On Aug 29, 3:21 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> > 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.

Right. That's the same thing I'm saying. When you decide to move your
hand, that decision corresponds to neurotransmitters firing. It's the
same thing. Considered from the 1p subjective view it's psychology -
"I want to reach for that remote control" (because I want to watch
something on TV). Considered from 3p objective view it's neurology -
executive processing regions light up efferent neural pathways, etc.

This is voluntary movement so it is driven by the subject's reasoning
and not the nervous system's reasoning. If it were the nervous
system's reasoning, it would be involuntary. Your body needs to warm
itself up so your nervous system puts your muscles into a shivering
subroutine. There is an important difference between voluntary and
involuntary phenomena as far as the subject is concerned, but not any
inherently discernible difference when the self is viewed as an

>  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.

No, the semiconductor physics does not write software at all. That's
what I mean by driving software logic - producing the sense and motive
of the instructions being carried out. The semiconductors do not have
that capacity, they can only carry the instructions faster or slower.
It could of course write software if it was sentient enough to
understand even a tiny bit of the software logic, but it doesn't of
course, because software isn't a natural native product of silicon,
whereas the hardware and software of the conscious mind are different
aspects of the same thing. It's like mind and brain are heads and
tails of the same coin, but software and hardware are the heads of our
human coin on the back of a coin from another country entirely.

> > > >> 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?

It evolves into organisms who experience and express richer perception
- who make more sense. Are you saying that a giraffe is just a better
way for blue green algae to copy itself?

The origin of species through natural selection is a specific process
by which completely organisms and ecological niches radically and
plainly differentiate morphologically. Sweepers don't evolve at all,
they just become more efficient. Efficiency is not the driver of
evolution. It's not telological, it's a teleonomy. If a flood hits an
area and kills off everything but birds and fish, that in no way means
that fish are better at preserving copies of themselves in any kind of
general terms - they are just better in one chain of random situations
in that particular location.

> 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.

That is certainly a part of what organisms do, but that that isn't the
meaning of life or experience. Subjective experience and objective
calculation overlap but they also underlap. A lot of what we do is
because of our biology, but a lot of our biology has no purpose other
than to support our experience of being alive.

> > > > 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.

Why would the brain need a 'model' to make coherent it's own functions
to itself? It's perfectly capable of doing everything that it does
without any kind of perceptual presentation. We can sleepwalk, drunk
dial during a blackout, etc. Our brain seems to have no problem
performing the other metabolic functions of our body without
presenting some kind of modeled universe inside the kidneys or spleen.
Those are far more complicated than wandering around the savannah
avoiding wolves and looking for food. Smart sweepers can do that, and
they don't need millions of colors manufactured implausibly out of
thin air to do it.

> > 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.)

Sure, many agents. Maybe they aren't rigidly defined - more of a
rolling consensus of agency: consciousness = awareness of awareness.
Still filtering only makes sense if you are after a final filtered
content which is of use to something (s).

> I recommend checking out the BBC Brain 
> Story:http://mindhacks.com/2007/08/08/excellent-bbc-brain-story-series-avai...

Ok, I'll check it out.

> > 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
> inside.

I'm saying that's the way it already is -- the computer is dreaming
it's clock cycles in it's steel case. What it can't do is develop a
need for a monitor to assist in that in the way that we need our own
eyes and we need a monitor to access the computer.

> > > >>> 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.

Information is subjective, and has nothing to do with the reasons why
anthropology can't be run on silicon. A color movie cannot be seen in
color on a monochrome monitor. You can make the resolution as high as
you want but you still aren't going to get any color out of it.
Silicon is black and white. It cannot read or write human feelings and
experiences (color).

> > > > 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?

The opposite of bits..

> > 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.

In what way does information physically exists? Only if you a priori
define everything as physical in which case the term has no meaning.
To me, in order to be considered physical, it needs to be measurable
in terms like specific gravity, melting point, etc. I don't see how
information qualifies.

> There is even a minimal amount of energy that must
> be used to erase 1 bit of information.

There is a minimal amount of energy that must be used to do anything.
Information is just a category of cognitive experience, and experience
is energy.

>Even the amount of information
> required to describe the state of a black hole has a simple definition in 
> terms
> of bits.
> See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer's_principlehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bekenstein_boundhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(information_theory)

It's like saying that even human feelings can be assessed a minimum
dollar value. Such a theory might be useful for insurance actuaries,
but it's a catastrophic inversion as a way of understanding the

> > 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.

Exactly! Which is why physics isn't sufficient to explain awareness.

> > > > 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.

What does that have to do with the observation that no other life
forms evolved from non DNA?

>This means our brains came to be
> from a series of small steps between various generations of self-replicating
> machines.

That doesn't mean that self replication and mechanism is what
constitutes life. It's the vehicle of life.

>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?

No, I'm expecting that silicon dioxide and germanium would have paired
up with boron and manganese to form self-replicating machines through
the same small steps that happened for DNA.

> 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.

If information processing is so general, why doesn't the biology do
it? Why does it need to take this 'easiest step' to become

>  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).

That's why substance monism fails. It sees what can never live or
think or feel and thinks that it's more likely to result in awareness
than the concrete physical processes which we know in fact host all

> 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.

I consider promissory materialism religion of substance monism. What
makes a human brain is not computing power. It's the capacity to
experience rich perception and participate in the world. A billion
cockroaches do not equal one person.

> > > >> 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.

Of course life decreases entropy. It exports entropy exterior to it's
habitat, but it absolutely decreases entropy not only within it's own
body as it grows, develops, and reproduces (reproduction =
multiplication of orderly patterns) but also in the development of
it's social structures. A beehive is negentropic.

> > 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.

I've made it clear that I am only doing this for your benefit and for
others who might be interested. If you are waiting for me to realize
that your view on this holds some truth I have overlooked, then
unfortunately you've been wasting your time. What you're giving me is
by-the-book substance monism. I've heard those arguments hundreds of
times from dozens of people. There is nothing there for me at all.
What I'm arguing is a simple hypothesis which I have not seen anywhere
else, so I am interested in seeing if there is something *new* that
it's missing or contradicts it, but what you are giving me is not


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to