On Dec 28, 12:03 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> "A simulated flame will do anything your simulation proscribes. That's
> > why it's not real."
> A simulated flame will do things that you can not predict and will surprise
> you even if you are the one who wrote the simulation program.

So will hallucinations, dreams, and delusions surprise you. That
doesn't make them real.

> Even in a
> universe where quantum mechanics did not exist and everything was 100%
> deterministic very often we wouldn't know what we are going to do next
> until we actually did it; nor could an outside observer predict our
> actions. And this quality of unpredictability is not limited to human
> beings, machines have it too. Machines can surprise both themselves and
> outside observers even in a fundamentally deterministic world.

I think that view anthropomorphizes machines and mechanemorphizes
consciousness. Machines aren't surprised by anything because they
aren't expecting anything. It is us who project our expectation on the
machine. In a 100% deterministic universe there would be no purpose in
our caring whether or not we knew what we were going to do next. What
difference would it make? We would always just be doing what we are
determined to do.

> It would only take you about 5 minutes to write a program to look for the
> first even number greater than 2 that is not the sum of two prime numbers
> and then stop. Will the machine ever stop? The machine doesn't know, I
> don't know, you don't know, nobody knows. Maybe it will stop in 5 seconds,
> maybe it will stop in 5 billion years, maybe it will never stop. If you
> want to know what the machine will do you just have to watch it and see.
> The same is true for a simulation and the same is true for us, we often
> don't know what we are going to do next until we actually do it.

The machine isn't looking for anything or knowing anything. It doesn't
even exist as an entity except as a fictional character in our
experience. The literal reality of the machine begins and ends with
it's physical enactment - whether it's neurological, electronic
semiconductor, steam engine and gears, etc. What these things know and
expect are presumably much different than our projection of our own
knowledge and expectation on them. They are just puppets to us. There
is no simulation in the machine, it is in our sense and motive. It is
only a simulation for the intended audience and nothing else.

> >  "A picture of an apple is not an apple. Even a fancy animated picture."
>  A picture of an apple IS an apple, in a fancy animated universe.

There is no fancy animated universe or picture universe. These are
only our neurological specular capacities to project our own animated
universe-making sensibility onto an inanimate stain on paper or an
interactive optical bitmap.

> "Information cannot cross any levels on it's own. Cartoons don't wander
> > off the TV screen and move into the spare bedroom."
> That is true, nouns can't cross levels on their own, BUT adjectives can and
> you are a adjective, you are not matter, you are the way matter behaves
> when it is organized in a Craigweinbergian way.

I can't be exported to other matter though. It doesn't matter if I
organize marshmallows or tungsten carbide in a Craigweinbergian way.
The result is just a mess. Organization by itself isn't real. Reality
is in the sense which relates subject and object.

> Adjectives are information
> and information can be processed. I'd even go so far as to say that
> although there are differences information is as close as you can get to
> the traditional concept of the soul and still remain within the scientific
> method.

I used to see information that way, and it is true in a sense, but
that third person sense in which it can be true is incompatible with
subjectivity. Information is like soul only in that they are both
mistakenly conceived as a pseudosubstance. If I think of how music can
be embodied in many physical forms, digitized or broadcast, etc. then
it seems like it could be some kind of invisible, intangible essence
that magically turns physical things into itself - that the music
literally exists in a CD or an mp3. As Bohr said 'The opposite of a
trivial truth is false; the opposite of a great truth is also true'.
Information modeled in this pseudosubstantial way is a trivial truth.
The great truth of both soul and information is that they are the
perceptions and experiences of matter. Matter is ultimately not
information seemingly materialized, information an abstracted way of
modeling certain aspects of the energy - the experience of change that
matter has. The experiences that matter has, and that we have as a
brain and a body are concretely real, but information is an idea we
have about the nature of those experiences. It has no capacity to
experience itself. Mickey Mouse does not live in a Disney universe. He
cannot have adventures on his own.

>   "there is no difference between simulated arithmetic and real arithmetic"
>  "Because there is no real arithmetic."
> I don't know what that means. When I use my hand calculator I expect it to
> perform real arithmetic, I don't even know what simulated arithmetic is.

You expect it to perform in a certain way and your expectations are
met. That is all that happens. The calculator doesn't know anything
about arithmetic, it's just a fancy abacus that opens and closes
microelectronic switches when your finger triggers a button contact.

>    "or [a difference] between simulated intelligence and real
> >> intelligence."
> > "That's a religious faith in my opinion."
> How can that be religious faith when it can be investigated with the
> scientific method? Just ask a series of questions to a person, a machine, a
> man from Mars or whatever and judge the quality of the answers, use the
> same criteria you've used every day of your life to judge if the various
> fellow human beings that you meet in your activities are smart or dumb. I
> don't see where faith enters into it.

You are using a trivial concept of intelligence. By your definition,
any puppet, sculpture or image that can be made to mimic expected
outputs would have to be intelligent. Real intelligence is the
cognitive tip of the iceberg of a billion years of sensorimotive
evolution. It arises out of sensation, feeling, perception, emotion,
awareness, and identity. Simulated 'intelligence' is the truncated tip
of the iceberg with no semantic significance. It's a facade. To
believe that such a facade must be genuine is wishful thinking,
propped up by the tautological examination of its own methodology. It
is to say that a picture of an apple is real because a picture of a
knife can be made to look like it is cutting it into pieces (never
mind that the picture of the knife can also be made to look like it
turns the apple into Robert DeNiro).

> "If I make a movie where the actors address the audience as Jim, and then
> > have a screening where I invite only people named Jim, then I have
> > simulated intelligence without any real intelligence at all."
> Would that really fool you? I don't think so.

It doesn't matter what we think or whether we are fooled, it just
matters that you understand that the idea of simulated intelligence is
just this basic principle writ large. It would be interesting to do
this as an experiment, telling each Jim in the audience that they are
about to witness a new technology in film making that can read your
mind. I think that you could fool some people actually, given
sufficient 'big science' cues in the theater.

> All I'm saying is that you be
> fair, whatever method you use to judge the intellectual firepower of your
> fellow humans, and you must have some way, use that same method in judging
> the smarts, or lack of them, in machines.

Not necessarily. Our perception of intelligence is nothing but a
projection of what we recognize as intelligence within ourselves.
There is no method. We are just impressed or not to the degree which
smart someone seems smart to us. It could just be that they are just
attractive or enunciate clearly with a cultured dialect. It could be
because they made a lot of money. Real intelligence is in the eye of
the beholder(s). Trivial intelligence is just quantitative muscle.


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