On 8/16/2011 9:35 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Aug 16, 9:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou<stath...@gmail.com>  wrote:

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM, Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com>  wrote:

On Aug 16, 1:49 am, Stathis Papaioannou<stath...@gmail.com>  wrote:

The I/O interface could involve neurotransmitters which are
synthesised and released when the artificial neuron sees the
appropriate voltage, and an enzyme which mops up the released

Right. Not really an emulation of the function of a neuron, just an
emulation of how that function is controlled. An automated kitchen
which produces real meals from real groceries as opposed to artificial
meals from quantitative theoretical groceries.

A computer needs I/O devices such as keyboards and screens if it is to
interact with its environment.

No, it doesn't. We need keyboards and screens if We are to interact
with a computer. The computer already does interact with it's own
environment. It's input is electric current and it's output is
magnetic changes to semiconductors and heat.

The changes in the semiconductors only happen in response to external inputs, like loading programs, typing on the keyboard, moving the mouse. Without these inputs the computer is just an expensive clock.

Each of those theoretical options would be orders of magnitude more
difficult to achieve and equally tremendously likely to fail compared
with replication.

Why? It could be more robust. The biological brain eventually fails
after a century or so in use.

I mean fail as far as achieving something capable of feeling human,
not just life of service.

"Replication" at what level? quarks and leptons? atoms and molecules? neurons and tissue? The most reliable way of making something capable of feeling human is procreation. Its at some level at or just above neurons and tissue.

There is still no evidence to suggest that the final
product would be experienced by the neuron or the brain made of such
neurons as something like human awareness.

If it doesn't then that would allow for the possibility of partial
zombies, which means you could be one now and not know it, which means
being a partial zombie (if coherent) is not distinguishable from full
consciousness and not a problem.

I am a partial zombie now, and so are you, and yes, you don't know it.
Unless you are actively experiencing every possible experience that
you can at the same time, you are only partially aware. A brain made
of artificial neurons would likely be able to experience something,
but not what a natural neuron brain would experience, because its not
the same thing.  It's not a problem because when it is time to
experience other kinds of awareness than we do at the moment, we can,
but the silicon brain likely cannot.

I'm not talking about computation, I'm talking about the implications
of biological realities of the nervous system. It does you no good to
compute the amount of plaque building up in your arteries if your
computation has no way to remove it. You would have to have the
machine itself pretend to die and then fool the glia into thinking
they already cleaned it up. It's just dumber and dumber.

But if it is possible to compute when a neuron will fire

In some cases it is, in some cases it is not possible. If the neuron
is involved in initiating shivering, then you can compute that it will
fire in relation to skin temperature. If it is involved instead with
changing your opinion about the simplicity of neuroscientific
simulation, then there is no way to predict that.

I predict Stathis will not change his opinion that it is far from simple. I predict that his neurons which encode the appearance of an elephant are now activated.

How'd I do, Stathis?

that would
allow the creation of an artificial neural network which would drive
other neurons and muscles in the same way as a biological neural
network would. It would be like any other artificial body part which a
person might have and not notice.

If that were true, there would be no distinction between voluntary and
involuntary movements or consciousness and unconsciousness.

The distinction would be in which neurons were active. You have a kinesthetic sense of where your limbs are, but not what you liver is doing. Just because it's biological tissue doesn't mean it's participating in your consciousness.

You are
making sense a kind of nonsense, and consciousness a kind of
unconsciousness - which of course is precisely inverted of what we
must realize is true.

On the contrary, he's explicating a theory that would explain a distinction between conscious and subconscious and unconscious.

If the former case is true, the replacement cell body may not be able
to produce the organic sense required to modulate the functions of the
cell in it's native improvisational mode so that it will neither fool
surrounding tissues nor perform the critical experiential function in
between inputs and outputs which would form the meat of perception and
awareness. If the latter case is true, there is no way to tell whether
the metaphysical requirements form instantiating high level awareness
could be satisfied by the design of the replacement. The exact
mechanism by which dumb I/Os are translated into nonphysical emergent
properties would have to be fully understood in order to accomplish
substitution by engineering.

Do you understand this:

(a) everything in the universe follows physical laws;
(b) these physical laws are computable

I understand that you believe that, but I think the worldview that
understanding arises from is obsolete.
Because we have qualitative experiences which are not reducible to
computation, and that is an undeniable fact with epistemological
validity equal to or exceeding that of physics, either:

It is eminently deniable. You have no idea whether or not your qualitative experiences are computable in principle. You only know that they aren't computable in practice.

(a) Not all physical laws are completely computable or
(b) our qualitative experiences are not physical or
(c) The terms 'computable' and 'physical' are meaningless because they
include everything.

I choose (a). Obviously our experiences of qualia like yellow and pain
are not meaningfully computable,

That is not only not obvious, I don't even know what it means. Are you saying they are computable in some way that is not "meaningful"? Do you mean they are not predictable from any 3rd person data? Or what? You seem to rely on an intuition that "They're a mystery to me. So they must be mysterious."

and would have no conceivable place
in a cosmos that was purely computational.

I'm not asking if qualia are computable, only if the observable
behaviour of matter is computable.

Huh? I observe qualia and qualia are the only possible way of
observing anything.

You said "(a) everything in the universe follows physical laws;"

This means to me that you are excluding qualia from the universe or
you are saying that physical laws include qualia. Which is it?

That means it would be possible to
model on a computer what the behaviour of a collection of matter will
be over time, given initial conditions. For a billiard ball that would
be easy, for a weather system or human more difficult, but possible.

It's just circular reasoning. You're defining matter's behavior as a
priori purely computable. You're assuming that matter exists and
nothing else does rather than seeing that matter and perception are a
continuum which is deterministic on one end and voluntarily
participatory on the other.

But perception isn't voluntary. If it were we would never get the inter-subjective agreement that we do: that the sun is bright, fire burns, ice is cold, blood is red,... That's why we hypothesize that there is some reality, including other people.

So you are saying either that cells disobey the laws of physics or
that there are certain laws of physics that are non-computable, but
that only you know about them.

I suspect that fully half of the laws of physics are unknown and non-
computable. They may be understandable though, through metaphor and
direct experience. These consequences of these  laws are known by
everything that has awareness, which may be every physical phenomenon
to some extent or another. I'm not saying that I 'know about them' or
that 'Only I know about them' at all, I'm only pointing to their
existence as the possible solution to the mind-body problem, quantum
uncertainty, cosmology, and the crisis of post-modernity.

Strictly speaking, quantum randomness is uncomputable, but a random
process can be modelled by a pseudorandom process,

Like a brick can be modeled by a painting of a brick. It's not really
a painting of a brick, it's just a painting that looks like what we
see of a brick with our eyes from a single static perspective.
Objectively speaking, there is no such thing as a model. We model with
things but the things themselves are not modeled.

That's a self-contradictory sentence. If things are not modeled then "model" doesn't mean what the dictionary says it means. Are you becoming Humpty-Dumpty?

Like awareness,
feeling, thought, and experience, fire, or flight, randomness cannot
be modeled, it can only be replicated.

or else a true
source of randomness such as radioactive decay can be used.

That's backwards too. Radioactive decay isn't a source of
'randomness', randomness is just our understanding of a category of
processes which includes radioactive decay. Randomness doesn't exist
as a concrete, independent entity in the cosmos.

"Table" is just our understanding of a category of objects. It doesn't exist as a concrete independent entity. So what? It doesn't follow that there are no instances of tables.

Also, real
numbers are not in general computable, so if the world is continuous
rather than discrete it would not be computable; however, every
physical process will have a level of engineering tolerance, so
infinite precision arithmetic would not be required and for practical
purposes the world would still be computable. Any other ideas as to
what could be uncomputable?

It's not a matter of precision, it's a matter of trying to make up out
of a complex configuration of down. It's futile by definition.

Yes, that seems to be the case.


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