On Aug 21, 3:04 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 21 Aug 2011, at 19:18, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Aug 21, 12:35 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> >> On 21 Aug 2011, at 14:43, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> >>> That's why the mechanist position is critically flawed as a
> >>> cosmological-ontological TOE. It amputates the 1p definition of  
> >>> life -
> >>> which only marginally has to do with reproduction (I don't have  
> >>> kids,
> >>> so I'm disqualified from being 3-p 'alive'.) Life is about feeling
> >>> like you want to avoid dying, and that feeling is SIGNIFICANT.
> >> This means only that you put consciousness or 1-p in life.
> > No, it means that I put 1-p in experience, and life as specific
> > category of experience. Consciousness is a general term that isn't all
> > that helpful. I like awareness or feeling. And yes, I put feeling in
> > life, because it really has no place in an inorganic world. If all of
> > your actions are pre-programmed, feeling is really superfluous. Our
> > intuition is that killing an ant is less significant than burning down
> > a house full of people. I think that intuition has validity. An ant
> > may or may not be any more 'conscious', but whatever it is less of
> > than a human being is the same thing that a computer program is less
> > of, to us at least.
> You say so.

Would you agree that this is a common perception? If so, how should we
explain that?

> I see this like a sort of insult toward the UMs and the LUMs. '---
> Sorry guys, you are not made of carbon so you have no souls (or worst,  
> you have not the right sort of soul).

Maybe it's more insulting to the UMs and LUMs to say that they are
like us? I don't disparage the sense that they make objectively, but I
don't see the appeal of conflating that sense with our own. They make
better UMs, than we do. We make better people than they do. We aren't
made of carbon but we are made of experiences which are rooted in the
experiences of animals, cells, and organic carbon-containing

I think that the UM is an ideal distillation of some of those
(sensorimotive) experiences which can be exported technologically to
whatever organic or inorganic substances or objects which will behave
like we need them to behave to submit to the machine logic. It's the
willingness to submit which I suspect is mutually exclusive to organic
awareness. What we are made of gets to decide whether to submit or
not. Even if the logic of the machine calls for such a freedom to
decide, it is the existential conditions of the machine's execution
that determines to what degree that freedom can be discovered.

> >> That is just a matter of definition.
> >> I would not have consecrated my life to the study or consciousness if
> >> it was to amputate the notion of first person, which, on the  
> >> contrary,
> >> I extend to number relations and program executions.
> > So you extend 1-p to numbers but not to life. I used to extend 1-p to
> > numbers, so I can understand that. I am ok with Platonic primitives,
> > but of course, I see other kinds of sense as primitive as well;
> > privacy, detection, participation, etc.
> I am OK with that.
> The problem is that you deprive the number relations from privacy,  
> detection participation.

I would say that the relations themselves are public, relativistic,
and 'empty', but through that emptiness we can privately detect and
participate in the (senseless) sense it's making. We feel logical
about logic, but logic doesn't compute feeling (see also Does Not
Compute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Does_not_compute) "The phrase
was often present in stories which carried a theme of the superiority
of human emotion over limitations within the logic utilized by
machines. ")

How are we to explain this popular theme that machines seem to us
'cold', or that 'robotic' and 'mechanical' seems synonymous with
'heartless' or unfeeling? Even if untrue, we should examine the
persistence of this stereotype and ask, why is that how machines seem
to many of us? To presume that the difference between mammalian warmth
and insectoid automation is purely a matter of logical complexity I
think is astonishingly reckless in the context of simulating human
psyche. If anything, feeling is stereotyped as simple and naive, while
complexity is synonymous with qualities similar to that of machines -
'calculating', 'intellectual', 'analytical', etc.

> Mechanism is not an eliminative doctrine, except for the primitive  
> stuffy matter (that nobody has ever see).
> On the contrary, arithmetic is full of life, and consciousness, and  
> consciousness differentiations.

Why are you sure that it's not life, consciousness, and consciousness
differentiations that are full of arithmetic (among other things)?
> >>> It's
> >>> also about flourishing in whatever way you can - to feel like you  
> >>> are
> >>> thriving. I would go so far as to say that all organisms experience
> >>> this and that no inorganic materials experience this.
> >> No materials at all experience things. Only persons, in a large sense
> >> (not just humans, but animals, and angels, perhaps the plants, on  
> >> some
> >> scale).
> >>> That's not to say that inorganic materials experience nothing,
> >> Which makes everything alive/conscious.
> >> I know you do that. It is your panpsychism. I don't buy it.
> > No, it doesn't. It just gives perception a plausible ancestor in
> > detection. They don't experience something like we experience
> > something, all that is necessary is that everything experience just a
> > little bit more than nothing.
> You are not enough clear. That might be a good idea, but it has  
> nothing to do with its digital emulability or not.

I'm saying that digital emulation is emulating the wrong end of the
thing if you wanted human consciousness. You would need to emulate the
feelings and experiences of the cells and molecules, and the way those
are essentialized through perception, not their biological or
neurological functions.

> > Otherwise, if you exterminate all of the
> > living beings on the few billion planets that might have them, then
> > you are left with a vast cosmos of countless astrophysical wonders yet
> > has no experience. No wonders. An undetectable abyss. How do you get
> > from that void of utter intangible absence of experience to even a
> > single flicker of awareness is an insurmountable gap. Sense cannot
> > come from non-sense. It is not invented, as you might say, it is
> > discovered.
> So your theory would made the extermination of people less grave?

Huh? Ok, say 'hibernate all of the living beings' instead. My point is
if sense can only arise through complex mechanical logic, then the
universe is completely blank until that logic is discovered - which
makes no sense because how can blankness discover something? If you
freeze all complicated machines that sense in their tracks for a
while, or go back before the dawn of life or planets, there couldn't
really be a universe there, even with billions of galaxies, none of
them really are 'there' or anywhere until...what? What do you think is
the first physical thing in the universe that can sense something?

> > If I
> > had to guess which was more rowdy and emotional, I would choose the
> > dog and not the geode. Wouldn't you?
> Sure. I might even prefer a jumping spider in place of the dog, to be  
> honest :)
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQBAIud6Twg&NR=1

Hah, cool. I thought he was going to jump?


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