On Sep 29, 3:21 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 28 Sep 2011, at 17:48, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Sep 28, 10:26 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> >> On 27 Sep 2011, at 22:35, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> >>> On Sep 27, 9:20 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Noooo. Millions of neurons fire simultaneously in separate regions
> >>> of
> >>> the brain. Your assumptions about chain reactions being the only way
> >>> that neurons fire is not correct. You owe the brain an apology.
> >> Digital machines can emulate parallelism.
> >> In all you answer to Stathis you elude the question by confusing
> >> levels of explanation.
> >> So either you postulate an infinitely low level (and thus infinities
> >> in the brain), or you are introducing the magic mentioned by Stathis.
> > Yes, this is just a tangent, I'm trying to show that the model of the
> > brain as a chain reaction is factually incorrect. I agree, parallelism
> > says nothing about whether it's computational or not, it's just that
> > Stathis is trying to actually claim that psychological processes
> > cannot drive lower level neurology.
> In a sense I can follow you. If I feel in pain I can take a drug, and
> in this case a high level psychological process can change a lower
> level neuro process. But I am sure Stathis agree with this. That whole
> cycle can still be driven by still lower computable laws. A universal
> machine can emulate another self-transforming universal machine.
> That's the point.
I would still say that at some point 'I' participates directly and non-
deterministically in the process. Even if only to arbitrate between
many conflicting subordinate senses and motives, all of which I
suspect have more deterministic but still 'not-as-deterministic-as'
processes such as those within inorganic molecules or atoms. The I
herself may not be completely non-computational and indeterministic,
but that doesn't mean that she has no control of her thoughts,
opinions, and actions either.
What my hypothesis offers though, is to make concrete the abstraction
of 'lower computable laws' so that they are not metaphysical, but
intraphysical. They are actual sensorimotive experiences localized in
and through matter. Like the laws we follow as citizens, we are
compelled to do so by the senses of social identification and motives
of avoiding negative consequences. It's a subjective experience which
can be abstracted into a formula with reasonable success, but the
experience is not the same thing as the formula, the map is not the
If we recognize that the example of how we as individuals follow
'laws', not because those laws are metaphysical programs which are
deterministically executed on unwitting helpless voyeurs, but because
the customs, practices, and expectations of our niche are
recapitulated locally in the individual as sensorimotive dynamics. The
actual literal process by which laws and customs are upheld is not
though explicit codes, it's because we don't like the feeling of going
against our conditioning. It makes us nervous and ashamed; fearful,
I'm not saying that atoms bond together because they are lonely or the
Krebs cycle propagates because citric acid was raised to believe that
it has a job to do, but that in each case there is likely a
corresponding nano-sensorimotive experience going on. When you realize
that the senses and motives which have grown great enough to catch the
attention of the 'I', that they are trillions of times more saturated
and nuanced than those sensorimotives arising from the individual
cells and molecules, we can see that the proto-experience of an
individual neuron-eukaryote need not be anthropomorphized to a large
It can be calculated as a history of action potentials, but that
doesn't explain what the action potentials actually are. They are semi-
voluntary (some more voluntary than others) participatory spasms. We
are used to imagining these impulses like electric sparks or flashes
of light inside the brain, but they only look like sparks when viewed
through a device which records them that way. To the naked eye you
won't see any sparks, and to the subject whose brain it is, there are
only thoughts, images, and feelings.
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