds like the experiences described by schizophrenics,
> >> or people on drugs.
> > And people have those experiences.
> >> In fact, I would think that Platonia should contain far more chaotic
> >> experiences than not.
> > If consciousness = awareness of random bit strings chosen from Platonia I
> > would agree, but if consciousness involves computation, it seems chaotic
> > programs harder to come by.  You would need a stable platform for the
> > program to run long enough to compute a thought, but somehow the input to
> > that program would have to be noise.  A chaotic experience requires a
> > not-fully chaotic mind to have the experience.  Otherwise you might say the
> > air molecules bouncing around your room constitute a chaotic experience.
> >> So this virtue that you highlight isn’t a virtue at all.
> >> The idea that “oh, those all cancel out when we average across all
> >> computations” or something is pretty ad hoc sounding.
> >> You’ve lost whatever intuitive appeal that computationalism had in
> >> fell swoop.  We’re back to, “why would that result in conscious
> >> experience if non-averaged computation didn’t???”
> >> It just does?  Pah.
> > I don't think I ever made an argument about cancelling out or averaging
> > out.
> >> >>> Do you think pi has an objective (not human invented or approximated)
> >> >>> value,
> >> >>> whether or not any person computed it?
> >> >> I think that everyone
> ...
> read more »

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