On Sep 14, 10:23 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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,

A Turing machine executed with groups of live hamsters would not
really be able to execute those information and patterns in the same
way. The materials have to be entirely controllable.

> 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).

It's circular reasoning to assume that just because physical phenomena
have certain characteristics in common that it means that all
phenomena share that characteristic. The computability of inorganic
matter is tautological. It's very inorganic material nature is
precisely the phenomenological layer that computation arises out of.
It doesn't apply as well to the psychology of a living organism.

> 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.

No piece of matter can represent anything on it's own. You need
perception to pattern it with a fictional or figurative
correspondence. What a universal system does is not fictional, it's
literal. That's at the other end of the spectrum. A copy machine just
duplicates a meaningless pattern, it doesn't read the document,
understand it, and create a new one based upon the logical
consequences of it's interpretations. It's just an assembly of
different equipment, some photographic, some mechanical, that serves a
purpose for us, but serves no purposes of it's own beyond eating
electricity and spitting out per-ordained magnetic consequences.



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