On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Aug 29, 10:28 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > A brain also undergoes physical changes just as elaborate and
> > > intricate (topologically) as the experiences taking place through it,
> >
> > I agree with the above.
> >
> >
> >
> > > yet the brain's changes you attribute to the brain only and not the
> > > experiences but you don't have a problem admitting that the changes in
> > > the computer are being directed by the logic of the software.
> >
> > High level processes can direct changes on lower levels, certainly.
> > This is true for both brains and software.  But the software causing
> > some electron to go through a certain transistor isn't going to make
> > the electron do anything physically impossible.
> Right. That's why I keep saying there's nothing that defies science
> here. I'm not talking about magic. Human consciousness is a fugue of
> high level processes and low level processes interacting with each
> other in their own native terms.
> > Everything the
> > software causes can also be explained in terms of phydical
> > interactions at lower levels.
> Definitely, but the reasons that we have for causing those changes in
> the semiconductor material are not semiconductor logics. They use
> hardware logic to to get the hardware to do software logic, just as
> the mind uses the brain's hardware to remember, imagine, plan, or
> execute what the mind wants it to. What the mind wants is influenced
> by the brain, but the brain is also influenced directly by the mind.

I don't see how the two are different, rather it seems like a perfect
analogy.  The biochemistry drives the higher level brain and mind behaviors,
which in turn can affect lower level biochemical effects, like a discharge
of neurotransmitters between synapses when one decides to move their hand.
 Likewise the underlying semiconductor physics drives software logic, which
in turn can have effects on the lower level electronics, like where
electrons gather together in DRAM.

> > >> The computer
> > >> is to the software as physics and biochemistry is to the brain or the
> > >> life form.  It provides a stable platform with fixed rules upon which
> > >> very complex patterns can be sustained.
> >
> > > Right, except these patterns do more than sustain complexity, they
> > > drive complexity,
> >
> > Evolution can drive complexity.  Evolution can be replicated in
> > software, as in that smart sweepers program.
> What do the smart sweepers evolve into? Getting better at the same
> game isn't driving complexity, it's optimizing efficiency.

What does life evolve into besides getting better at making and preserving
copies of itself?

The simplicity of the smart sweepers simulation places an upper bound on how
complex and adept they get at collecting food on the 2-D grid, but even so
they developed behaviors that surprised me (herding/social behaviors where
all sweepers would move in the same direction), this benefited not only the
individuals but the group as a whole.

> > > they are the 3-p view of what we know is a 1-p
> > > experience which simplifies that complexity and allows us to partially
> > > program it.
> >
> > Various modules in the brain filter what they consider to be
> > irrelevant and presents their simplified views to other parts of the
> > brain.
> Why is your model of the brain 100% passive though?

I don't think it is, I was only explaining the fact that we see a simplified
and coherent model of the world (rather than individual nerve firings), is
because that is one of the functions of our brain.

> Our minds aren't
> stuck in a shell like a mollusk.  What is filtered out as irrelevant
> implies that there is a high level agent to whom the presentation may
> be deemed relevant.

Or many agents.  (One for filtering out irrelevant verbal sounds, or another
for filtering out irrelevant visual stimuli, etc.)

I recommend checking out the BBC Brain Story:

> The reason there could even be a such thing as
> presentation of 'relevance' can only be so that a high level agent
> could take some kind of active role in the process. That's the reason
> why a computer doesn't need a monitor or keyboard to run a program,
> since it has no high level agent that needs a presentation layer. We,
> as users are the ones who need that kind of interface because we are
> the high level agents of the output of a computer.

For today's programs that may be true, but I think it is possible for a
computer to emulate both the mind and the environment, such that a computer
with no monitor could house experiences, just like a skull can contain a
dreaming brain with no obvious outward clues of the experience taking place

> > >>> A cell develops it's own autopoietic processes for
> > >>> it's own purposes, where a chip is never inspired by our human
> > >>> software to adopt those scripts as it's own. The chip never grows or
> > >>> dies or lives on it's own, it just politely hosts our texts which we
> > >>> have designed to piggyback on their natural molecular processes.
> >
> > >> Right, but neither do the laws of physics grow or evolve, rather
> > >> physics and chemistry politely host the DNA texts chosen through
> > >> billions of years of natural selection.
> >
> > > Did I ever say once say that the laws of physics grow or evolve?
> >
> > No but you expect that of computer chips.  Computer chips are the
> > "physical laws" to the software.  Their rules don't need to change for
> > the programs that execute on them to be able to.
> I would only expect that of computer chips if I wanted to say that
> they could be functionally equivalent to living neurons. They can run
> semiconductor software while neurons run anthropological software.
> Anthropology won't run on silicon (as far as we know).

As far as we know it can, unless you can point to something in anthropology
that requires either (1) an infinite amount of information or an (2)
infinite amount of steps.

> >
> > > Our
> > > understanding of it certainly evolves and grows, but no, cells don't
> > > need to invent new elements in the periodic table to do what they do,
> > > but they do need to invent new combinations of the existing elements
> > > to generate biochemistry.
> >
> > Just as different software programs are merely different arrangements
> > of bits.
> Sure, but at no point will any of those arrangements turn into an
> actual cell or a molecule.

What are cells or molecules actually?

> I wouldn't really say that a bit is
> something that actually exists anyhow.

Well bits are a unit which measures information.  Information exists and has
a physical definition.  There is even a minimal amount of energy that must
be used to erase 1 bit of information.  Even the amount of information
required to describe the state of a black hole has a simple definition in terms
of bits.

> It's just our interpretations,
> our arrangements that seem different and meaningful to us. To a
> computer there are no bits, just open and closed circuits.

Well to physics there are no life forms, just particles and the void.

> > > In this way it could be said that chemistry
> > > extends into biochemistry which indirectly extends physics, but that's
> > > all irrelevant word definition semantics.
> >
> > > As far as we know, physics and chemistry have only hosted DNA through
> > > a very small number of elements and relatively narrow ranges of
> > > physical conditions. By and large the physical materials in the
> > > universe do not support DNA at all. If they did, this entire
> > > conversation would not be happening because we would have many
> > > examples of mineral based animals roaming around and we would leave
> > > our monitors on at night because our computers might be afraid of the
> > > dark.
> >
> > I don't see that this has to do with anything.
> Why not? If human consciousness can be be articulated through silicon
> just as well as it could DNA or rice paper or bowling pins, then why
> do we only ever see it occur through human DNA?

Because we are life forms that evolved.  This means our brains came to be
from a series of small steps between various generations of self-replicating
machines.  Are you expecting that somewhere along the way some mother would
have given birth to a metal robot with an integrated circuit for a brain,
which not only worked but is able to form perfect copies of itself?

I don't find it a coincidence that the brain is made of the same biology and
chemistry as other cells in our body.  Rather I think it uses the same
chemistry because it was the easiest step for natural selection to take.
 That a brain can be made out of wet, messy, chemical reactions speaks to
the generality of information processing machinery.  I think it would be
easier to believe some system of ping pong balls and gears could lead to a
mind rather than a bunch of cells squirting fluids back and forth (if we
didn't have working examples of the latter in front of us).

Barring some apocalyptic setback for humanity, we will see computer minds in
the next few decades as computing power catches up to the requirements of a
human brain.

> > >> Capillary action is not a violation of the laws of physics.
> >
> > > No, but the existence something that uses capillary action for it's
> > > own private negentropic purpose is not predicted by physics qua
> > > physics.
> >
> > Given a physical arrangement of a narrow tube in a liquid physics
> > would predict the force driving the flow of the liquid through that
> > tube.
> >
> > That life forms would use this is a matter of history and circumstance.
> You seem to be dodging the point of negentropy being unexplainable
> from substance monism.

Life doesn't decrease entropy though.  I don't see where the conflict is.

> It can only answer the question of what makes
> them life forms by some legalistic un-asking of the question. If that
> view can't answer the question of what life is, then it at least
> should answer the question of where does the question come from?
> >
> > >>  What
> > >> about substance monism precludes any life form from existing?
> >
> > > Because life wouldn't make sense as an aspect of substance entropy,
> > > even in an open system, the creation of local order and order-building
> > > teleology would have no function in a literally functionalist
> > > cosmos..
> >
> > Life is here, it makes sense.  Does it need to have some particular
> > function to exist?
> I agree, but literal functionalism would not.
> > >> Also are you saying you are a substance dualist?
> >
> > > No, I'm a sense monist (sense is by definition a relation of
> > > substance-
> > > like pattern and perception-like pattern recognition/detection).
> >
> > >>>> Do you not believe in the conservation of momentum?
> >
> > >>> I try not to believe anything, but I do assume the validity of every
> > >>> conventionally accepted law and principle of science. My view now
> > >>> only
> > >>> differs in that I have a different interpretation of the topology of
> > >>> electromagnetism, the consequences of which cascade into re-
> > >>> interpretations of cosmology, psychology, and philosophy.
> >
> > >> If your view is only a different interpretation rather than a
> > >> different theory then is computationalism an equally valid
> > >> interpretation?
> >
> > > Equally valid for what purpose? Is a flat map of the world turned
> > > 'upside down' equally as valid as a globe? It might be if you are
> > > traveling south and don't have room for a globe in your car. I think
> > > my view is the more complete TOE for general understanding, however to
> > > apply that understanding to My interpretation predicts
> > > computationalism, but I'm not sure that computationalism can recognize
> > > view at all.
> >
> > >>  Is the acceptance of your view vs. computationalism
> > >> only a matter of taste?
> >
> > > It's a matter of making more sense. If making more sense is a matter
> > > of taste, then sure.
> >
> > If your theory makes sense that sense has not been well communicated
> > to me.
> I can only communicate the sense it makes to me. I'm willing to answer
> any questions you have about it, but I don't think you're particularly
> interested in it unless it contains some kind of obvious error that
> will allow you confirm your prejudices against it.

I have pointed out errors to you already, so my goal now is to help you see
those errors rather than attempt to parse your theory which has not been
clearly explained.  10 people could look at the set of pictures you arranged
and come to 10 different conclusions about what you were trying to
communicate through them.

> > >>> PS - Someone mentioned "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" to
> > >>> me
> > >>> today. Are you familiar with agnosia?
> >
> > >> Yes.
> >
> > >>> Is that evidence that partial
> > >>> zombies conditions with absent actually exist? If not, why not?
> >
> > >> In this case the person is not able to identify objects correctly
> > >> so I
> > >> don't think it meets the normal definition of a zombie.
> >
> > > True. Although if they could identify objects correctly, then we would
> > > never know about the condition.
> >
> > Yeah that us why people don't believe in zombies.  There could be no
> > detectable difference.
> Not detectable from the outside, but I don't see any reasons why
> agnosia would only flow in the direction of subjective error. I hate
> HADD (Hyperactive Agency Detection Device) for explaining spirituality
> but it seems like a perfect fit for p-zombies. Not being able to
> detect a difference from the outside should be exactly what we'd
> expect of soft-minded primates who have evolved to expect a cheetah to
> jump out from every corner and every inanimate object.
> Craig
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