On Sep 18, 11:55 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 18 Sep 2011, at 06:13, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>
>
>
> > Accounting is not explaining. Which actually sums up my entire
> > position on this endless thread. Consciousness explains and counts.
> > Computers only count. Come up with an algorithm for explanation, and
> > put it into an electronic explainer, and we will have true AGI.
>
> Computers can do much more than counting. Actual computer can compare,  
> explore, refer to themselves in the 3p- way, refer to themselves in  
> the 1p way and account of that difference between 1p and 3p.

I include comparison as a function of counting. You can't really have
one without the other. As for exploring and referring to themselves I
think that's just projection of our own 1p experience onto mechanism.
To set a function equal to another is not to say that either function
or the 'equality' knows what they refer to or that they refer at all.
A program only instructs - If X then Y, but there is nothing to
suggest that it understands what X or Y is or the relation between
them. I've named several examples which illustrate this: Record and CD
players don't learn music. I can see and copy Chinese characters
without understanding them in any way, and regardless of how many
Chinese manuscripts I manually transcribe, I will never learn to read
Chinese. As you say, we can use computation to account for the
difference between 1p and 3p but that accounting is not an explanation
or experience of 1p or 3p (as a 1p reflection...there is no 3-p
experience).

>They can  
> believe, know, observe, feel, and be aware of the difference between  
> sharable and non sharable knowledge, and all this can be show, from  
> numbers + reasonable axiomatic definition of all those terms.

To say that it can be shown doesn't help anyone. To paraphrase Yoda,
"Show me, or do not". Give me one example, one common sense metaphor,
one graphed function that could suggest to me that there is any
belief, feeling, or awareness.going on. I have described how we
project emotion into images on a movie screen or see a face in a
coconut, so it is not enough that we satisfy our idea of what feeling
or awareness usually looks like. We need to know why, if numbers feel,
it seems like machines don't feel.

> In that paragraph you are showing that you seem to persist in  
> displaying  the reductionist pre-Gödel-Turing conception of what  
> machines are and can be.

Not at all. I think that I may understand more than you assume. I
agree that 'machine' can be a spiritual term. A self-redefining
process which grows and and evolves - but that's only part of what
life and consciousness is. The form (or one form) but not the content.
It's like electricity without a ground (this kind of ground:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_%28electricity%29). If it's not
anchored in the common reference of literal material in the literal
universe - with the unique instantiation coordinates drawn from
relation to the singularity, then it's a phantom imposter. A 3-p
accounting system imposed upon a compliant-but-dumb 1-p of a
semiconductor (or collection of inanimate objects, etc).

That's why zombies, prosthetics, blow up dolls, body snatchers, wax
museums, taxidermy etc have the same creepy association. We sense the
emptiness, and the cognitive dissonance that arises in contrast to the
uncanny resemblance to the genuine living creature and the hollow form
only highlights the absence of life and awareness. Science Fiction is
replete with these metaphorical illustrations: Frankenstein, HAL,
Westworld, War of The Worlds,...so many examples of sinister
attributions to both the undead and unlive. It would seem unlikely
that these kinds of ideas could strike a chord were there not any
significant difference between a person and a machine beyond just a
prejudice of one relative level of complexity to another.

I think that you are jumping to the conclusion that simulation does
not require an interpreter which is anchored in matter. I'm not taking
a reductionist view of mechanism, even though in this discussion I
have to dwell on the most literal aspects of mechanism to make my
point that it is fundamentally incomplete to express consciousness.
That is the only way to illustrate the difference - with reductio ad
absurdum; to get to the essence of what mechanism, counting, and
computation is and how it is diametrically opposite of what free will,
perception, and experience is. Computation has no 1-p experience of
it's own. It is the 3-p relation-reflection between private 1-p non-
comp monads. It is the essence of existence, not the existence of
essence.

Craig

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