On Sep 2, 1:53 am, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 9/1/2011 8:02 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Sep 1, 7:52 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
> >> On 9/1/2011 3:45 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> >>>> without reference to a soul, then your analogy is wrong - it is not like 
> >>>> a
> >>>> shadow.  If it is like a shadow then it's behavior must differ from that 
> >>>> predicted by
> >>>> physics and chemistry and in spite of your denials are you assuming a 
> >>>> violation of know
> >>>> physics by an immaterial mind or soul.
> >>> Physics and chemistry have no predictions about the brain's behavior.
> >> Sure they do.  Cool it off and it stops working.  Stimulate a neuron and 
> >> ion channels open
> >> on it's axon and a electro-chemical pulse is transmitted.  Add a 
> >> cholinesterase inhibitor
> >> and the synapse stops working - or the whole brain if you add very much.
> > Those aren't predictions, they're observations. We would have no way
> > of knowing that should be axons or ion channels based upon properties
> > of molecules alone. The whole idea of a neuron or a cell is outside of
> > the scope of what could be anticipated by mathematical chemical
> > interactions alone.
> >>> There is no physical law which makes human brains an inevitable
> >>> consequence of organic chemistry.
> >> No, but they are probable consequence of evolution.
> > There isn't really a such thing as a probable consequence of
> > 'evolution' in general. Evolution is a reverse engineering analysis of
> > heredity. Organisms in specific evolutionary niches being selected for
> > their fitness relative to their niche. A human brain is not a probable
> > consequence of anything, it's not even a possible consequence of
> > anything other than the precise historical events which lead to it's
> > development. It's not as if human brains will just pop up if you don't
> > vacuum the floor often enough.
> >>> We can only look at what has evolved
> >>> biologically and understand what it is in physical-chemical terms, but
> >>> those terms by no means explain what the brain is for.
> >> Sure they do.  A brain is a bunch of interacting neurons.  You can trace 
> >> it's evolutionary
> >> development just like you can trace the development of legs or wings or 
> >> hearts or
> >> kidneys.  Do you pretend we don't know what those organs are for?
> > Those organs are for the life of the organism as a whole. They cannot
> > be explained in non-biological terms of groups of atoms and molecules,
> > any more than a movie can be understood in terms of video compression
> > algorithms.
> >>> What you are telling me is that either color television is magic or it
> >>> has to show up on a black and white TV. I reject that false dichotomy.
> >>> Physics and chemistry alone are not sufficient to understand the
> >>> relation between the self and the brain. Any presumption that they
> >>> could be represents a fanatical reductionism propped up by circular
> >>> reasoning.
> >> Maybe, maybe not.  It's not a presumption; it's a working hypothesis that 
> >> physics and
> >> chemistry are sufficient to explain the physical and chemical processes of 
> >> the brain.
> >> That no soul or spirit is needed to provide libertarian free will.  Maybe 
> >> that's not true
> >> - but to simply assert it's not true, as you do, seems more like 
> >> fanaticism to me.
> > So what physical or chemical process specifically causes libertarian
> > free will? Can it make a fire hydrant have free will? What is the
> > minimum criteria to instantiate this physical process?
> > I'm not just asserting that it's not true, I'm explaining over and
> > over why it's not true and giving straightforward analogies to help
> > make the point.
> >>>>> The problem is that the shadow is not what is determining the motion.
> >>>>> It's the palm tree in it's environment of wind, rain, birds, etc. Same
> >>>>> thing with the brain, although it's bi-directional. We are influenced
> >>>>> by our brain and vice versa, so we are each other's shadow side. Our
> >>>>> feelings and experiences alone determine how our brain will behave in
> >>>>> part, and that's the part that cannot be emulated by computation
> >>>>> without being able to live our life from our subjective point of view.
> >>>>> The other functions that the brain is doing could maybe be deduced
> >>>>> from the status of the rest of the body and emulated with greater
> >>>>> success, but that too may be a naive reduction of the brain's
> >>>>> relationship with the body.
> >>>>> That's not to say you can't make a recording of the brain activity of
> >>>>> someone and have some success playing it back on another - just as a
> >>>>> computer playing an mp3 of a Mozart symphony doesn't need to know how
> >>>>> to emulate the activity of a philharmonic orchestra, but they are two
> >>>>> very different things. The computer is not it's own user. The brain
> >>>>> is.
> >>>>>>> You're not answering my questions though.
> >>>>>>> I know we have different feelings about different things, I'm asking
> >>>>>>> you why anything has any feelings at all, and is a feeling a physical
> >>>>>>> thing or not?
> >>>>>> There are different ways of answering a "why?" question.  In this 
> >>>>>> case, one answer is that
> >>>>>> feeling is a physiological response to the environment.  We have such 
> >>>>>> responses because
> >>>>>> they are, or were, advantageous in survival and reproduction and hence 
> >>>>>> selected in the
> >>>>>> evolutionary process.  This explains why we have lots of tacticle 
> >>>>>> sensors on our surface,
> >>>>>> where we can react to things, and not so many in our digestive tract 
> >>>>>> where our responses
> >>>>>> are limited.  Feelings are physical, but they are not things (i.e. 
> >>>>>> objects) they are
> >>>>>> changes in things, e.g. hormones released into the blood stream.
> >>>>> That doesn't explain anything.
> >> It explained why we have lots of feeling on the outside as compared to the 
> >> inside.  What
> >> does your soul-theory have to say about it - skin cells have more 
> >> sensiormotive
> >> topological morphology?
> > I have no soul-theory. My hypothesis posits a primitive sensorimotive
> > topology to physics with specific characteristics.
> > We don't feel anything outside of our body directly, we feel our body
> > tissues feelings through our nervous system's feelings, of which we
> > are a part. We are the feelings of our nervous system. All of our
> > feeling and sensation is on the inside of our nervous system, but the
> > nature of sensation is such that what is doing the sensing imitates
> > that which is being sensed.
> > We have tactile feelings which correspond to our skin receptors,
> > visual feelings which correspond to our retina, aural feelings from
> > our inner ear, etc. We have lots of other senses as well, kinesthetic,
> > vestibular, olfactory, gustatory, but also cognitive sense, emotional
> > sense, moral sense, common sense, social senses, etc etc. It's all
> > different kinds of pattern recognition drawing on different
> > extractions of sensorimotive experience.
> >>>>> Again, our stomach digests things, our
> >>>>> immune system handles much more complex and important tasks related to
> >>>>> our survival and reproduction without our feeling anything.
> >> You switch back and forth.
> > No, I don't but it's completely understandable that most people are
> > going to think that I am, because it's a new concept entirely.
> >> On the one hand you assert that brain cells feel things
> >> because it's inherent in biological cells.  Now you assert cells of the 
> >> immune system
> >> don't feel anything. How do you know they don't?  How do you know the 
> >> brain cells do?
> >> It's magic.
> > Whenever you mention magic, then I know you aren't understanding what
> > I mean. I don't mind the accusation (because it's exactly the kind of
> > sentimental and unscientific objection that my model predicts from
> > substance monism), but it tells me that I might not be communicating
> > the idea well. I intentionally avoid controversial areas of
> > consciousness - near death experiences, psychic awareness, ESP, etc,
> > because they are not necessary to my hypothesis. I only deal with
> > ordinary human experience reproducible under typical conditions of
> > human life.
> > The concept is:
> > Yes - brain cells feel things because it's inherent in biological
> > cells.
> > Cells that are not part of the brain feel things too, but we don't
> > feel them because we aren't the feelings of those cells, we are the
> > feelings of the cells of certain regions of our brain.
> So we are the feelings of the cells.  Are we also the thoughts of the cells?  
> The values
> of the cells?  The thoughts of the cells?

Just as the body is the body of cells, our sense is the sense of cells
- but just as our body is part of the Earth/solar system, our sense is
part of the sense of the Earth/solar system. It's a holarchy. Each
level is interdependent but none are redundant. Our thoughts are our
own but they arise out of the aggregate sense of cells (and planets,
stars, civilizations, species).

> > The complicated
> > part is that nervous system cells are specially engineered to de-
> > emphasize their own sense so that it is translucent to the sense of
> > the body and of the outside world through the sense organs of the
> > body.
> But those sense organs are cells too.  What is this "sense of the body" that 
> is different
> from the sense of the cells?

They are cells, but to us they are organs. On our scale 'we' don't
interact directly with them as cells or molecules, we interact
*through* them as aspects of ourselves. The cells of the nervous
system work by imitating the sense of something like the tissue of
your fingertip in real time. We impersonate our body. The individual
neuron doesn't have a sense of the entire body, it just allows the
sense of other cells to be conducted through the network.

> > Just like a computer is like a giant silicon molecule, the
> > nervous system exploits the electrolytic aspects of biology to make
> > the equivalent of a giant cell process of the entire organism.
> > So yes, it is tricky, but it would be tricky to describe a system that
> > you are in fact part of. You can't treat it like a voyeur studying it
> > in an anatomy class. Our cells have private experiences, but our
> > nervous system's private experiences (our lives) are only based upon
> > amplifications of some kinds of feelings of some groups of cells.
> Right; the ones that correspond to computations of actions and memories.

Yeah, computation is part of it, but the actions and memories have to
be experienced first hand in order to be worth computing. Actions and
memories are only one category of sensorimotive phenomena. Ideas,
desires, songs, plans, etc. All of our experiences pass through
particular regions of the nervous system, and some regions are not
associated with our conscious experience (but probably have their own
experiences on the somatic or cellular level at least).

> > We
> > feel our tongue, we taste what our taste buds taste, but we don't feel
> > or taste our kidneys. Our kidneys do though. Not in our nervous
> > system's qualia of flavors and tactile sensation probably, but in very
> > precise physiological-biochemical qualia.
> But you've given no reason for why we taste but we don't feel the feelings of 
> our
> kidneys.  I have given an explanation in terms of the evolutionary 
> functionality.  We can
> decide to spit out something that tastes bad.  We don't have that kind of 
> control over out
> kidneys so there's no advantage in evolving feelings of kidney function.

The kidneys have the same kind of control in that they chose what to
retain in the bloodstream and what to allow to pass through. That may
very well be associated with some kind of taste qualia, and the
decision to spit it out is associated with excreting it as urine. The
reason that we don't feel our kidneys is that kidneys aren't part of
the nervous system. We are like the nucleus of a giant cell with our
body as the organelles in the cytoplasm. The kidneys are doing their
own somatic thing which has evolved out of the needs of this
particular kind of organism in this particular environment.

Our role is different in that we are an organ whose primary purpose is
evolved to be more and more semantic for it's own purposes; which are
also evolutionary but memetic also rather than purely genetic. We need
the body as a vehicle, but it doesn't further our personal
evolutionary purposes, just as the body needs a rudimentary version of
us to obtain food, shelter, and sex but our personalities and thoughts
are not there to further it's selection viability.
> >> Or it's easily explained by as a result of evolving a self-image to do the 
> >> feeling that's
> >> relevant to action.
> > Self-image? Is that another metaphysical abstraction that somehow
> > lives inside of particle physics and chemistry?
> It's an abstraction of a human brain - but not of all brains.

Right - not an abstraction that can be described through field
equations of physics or chemical formulas, but one that must be
understood in it's own terms on the scale of a brain/nervous system/
body/society as a whole. Self image doesn't make sense if there's no
other people around. I suppose Adam could put 2 and 2 together looking
at his reflection in the Euphrates or whatever but still, the concept
of self image that we generally mean is a social construct.

> >>>>> There is
> >>>>> no mechanical advantage, nor is there *any* possibility that feeling
> >>>>> can arise from physical evolution. As you say, they are not objects,
> >>>>> so they cannot evolve. 'Changes' in hormones in a blood stream don't
> >>>>> just decide that they are a 'feeling'. There is no 'they'. A change
> >>>>> isn't a thing that feels. It's only the cells themselves, or the
> >>>>> tissues they make up that could possibly feel these changes. The
> >>>>> appeal to 'changes' and 'responses' as sense agents is metaphysical.
> >>>> The need for agents to sense feelings is metaphysical - it is 
> >>>> spiritualism.
> >>> And the idea of feelings without an agent to feel them is somehow less
> >>> metaphysical? That's funny. Or, I guess I should say - there is
> >>> funnyness...somewhere. Or nowhere? Anywhere?
> >> You're making stuff up again.  I didn't say materialism was not 
> >> metaphysics - it is.  But
> >> so is your theory.
> > If you admit it's metaphysics than I don't have a problem with it.
> > Then it is truly a matter of taste. The only difference then is that I
> > see my metaphysics as a direct antipode to physics in a precisely
> > comprehensible symmetry, while you are okay with a more ad hoc
> > metaphysics of information and models, connections, forces, etc. I'm
> > cool with that, I'm just presenting another way to tie it all together
> > so it makes sense as a whole without any loose ends.
> >>>>>> But you are presumably asking about feelings as emotions: thoughts of 
> >>>>>> joy or sadness or
> >>>>>> satisfaction or anxiety.
> >>>>> No, you had it right before. I'm asking about sensation and the
> >>>>> interpretation of sensation (which I call feeling). Interpretations of
> >>>>> what I call feelings are what I would call emotions, and the
> >>>>> interpretation of emotions are what I call thoughts.
> >>>>>> These are the same physiological changes sensed at the level of
> >>>>>> consciousness in humans and put into an inner narrative.  Evidence for 
> >>>>>> this is the fact
> >>>>>> that various drugs can produce these feelings independent of other 
> >>>>>> changes in the environment.
> >>>>> There is a physiological side of emotion and an experiential side,
> >>>>> just like everything else. You can manipulate emotions
> >>>>> physiologically, and you can manipulate physiology emotionally. It's
> >>>>> bi-directional: bottom up AND top down.
> >>>> Really?  Can you will yourself to be sad, happy, satisfied?  I don't 
> >>>> think so.
> >>> Of course you can. If you imagine something terrible happening to
> >>> someone you care about, you will yourself to be sad. Some people do it
> >>> for a living, they are called actors. Sorry to be snide, I don't mean
> >>> it to you personally, I'm just responding to the lameness of substance
> >>> monism.
> >> But that's not just willing.  That's recalling or imagining some 
> >> interaction with your
> >> environment.  Drugs can make you happy or sad without any reference to the 
> >> environment.
> > But recalling or imagining environmental references can make you happy
> > or sad without any drugs. It's symmetrical (non) supervenience.
> But neither one is simply willing yourself to be happy or sad.

You're thinking of willing as some kind of cognitive act. It's not.
When you move your arm, you don't will your arm to move, you just move
it. When you make yourself sad, you move your limbic system. It's the
same principle, it just feels different because muscle tissue is a
very different kind of thing from nerve tissue. Muscles move your body
around space and these parts of your brain change your feeling through
time. Voluntary muscles supervene on our control, but the limbic
system will influence us more than we control it by default. We have
to do it indirectly through the cognitive and imaginative functions of
the cortex - which is what you are picking up on, it's like trying to
tickle yourself, it's not the same as the real thing, but it's also
not completely involuntary. Like breathing - it's semi involuntary.

> >>>>>> What are the implications of this for the robot/android whose 
> >>>>>> artificial neural network
> >>>>>> brain produces human like behavior?  Well it's obvious that a silicon 
> >>>>>> based brain won't
> >>>>>> respond to LSD or oxycontin like a human one.  And similarly the 
> >>>>>> silicon brain will
> >>>>>> respond to an EMP that an real brain won't even notice.
> >>>>> Right, which is why we know from the start that a silicon brain can
> >>>>> never emulate ALL of the behaviors of a natural brain.
> >>>>>> The question then is whether this
> >>>>>> shows the artificial and human brains instantiate different qualia 
> >>>>>> even when their
> >>>>>> behavior is the same or only when there are these different responses 
> >>>>>> to the environment.
> >>>>> It's not that the inability to respond in the same way as a natural
> >>>>> brain equals different qualia, but it certainly should be an indicator
> >>>>> that it very well could, especially if we think that qualia is related
> >>>>> to electrochemical processes. Mainly we have no reason to imagine that
> >>>>> a silicon brain has any other qualia beyond that inherent in it's
> >>>>> physical manufacture and operation.
> >>>> We have an excellent reason to imagine that.  Namely the same reason we 
> >>>> imagine other do;
> >>>> as we did for millenia without knowing what was inside of them (or 
> >>>> ourselves).
> >>> We imagine others do because they are walking around in the same
> >>> bodies we are.
> >> But they are not all the same.  Do you think dogs have qualia?  
> >> Chimpanzees?  Irishmen?
> > Sure, everything has qualia. They probably overlap and underlap:
> > A=dogs, B= chimpanzees, C=chimpanzees who have been abused, etc.
> Then what determines what qualia they have.  The neurons in the brains of 
> dogs and humans
> are almost identical.  

Right! Which is why the experience of the organism as a whole can't be
predicted from neurons alone.

So must it not be the number and the way they are organized that
> accounts for the difference?

The difference is reflected minimally in the different organization
and size, but the interior experiential differences are much more
significant subjectively.  I think that means that you have to turn
the relationship around, put the horse before the cart so that the
neuron is like a TV set but it's the brain as a whole that tunes into
different programs for dogs than humans. A dog's hardware is more
streamlined for different software than ours. We've got the deluxe
hardware so we can run more kinds of dog programs than they can run

> >http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lozwzd3q7U1qzxfy9o1_500.png
> >>> We can have sex with them and make babies. What does a
> >>> baby silicon brain look like? Not as cute probably.
> >> Not as cute as what?  Have you seen a babies brain?  How do you know 
> >> babies don't have
> >> silicon brains?
> > I'm comparing a silicon brain to a baby, not to a baby's brain (since
> > a computer has no other body than it's silicon hardware). How do I
> > know babies don't have silicon brains? Um, I guess because we would
> > have heard that neurologists had noted that when they do surgery on
> > babies they find computers in there instead of brains.
> That would only apply to baby's whose brains have been operated on - the 
> subset who's
> brains were not working right.  So your belief that normal babies don't have 
> silicon
> brains is based on their behavior.

No, it's based on common sense apprehension not having any reason to
believe babies brains are any different from any other human brains,
and having no reason to think they would be made of silicon any more
than rubber bands or pretzels.

> >>>>> It doesn't learn to feel like a
> >>>>> person, just as your computer doesn't learn how to see you through the
> >>>>> monitor. It's not alive. It has as much qualia as a shoe.
> >>>> Unsupported and unreasoned assertions.  Dogma of spiritualism.
> >>> So you think that your computer is looking at you through the monitor
> >>> and will learn to recognize your face eventually? Somehow my pointing
> >>> out the absurdity of that is spiritualism??
> >> My computer can see me through a camera and it recognizes my face as a 
> >> security measure.
> > No, your computer can't see anything.
> Sure it can.  It collects photons, forms an image, interprets it and acts on 
> it.  That's
> what we call "seeing".

The camera responds to photons electronically. The computer computes
those electronic switching patterns. It has no image. It interprets
only semiconductor status conditions which we model as digital
quantitative patterns. The microprocessor has no idea what a camera is
or light or the outside world. It sees nothing and understands

> > It wouldn't know the difference
> > between your face and a flash drive with the right software plugged
> > into the usb where the camera is supposed to be.
> And you wouldn't know the difference between me posting this and a chatbot 
> posting it.

Even if that were true (which it really isn't) that doesn't mean that
the chatbot is a plausible equivalent of you. A computer detecting the
electronic status of a CCD is not a plausible equivalent of human

> Brent
>      "The most environmentally friendly diet is cannibalism."
>     --- George Tucker

Heh. Humans. Can't live with em, can't dehydrate em in a foil pouch.



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