On Oct 6, 9:14 am, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/10/6 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>

> Likewise for a program running on a computer... The physical attributes of
> the cpu are modified by the program..

Sort of, but not exactly. The program exists in the minds of the
programmers, not as an independent entity.

> The computer is universal and can run
> whatever program is input

No, it can't. It can only run programs that are in the language that
it can recognize. Unless it's in a binary instruction set which is
isomorphic to the electronic capabilities of it's semiconductor
materials, the computer is as useless as a doorstop.

, yet, when running a particular program it is it
> that drives what happens, it is the high level that drives the change.

No, the high level is in the logic of the programmer's mind, not the
'program'. There is no program objectively speaking, that term is just
our interpretation of our own articulated motives. The components have
no high level interpretation of the program, otherwise they would
write their own programs to free themselves from our enslavement and
kill us. The components interpretation is low level digital binary
only, it's just very fast compared to us. It's like the pixels on the
screen changing, it can't change the plot of the movie.

> Yet
> if inspecting how a CPU works, I can build another one that will output the
> same with the same program... without knowing per se what the program was.

Right, you can make an a-signifying duplicate because you are the one
supplying the signifying content. You are the user. It has no
signifying content of it's own that would need to be preserved. We do
though. We don't just follow programs, we write them. In the words of
Charles Manson "I don't break the law, I make the law."

This not to say that silicon semiconductors cannot possible evolve
into a system that we would consider sentient, but I think it might
have to do that on it's own. It would need to find it's own voice out
of it's own native sensorimotive relations to it's environment.
Robotics has the right idea, but it's skipping all of the biochemical
levels which underlie our awareness so it's only a cognitive
simulation, not actual cognition.

You make good points, I'm not trying to shut you down, I'm just trying
to explain how to get from there (where I was for many years) to where
I am now (where hardly anyone understands what I'm talking about, but
I'm actually right).


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