On Sep 6, 5:02 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 9/6/2011 1:30 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> >> Absent qualia, and vanishing
> >> sensations already occurs in many consciousness pathologies, in
> >> general due to brain troubles, like with Alzheimer.
> > Right, but the human sensations do not seem to spontaneously appear in
> > inorganic phenomena. There has never been a computer which suddenly
> > expressed fear of being turned off,
> Actually, computers that are controlling complex industrial processes do 
> issue warnings if
> you try to turn them off.  This is their expression of fear.  Just like your 
> PC asks "Are
> you sure" when you try to delete a file and it may even refuse to delete it 
> if it is a
> system file.

When I say 'suddenly expressed fear of being turned off', that mean
that the emotion of fear is expressed suddenly - as in, it arises as a
consequence of the emotion of fear in an unscripted, unanticipated
response such as whimpering, crying, shuddering, begging, etc. What
you describe has about the same level of expression as a trash bin in
a restaurant having the words 'THANK YOU' stamped on the lid. It's not
a symptom of a plastic lid's capacity for gratitude. These kinds of
arguments are empty sophistry to me - a truly tortured strawman of
consciousness and emotion.

> > nor has there been any sign that a
> > computer will ever evolve by itself into something that could behave
> > that way.
> Of course computers don't reproduce the way biological systems do.  But they 
> reproduce in
> a more complex way and they have been evolving very rapidly.  

Why do computers 'Of course' not reproduce the way biological systems
do, when every other point that you're making seems to be that I have
no grounds for suggesting that there could be any difference between a
biological and a non-biological system. If biological systems don't
reproduce like computers, why would computers feel like biological

>I think you mistakenly
> imagine that humans evolved "by themselves".  In fact they relied on the 
> prior evolution
> of complex plant and animal life to make their reproduction possible.
I think you mistakenly imagine that computers reproduce. In fact, they
rely on human beings to manufacture them. I get your point that we are
products of lesser evolutionary agents, and I agree that we may very
well be evolving our own replacement in the form of technology, but I
don't think that our current semiconductor computing technology will
ever be capable of feeling anything or evolving through arithmetic
processes into anything that can feel or experience as a living

> >> If the copy of the
> >> brain is to gross, the survivor might loss a lot. Now, a "prolife"
> >> surgeon might well give a very gross digital brain to someone, without
> >> its consent, by arguing that the life of his patient is sacred
> >> (instead of the more computationalist *quality* of life notion).
> >> Fading qualia does not apply here.
> >>> If Pinocchio
> >>> spontaneously opens his eyes one day as a fully realized human being,
> >>> that would have odd subjective problems (do they project a simulated
> >>> history in their memory or do they know that they came into existence
> >>> today but know everything about the world and their own lives?)
> >> UDA illustrates the comp answer to all such questions. The memory of
> >> the past is always a construction of the current brain. What counts
> >> are all the logico-arithmetical relations encoded in the locally
> >> genuine machinery.
> > So he would never know that he was just born.
> He could infer it from, for example, reading old newspapers.  How did you 
> learn you were
> born?  I doubt you remember it.

We experience a gradual building of cognition and memory over years of
infancy and childhood so that there is no reason to suspect that you
just appeared suddenly.By the time our cognitive tree bears fruit, so
to speak, we have deep unconscious and subconscious roots anchoring us
to the people and places of our lives. I don't think that we can
assume that developmental period can be truncated or transplanted.

> > I suppose there's
> > precedent for that kind of thing in hypnotic suggestion, etc. I think
> > that sense has a way of differentiating tangible experience from
> > memory or hallucination, even though our conscious cognitive version
> > of that can be compromised. I think there is a fundamental difference
> > between simulation and genuine experience, and that it is neither
> > rooted in arithmetic nor physics but in the connection between the
> > two.
> >>> or do
> >>> they gradually come online with morbid in-between states of tortured
> >>> semi-consciousness without means to express or relieve their
> >>> discomforts?
> >> That can happen with brain disease too. I guess the pioneer of
> >> immortality will not have an easy beginning in afterlife. This is not
> >> even for after tomorrow.
> > How do you know that the arithmetic doesn't have to be run from the
> > beginning (conception or birth) in real time? If you grew a perfect
> > adult clone, it would still be a newborn infant psychologically. The
> > fact that the adult psyche is not passed on from mother to child in
> > the womb makes me think that genuine experience is required to
> > generate significance of a certain qualitative character.
> >>>>> You would agree though that a ventriloquist does not transfer
> >>>>> the ability to feel, see, and understand to his dummy, I assume, so
> >>>>> doesn't that mean that the difference between a wooden dummy and a
> >>>>> machine capable of human feeling is just a matter of degree of
> >>>>> complexity.
> >>>> No. The dummy should behave the same in presence and absence of the
> >>>> ventriloquist. But even more, the "dummy" body should do the right
> >>>> computations.
> >>> To me, the computations are the ventriloquist. They are just a way for
> >>> the ventriloquist to save his act on disk, so that they can be
> >>> executed at a later time through the dummy.
> >> You confuse a particular program, with a universal one, having the
> >> same self-referential ability than you and me.
> I think that here Bruno is not following his own argument: We are not our 
> bodies.  We are
> computations that instantiate our selves as bodies.

If all bodies are computations, then what's the difference? If you say
we are not our bodies, you can only be saying that we are not our
computations, otherwise you admit that there is a difference after

> There is no reason that the
> vetriloquist cannot adopt the dummies body as well has his own and model 
> himself as both
> alternately.  I think ventriloquist often describe their dummy as "having a 
> mind of his own."

I think medical professionals would often describe such a
ventriloquist as "having a psychotic episode". There is a very clear
and common sense difference between a human being with their hand up
the back of a piece of painted lumber and a person embodying said
piece of lumber as an autonomous extension of their psyche through
force of will. The capacity for someone to communicate through
inanimate props, electronic media, language, art, etc does demonstrate
how different sensorimotive phenomena is from locally bound physical
phenomena in space, but the ability for one person to send information
to another has nothing to do with the possibility of making a person
out of information alone.


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