On Oct 18, 12:19 am, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 10/17/2011 7:45 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>
> > On Oct 17, 9:06 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
>
> >>> Since we know absolutely that we have experiences which cannot be
> >>> observed directly in the tissue of the brain,
> >> We don't know that.  We only know that we don't have the resolution and 
> >> instruments to
> >> observe them directly...yet.
> > Do you think we will be able to find miniature versions of every
> > episode of the Flintstones that I've ever seen inside my neurons? It's
> > not possible. What would they be made of? Atoms?
>
> We could find everything you can remember about the Flintstones (much of 
> which would be
> confabulation) encoded in the interconnection of your neurons.

Not without knowing what we were looking for in the first place.
You're not getting it. If we know the code of the neurons, we may be
able to make a picture of Fred Flintstone on a real monitor out of
real pixels, but that is not possible inside of the tissue of the
brain. That would entail a Cartesian theater. There are no qualia
inside of our brain, so the idea of anything being 'encoded' in the
interconnection of neurons presupposes that there is something
decoding them somewhere, but you have no explanation for where that
is. You can't stop taking perception for granted.

You are simultaneously insisting that qualia are encoded
neurologically and that there is also no decoding going on anywhere -
no Cartesian theater. It's definitely tricky to understand, but until
you do, you are going to overlook what is obvious to me. Fred
Flintstone is not inside my neurons. Fred Flinstone is imagined
through my neurons, but it is not an interconnection of neurons any
more than 4Chan is an interconnection of routers.

>
>
>
> > I think that you are thinking of how we are able to now reverse
> > engineer some of the visual patterns by recording the measured
> > activities of the visual cortex and convert them into images we could
> > see on a screen. That, while awesome and amazing, has nothing to do
> > with observing experiences in the tissue of the brain. Because we are
> > only mapping what we know correlates to experience that we already
> > have subjectively. Without that Rosetta Stone, we would not be tempted
> > to think that these physiological patterns correlate to anything other
> > than what they are. There is no homunculus watching TV in a Cartesian
> > theater. We know that already with absolute certainty. We don't need
> > to wait until a new kind of microscope is invented.
>
> No one on this list has ever suggested that (except you).

If we do not account for the decoding of neurology into subjective
experience, then we are either denying subjective experience or
positing a Cartesian homunculus. My idea resolves that. Neurology is
not encoded into some kind of magical metaphysical 'representation',
but rather subjectivity and neurology are just two opposite ends of
the same underlying phenomenon. Neither is an epiphenomenon of the
other, as neither 'heads' or 'tails' are the 'correct' side of the
coin. As long as we consider 'heads' nothing but encoded
interconnections of 'tails' we will continue to chase our own tail,
wandering in circles looking for a way to disprove our own existence
or find the philiosopher's stone that turns brain juice into Yabba
Dabba Doo. It's never going to happen.

>
>
> >>> there is no sense in
> >>> imagining that replicating what we observe in the brain will not be
> >>> missing crucial capacities which we can't anticipate. Even replacing
> >>> simpler organs with actual human organs have a risk of rejection. Why
> >>> would the brain, which is presumably infinitely more sensitive
> >> But it is quiet insensitive in some respects, e.g. to touch, to light, to 
> >> EM fields,...
> > Sure, they are highly specialized to be sensitive to interior
> > sensorimotive experiences of the entire organism. It would make sense
> > that they would rely on the rest of the body to take care of their
> > physical maintenance and protection.
>
> >>> than a
> >>> kidney, have no problem with a completely theoretical and unrealizably
> >>> futuristic artificial device?
> >> Because the brain is sensitive to afferent nerve impulses and it is 
> >> relatively plastic.
> >> That's why people can learn to see via signals from nerves on their back 
> >> and blind people
> >> "envision" their surroundings by ear.  Read this all the way through:
> > Neuroplasticity is part of the reason why artificial appliances aren't
> > likely to replace the brain to a significant degree. Semiconductors
> > have very little chance of developing plasticity. Every condition
> > needs to be anticipated and programmed for in advance.
>
> Not at all.  Artificial neural nets can exhibit plasticity, just as natural 
> ones do.

They can only exhibit the plasticity within the range which we
anticipate and program for. They do not spontaneously alter their
physical structure and programming to suit their own purposes. You
will know when that has changed when an artificial neural net begins
killing people.

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > If you are
> > talking about prosthetics, that's a different story. I'm very
> > optimistic that we will have useful appliances to augment or repair
> > neurological organs - as long as the ratio to healthy tissue is
> > sufficient. Again - a cane is a lot better than no cane for someone
> > who needs it, but we should not confuse a cane with a replacement for
> > an arm.
>
> >>http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.09/vision.html
>
> >> In any case it is (for now) merely a thought experiment.
>
> > Cool, yeah. Things like this are partly why I think that subjective
> > experience has to do with 'pulling wholes through holes', jumps to
> > conclusions, fills in the gaps. This is what fiction is. A leap of
> > suspended disbelief to get you from where you are to somewhere else.
> > It's true cognitively as it is perceptively, sensationally,
> > emotionally, etc. That's what sensorimotive phenomena is based on, and
> > that is also what electromagnetism is.
>
> > You (and most everyone else too) probably think of a magnet generating
> > a 'magnetic field' in space which picks up a piece of iron and moves
> > it around, but I think of a magnet as just a piece of metal which is
> > able to inspire similar pieces of metal to pick themselves up - or
> > more accurately, to flip it's motive orientation from the mass and
> > density of the Earth to the atomic affinity of the similar metal. This
> > affinity is a kind of sense experience - a feeling of physical
> > coherence which is amplified in an orderly, wavelike pattern the
> > closer the two objects are drawn together. There is no actual field.
> > The iron feels the magnet and moves toward it. It sounds insane, I
> > know, but I'm pretty sure that it's true.
>
> It sounds exactly like Aristotle.

I wouldn't know.

Craig

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