On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:14 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Sep 14, 1:33 am, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> >
> > Your presumption is that the scripted computation would not instantiate
> feeling.  If the
> > scripted computation include input from the world and action in the world
> (which is what I
> > think you call "sensor" and "motive") then it would instantiate feeling.
>  What is
> > radically overconfident is your assumption that feeling can only be
> instantiated by
> > organic compounds, neurons, brains or some other human component (you're
> never really
> > clear about which).
> >
> No, I just don't think that it wouldn't instantiate human feeling, and
> that there is a difference in what a human being is capable of feeling
> and what a silicon chip is likely to be able to feel. There is
> definitely sensor and motive phenomena in the semiconductor, but it is
> in no way isomorphic to our projections about the logic of the script.
> I don't  presume that my TV set watches TV with me just because it is
> receiving the same electronic pattern as me.
> It's not that there is some special component that makes something
> human, just as there is no one special ingredient that makes the Taj
> Mahal different from  a pile of bricks. I'm just pointing out that if
> you can't necessarily expect to build something on a monumental scale
> like that out of sticks of butter. Substance matters in some cases,
> and we have no idea what those cases are for human consciousness.
What we've learned through computer sciences is that representations of
patterns and information, and the systems which process or interpret those
information and patterns can be done with a wide array of materials, and
despite this, the capability to represent and interpret such patterns is
identical.  No such system can interpret or process such patterns in any way
that a different system would be unable to (once the system meets a few very
basic conditions).

I agree.  it is surprise just how easy this universal capability is to come
by, but it is well-established.  And unless someone finds something that one
piece of matter can do to represent or process patterns in a way that is not
within the repertoire of these universal systems, it is risky to hypothesize
special capabilities which no other universal system can duplicate, since
none have thus far been discovered.


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