On Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Jul 30, 12:08 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> > >  If you have 10,000 people all wear
> > > different colored T-Shirts and stand in an arrangement to make an
> > > image of Mickey Mouse as seen from the air - those people have not
> > > taken on any qualities of any animated character themselves. They are
> > > aware only of human interactions, participating in a social event.
> >
> > This is a good conclusion I think.  Now if you extend it to the China
> brain
> > thought experiment, you will see that the individual neurons (or humans
> in
> > the case of the China brain) do not have the experiences of the whole.
> > Consider that the china brain is simulating the experiences of a person
> > riding a bicycle.  Which of the people pretending to be neurons will have
> > any idea that is the experience?  Or if the brain is simulating a pain in
> > the right thigh, why would any of the people simulating that pain
> experience
> > pain in their thigh?
> The China brain can't simulate the interior sense of a neuron. It's
> just a dynamic sculpture.

So the only sturcture in the universe that can perceive are neurons or
groups of neurons?  It has to be biochemical, using only certain atoms with
certain numbers of electrons and protons.  However, if there are too many
neurons (as in an entire brain) then these cannot be used as more primitive
building blocks in a larger brain?  It seems you say the material matters,
but only to a point.  Brains are made of the same exact materials of
neurons, but a brain made out of a bunch of neurons will be conscious, yet a
brain made out of a bunch of brains would not be conscious.  Here I must
ask, is it really the material that makes the difference or is it the
function?  If it is the function, and you make the brains functionally
identical to individual neurons, then why won't the big brain (made up of
many smaller brains) work?

> > Note that I disagree with Ned Block's conclusion regarding the China
> brain,
> > I believe it would have mental states.  (and perhaps you would too, given
> > that it is based on biological material)  Why should neurons be able to
> > interact with each other to produce consciousness, but large groups of
> cells
> > (humans) could not?
> No, Block is right. The China brain fails for the same reason as
> inorganic materials fail. It's not the same thing.

It is the same thing materially, and the same thing functionally.  The only
difference is size.  Are giants and midgets somehow differently conscious
from average-sized humans.

> Fire can't be
> simulated by water.

This is propaganda.  It is meant to be short and convince people who don't
give it much thought, but if one considers deeply the consequences of
Church-Turing, they will find it to be false.   Explain why fire cannot be
simulated by water?  Show: What about fire cannot be simulated, and what
prevents water from being used to construct a Turing machine.  I can imagine
a sheet of ice in space, upon which snow balls can be placed in different
configurations by big ice gears, all of which is powered by a water wheel
driving a gigantic ice turbine.

> My whole point in the Mickey Mouse anecdote is to
> demonstrate clearly that no organization of human bodies is going to
> generate it's own experience. You could have a trillion Chinas making
> a Mickey Mouse move and act in silent movies, but without a human to
> see it from the air, there is no movie, no Mickey.

It sees itself, just as you can read your own thoughts without someone
having to put you in an MRI and inspect them.


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