On Jul 26, 4:22 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 25 Jul 2011, at 21:48, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Jul 25, 1:57 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> >> On 25 Jul 2011, at 15:23, Craig Weinberg wrote:

> > Not exactly. I'm saying that a plane that is crashing might be a sign
> > that the engines don't work.
> That is beside the point. It does not change the fact that the plane
> was flying before crashing, like the neurons did correctly their job
> before the trouble comes from the absence of nucleus (in that thought
> experiment).

There's a difference between hurtling forward on momentum and having
functioning engines. Just because a chicken runs around for a while
after losing it's head doesn't mean that headless chickens are viable.

> > If it's an experimental plane that has
> > never flown before, it might be a sign that the theory of behind the
> > design can never work.
> That's is another thought experiment. Here the plane was flying. The
> fact that it crashes obviously shows that there is a problem with the
> plane, but not that he was not flying before the crash.

If the plane is flying then it's tautology. If you're saying that the
plane could fly at any time then you are eliminating the possibility
that it can't fly. You're just saying 'suppose I build a brain that
acts just like a conscious brain in every possible way...is it
conscious?' To which I'm saying, the brain will probably not act like
a brain unless it's made of living biological organisms, and even if
it appeared to act that way, it will probably not feel like a person,
it will feel like math. You're wanting to make consciousness into a
function of calculation, but it's not, it's a function of awareness,
which is sense, which is detection, which is 1p physical experience.
Calculation is a function of consciousness. It's a high level
function. The psychic equivalent of plastic - a feeling of simulated
non-feeling used to represent sequences abstractly. They can't replace
feeling because they are based on feeling and not the other way
around. Even a computer does not compute. It's just physical materials
responding to changes in it's environment. It's only us who know that
it's computing for us.

> > Is the substitution level of fire infinitely low? Think of
> > consciousness like fire. It's a potential that already exists in many
> > materials under specific conditions but it cannot be emulated by
> > itself.
> But then already you introduce something infinite in the body.
> You are saying that *all* finite approximation emulation will be zombie.

Fire isn't in the log, but you can approximate a burning log to some
degree with concrete log and burning gas. It's not a log but it is
fire in the fireplace. If I turn on cable TV around Christmas, they
run a video of a log burning. That also is not a log, and it's not
fire, but it emulates a visual sense of the thing.

So, in the same way, you can have a program running a YouTube of a
person, which is like my TV log, you can have a really great android
brain made out of silicon and plastic which maybe gets you to the
concrete log, provided that you are connected to a gas utility or
propane tank - which *would* have to be organic and combustible. Maybe
nanobot neurons burning glucose would be enough to sustain a spark and
give you a proper Disneyland level animatronic simulation of a person.

 Still, it's not burning wood, so it's not really the same thing.
Think of how fragile human consciousness is - we don't need to replace
our entire brain with plastic to become a zombie. We can just play
computer games for a few hours, or get addicted to gambling or meth. A
strong conk on the head could do it.

> > The whole premise of a substitution level for consciousness is
> > presuming something that I reject, because I see that awareness cannot
> > be anything other than an inherent potential of all physical
> > phenomena,
> You see that? Or do you assume that?

My hypothesis asserts that.

> Even with comp it is a manner of speaking to say that we synthesize
> emotion. The machine will just make it possible for them to be
> relatively manifested. Like a computer does not synthesize numbers.

Are you suggesting that emotion arises spontaneously out of numerical

> But if you "simulate" arithmetical self-reference, you do get 1p-
> phenomenon which are per se not simulable,

like what?

> If a chlorophyll can sense what it is, why do I need a brain to know
> when I am hungry. Why would not my stomach be enough?

To be more clear, I don't think that chlorophyll can sense what it is
directly, much like we could not guess what we look like without
mirrors, reflections, photos, etc. It's more like everything can sense
what it's world is. We need a brain to know that our body's stomach is
hungry, but the stomach doesn't need the brain to know that. A lot of
organisms (like starfish) don't have 'brains' and get along perfectly

> It does not make much sense for me to say that a chorophyl molecules
> can sense what it is. I have no doubt that it can interact with light,
> and sense it in some weak sense, but I don't see anything like an
> ability of self-reference.

Right. I agree. I think of consciousness (loosely) as awareness of
awareness, awareness as sense of sense, sense as detection of
detection. Consciousness implies abstract self-representation. A
molecule like chlorophyll is only elaborated to the detection level,
but it brings a new level of flexibility (like carbon does for organic
chemistry) that forms the building blocks of an organism that can
sense more than the molecular sum of it's parts.

> What makes you sure that my brain has any idea who I am?

That's true, your brain has no idea who you are. Which is why if you
build something which is merely like what the brain appears to be, it
won't be able to host a phenomenon who knows who it is.

> Anyway, no level means you need infinities to singularize identity.
> You also get zombies for *all* finite approximation of those
> infinities. But then why not: comp cannot be proved,  it only entails
> ad hoc infinities and zombies.

Infinities are an abstraction. A pattern of pattern-ness, and pattern
can only be expressed through a finite medium. You can't literally
realize infinity, you can only gesture toward it. It's the "..."
beyond which you can only change the subject. Consciousness is
awareness reaching toward infinity, toward abstraction, toward self-
realization through self-negation. Awareness is finite though, it's
just not computable because it's qualitative and experiential. We're
at a disadvantage to understand what we are because what we are, as
intellectual minds, is literally the intention of something physical
to be unlike anything physical.


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