On Aug 16, 7:28 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 8/16/2011 9:35 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

> >> 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.

Once a program is loaded, or pre-loaded as firmware, it is no longer
external, and it can run without any typing or moving. A computer is
just an expensive clock. We just use those clocks in a lot of
ingenious ways. We are a clock too, but we are also the owner and
watcher of the clock, and the teller of times.

> > 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.

Yes, procreation. Cloning. Genetic level.

> >>> 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.

I agree, but you can be conscious of your biological tissue without
having voluntary control over it, and you can have voluntary control
over your biological tissue without being aware of the fact at any
given moment. It's not a question of some neurons being part of an
unconscious network and another being part of a conscious one. They
all have awareness, it's just shared in ways that are both complex,
inclusive, and distributed and simple, exclusive, centralized.

> > 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.

What's the theory in a nutshell?

> >>>>> 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.

You have no idea whether or not computation can be reduced to
qualitative experience either. All we know is that there must be a
reason that there appears to be a significant difference between the
qualitative and the computable, one which computation alone would not
anticipate, but which subjectivity could easily account for through
it's simulated inversion. You can imagine white light coming from the
presence of all colors, but you cannot conceive of color if all you
have ever seen is white light. There is a big difference.

> >>> (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"?

Yes. They can be correlated to wavelength/frequency ranges, but it is
not meaningful in describing hue.

> Do you mean they are not predictable
> from any 3rd person data?

Yes. Color is 1p visual sense or nothing.

>Or what?  You seem to rely on an intuition that "They're a
> mystery to me.  So they must be mysterious."

Just the opposite. They are a mystery to you. To me they make as much
sense as 1+2=3.

> >>> 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.

Perception isn't involuntary either. You can choose to interpret the
sun being bright as a sign from God that it's a good day to fight a
battle. You can see homosexuality as profoundly immoral or perfectly
natural.  We have choices. It's a continuum. At the base of perception
is, as you describe, 'common sense' - common to humans. Not all humans
of course. There are gender and cultural differences, class
differences, etc. It's a pyramid of nature at the base, nurture as it
rises, personal preference at the top, and the entire thing is the
Self. You are the chooser which emerges through your choices of the
what has been chosen for you.

> > 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?

Um, no. Are you using an ad hominem quip to argue from authority? It's
not self-contradictory at all. I can model an airplane using a plastic
kit, and we would call the plastic thing a model, but it has no
objective relationship to a plane. A dog would not mistake this piece
of plastic for a large flying vehicle making noise above it's head.
It's only our perceptual frame of reference, our network of conceptual
associations and memorized perceptions which make it in any way model-
like to us. From an objective point of view, the model airplane is no
more like an airplane than it is like a plastic hairbrush. It just has
a slightly different shape.

> > 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.

There is no objective instances of tables, just instances of phenomena
we categorize as tables.


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