On Dec 30, 3:41 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > Are you arguing that there is no difference between dreams and reality? > > I am arguing that sometimes there is no way to tell the difference between > dreams and reality
I don't think that's true that there is sometimes 'no way' to tell the difference. We may fail to the difference - for most people an incredibly rare event, but being confused or delusional doesn't mean that there it isn't possible to tell the difference if you cared to try. How many people would you have to interview before someone honestly answered the question 'is this reality or a dream' with 'I can't tell the difference'. A lot. > and I am arguing that a good idea discovered while awake > and the same idea discovered in a dream is still a good idea. Sure, but a bar of gold discovered in a dream is not bankable when you wake up. > And I am > arguing that we don't have ideas we are ideas. Why not both? Why does being an idea preclude me from also having ideas and having and being a body - and cells, molecules, and atoms. Aren't they ideas too? > > > If you could not read English the electro chemical signals from the > > nerves would be no different, yet your brain would 'just react' in a > > different way. > > That is true, and a optical character recognition program would react in a > different way too, Computers don't learn to recognize optical characters by themselves though. The brain does. An OCR program just translates one meaningless set of data into another. It has no understanding of the significance of the process. > > > I know what broken glass is, I know that its sound is an aspect of what > > it is to me. I know that its look is part of what it is to me. > > Sure that's what broken glass is to you, but the question is what IS broken > glass. It is everything, anything, and nothing. That is all that can that can be without any external sense relations. > > > It is instantaneously familiar with zero theory required. > > It's intuitively obvious because that's all you needed to know for survival > so there was no reason for Evolution to provide you with a deeper > understanding. That's a just-so story. Anything can be explained that way. 'Evolution did it.' There is no plausible evolutionary purpose for subjective awareness. Unconscious reflex would always be faster, more effective, and has the advantage of being a mechanical possibility. >That is also why Quantum Mechanics is such a difficult > subject to study, the species Homo Sapiens has to really struggle with it > because it turns out that many of the things that our intuition screams are > obviously true turn out to be dead wrong. Intuition helps us make sense of ourselves and the universe in many ways, quantum mechanics helps us make a single instrumental sense of a particular category of phenomena. QM I think that is a fantasy that is literally so wrong it's right. > > > I can clearly tell the difference between a human being and a voice mail > > system. > > I can tell the difference too, so it failed the Turing Test, but the day > will come when you can't tell the difference. That won't make it any more conscious than a pinball machine. > > > I am under no obligation to anthropomorphize cybernetic systems. > > You'd better if those cybernetic systems behave intelligently, otherwise > you will be even more surprised by what they do than the rest of us. Promissory materialism doesn't do anything for me. I have worked with computers almost every day for 30 years. They are getting fancier, but no closer to behaving intelligently. Computers are idiots. > > > It makes sense that humans evolved from other animal species, > > Yes it makes a lot of sense, but why did Evolution invent consciousness? It didn't. Significance has made sense more sensible, but sense itself is inherent in physics, like charge or spin only interior and figurative. > Evolution can see intelligence but it can no more see consciousness than we > can (other than our own) because it is a purely subjective phenomena, and > yet I know for a fact that Evolution came us with consciousness at least > once and probably many billions of times, so the conclusion is inescapable. > Either Darwin was wrong or consciousness is a byproduct of intelligence. I > don't think Darwin was wrong. Darwin wasn't wrong but natural selection doesn't address consciousness as an adaptation as far as I know. Consciousness isn't like growing a longer beak, it requires the creation of an unexplainable presentation of the universe. It's not possible for it to evolve since it has no conceivable precursor to evolve from. What is the ancestor of the color blue? > > > > You take something grand and glorious, like intelligence or > >> consciousness, > >> and break it up into smaller and simpler pieces, then you take those > >> pieces > >> and break them up again into even smaller and simpler pieces, then you > >> repeat the process again, and again, and again, and again. Eventually you > >> come to something that is not the slightest bit grand or glorious and you > >> say, "this can not have anything to do with intelligence or consciousness > >> because it is too small and simple and is no longer grand and glorious". > > > No, I don't do that. I say the smallest particle has to have the > > potential for grand and glorious experience inherently or else it could not > > be the case. > > OK we both agree that intelligence and consciousness is grand and glorious > and if we wish to understand such things it would be wise to simplify them > as much as possible as long as the potential is not diminished. I also > assume we both believe they operate under a perfectly rational principle > that we just haven't discovered yet, We haven't discovered it yet, but I think that I have discovered it. > lets call it Process X. It's not only a process, it's sensorimotive experience. > It seems > pretty clear, to me at least, that information processing can produce > something that's starting to look a lot like intelligence, but we'll > assume that Process X can do this too, and in addition Process X can > generate consciousness and a feeling of self, something mere information > processing can not do. Yes. I would add "to us" after 'look a lot like intelligence'. > > What Process X does is certainly not simple, It is *the* simplest and most complex process. > so it's very hard to avoid > concluding that Process X itself is not simple. Not for me. What could be simpler than "I"? Qualia is much simpler than quanta, which is why kids can make sense of primary colors, sounds, gestures first and can only learn arithmetic concepts much later using those sensorimotive elements. > If it's complex then it > can't be made of only one thing, it must be made of parts. No, it doesn't work like that. Blue or pain is not made of parts. This is what I'm trying to communicate. It works in the opposite way. It is figurative. It is made of everything but some things more than others at certain times from certain angles, like a hologram. It can be divided infinitely or it can be fuzzy and solitary. > If Process X is > not to act in a random, incoherent way then some order must exist between > the parts. A part must have some knowledge of what the other parts are > doing and the only way to do that is with information. It's not a 3D object topology. It's an experiential semantic fugue. It can sort of tie itself in knots and consider those knots information but it is not information itself. It is that which informs and is informed. > > Now maybe communication among the parts is of only secondary importance and > the major work is done by the parts themselves, but if that is true then > the parts must be very complex and be made of even smaller and simpler sub > parts. The simplest possible sub part is one that can change in only one > way, say, on to off. It's getting extremely difficult to tell the > difference between Process X and information processing. It's a good thought but the simplest possible sub part is still a hologram of the entire cosmos. It's a sub self. Information processing is the opposite - it's all bottom up architecture with a binary bottom. Sensorimotive experience is subtractive, like the hues of the spectrum are extracted figuratively from whiteness. Something primitive like an atom is still capable of many more participatory modes than just on or off. The way I think of it, it is possible that if you could destroy everything in the universe except a single atom, that atom would still contain the entire universe. It sounds cannabis inspired, I know, but I think that it works. You just have to understand that subjective phenomena is opposite to objective phenomena in every way. > > The only way to avoid this conclusion is if there is some ethereal > substance It's not a substance, it's the opposite of a substance. > that is all of one thing and has no parts thus is very simple, > yet acts in a complex, intelligent way; That describes 'I' pretty well. It doesn't have no parts though, it has as many parts as you want. Like you can have as many miniature reflections of the sun that you want just by breaking a mirror into more pieces in the sunlight. This is how quantum entanglement works too btw. It's both one thing, and many slightly different recapitulations of the one thing. > and produces feeling and > consciousness while it's at it. That would be 'me' too. >If you accept that, then I think the most > honest thing to do would be to throw in the towel, call it a soul, and join > the religious camp. But I'm not ready to surrender to the forces of > irrationality. Why call it a soul? It's just me or you or us. Did you read my executive summary? http://s33light.org/SEEES You are being seduced by the problem of ubiquity. The simplicity is unpalatable to you because you are too close to it, it's too familiar. I call it the elephant in every room. But think about making a cosmos like ours from scratch. Do you need a soul? Not really. Do you need 'I'? Yes. First and foremost, you need I. > > > A trillion ping pong balls in a vacuum will never become alive, > > intelligent, or conscious. > > A trillion is a little small but I'll bet you could make a intelligence > with a hundred trillion ping pong balls, certainly with a thousand > trillion, you'd just have to organize them in the right way No, you and your organizing and your 'right ways' can't exist in the thought experiment. You just have one septillion ping pong balls by themselves and eternity and that's it. How could the ping pong balls make anything except random collisions? >, and you do > that with information. Yes it's weird that a bunch of ping pong balls could > potentially be conscious, but it's no weirder than 3 pounds of grey goo > inside a bone container can be conscious; I guess the universe is just > weird. It's weird that a bunch of ping pong balls could potentially be conscious because it isn't possible. It doesn't make sense. It's a reductio ad absurdum of machinemorphism. The brain is only 3 pounds of grey goo on the outside. It's how it looks to our naked eyeball. When we look through more powerful lens it looks more interesting, but still nowhere near as interesting as it looks from the inside. The entire universe exists as a character in our mind and our brain exists as a non-character in the physical universe. > > > 79 ping pong balls will never be an atom of gold, no matter how you spin > > them or crush them. > > That is not true. There are no gold atoms in Ping pong balls, they contain > other sorts of atoms but they will turn into gold if you crush then enough, > that's what happens in the center of large stars, that's how atoms of gold > get made in the first place. That's how all the other elements heavier than > helium get made too. I'm not talking about literal ping pong balls made of real atoms, I'm talking about ideal ping pong balls that are just hollow spheres. My point is that there is nothing golden about the number 79 to cause atoms to generate the quality of gold based upon their computational identity alone. 79 of anything doesn't make gold except 79 protons. I'm saying that gold is in the eye of the be-golder, not in the 79 ness. > > > you are looking at the wrong pieces. If I want to > > understand the Taj Majal I would visit it, read the history of it, > > study Mughal culture, architecture > > That's sounds like a good idea, but it would be foolish to claim that the > Taj Mahal has nothing to do with fundamentals like the Pauli Exclusion > Principle because without Pauli's principle matter would not be solid. No it would be common sense to claim that the Taj Mahal has nothing to do with physics. I can understand the Taj Mahal as an image and an idea, just as I might Heaven or Hell. It need not be a literal physical structure to be understood (it does however to to be 'real') > > > Your view only would consider studying bricks > > That is not true! I am perfectly willing to ignore Pauli and treat bricks > as black boxes so I can concentrate on finding the information on how the > bricks are organized and information on why that got that one specific > organization. However you are in effect saying that bricks don't exist, and > without bricks there is no Taj-Mahal. No, I'm not saying that bricks don't exist, I'm just saying that their existence is not significant to the identity of the Taj Mahal. It's not what we need to care about to experience the thing. It could still be of interest to some people, but it's not as essential as the iconic form and grandeur of it. If you are building a palace yourself, then the bricks would indeed be significant. > > > Intelligence implies understanding, which requires awareness. > > But it is a fact of nature that neither understanding nor awareness can be > detected directly, we can only infer it from the observation of intelligent > action, which means that they are tools that are of no use in building a > intelligent machine or a intelligent animal. Right. We don't need to care about awareness for AGI because we don't really want an artificial consciousness. It would likely exterminate us immediately.What we want is intelliform servants. Nothing wrong with that. A lack of consciousness is exactly what you need for systems like that, otherwise it would be immoral to enslave them. > > >> Yes a design, in other words it's just information. > > > > Which isn't an actual thing either. > > True, information isn't a thing, it isn't a noun, it doesn't have a mass or > a specific location, information is a adjective and so are you. All this > confusion can be blamed on the misuse of language, in particular I blame > third grade English teachers who erroneously told their students that words > like "I, Me, and You" are pronouns when they are not, they are adjectives; > and there is no reason an adjective can't be in two places at once, > assuming an adjective can even be said to have a place. I am the way atoms > behave when they are organized in a Johnkclarkian sort of way. Think of it > that way and all the paradoxes evaporate. It's almost correct, and I used to think of it in exactly that way, but multisense realism is an improvement. If you were the way that atoms behave in a Johnkclarkian sort of way, then you would not need a name. Your life would be interchangeable and generic. You would no more care about being dismembered or watching someone else get dismembered in a movie. It would all just be a-signifying, public information. That is exactly the opposite of what we are though. We are all about privacy and idiosyncracy, visceral concrete attachments rather than detached quantitative computation. It's much better this way. I understand why computers are made of semiconductor glass (because glass is very polite and transparent, thermoplastic but thermosetting...it's the perfect material to represent non-material) and not living tissue, and why rocks and sand don't ever evolve into sentient species (life is stinky, greasy, sweet & sour, salty, fluid, etc). > > > Designs and information are not causally efficacious. > > Any design can be turned into a sequence of ones and zeros, Nothing can be turned into anything literally. Any designed can be interpreted into a sequences of ones and zeros (or yangs and yins, stops and goes, or integrals, vectors, verbal descriptions in English or German, etc) by something that can figuratively associate the design and the code but without that interpreter, ones and zeros can't ever turn into anything. A DVD of the Wizard of Oz is just a piece of plastic and aluminum without human audiences using DVD players. > and your post > is a sequence of 26 ASCII characters and your DNA genetic code is a > sequence of just 4 characters. > > > > And the thing that makes your 3 pound brain different from 3 pounds of > >> corned beef is the way > >> the atoms are arranged, in other words information. > > > >It's the other way around. The arrangement of the atoms is utterly > > meaningless and indistinguishable from corned beef were it not for the > > significance of their providing a human life experience for a human > > such as me. > > I've read that about twelve times and am having great difficulty making any > sense out of if, you seem to be saying that your brain would be meaningless > to you if you did not have it. Not to me specifically, but to everyone and everything. If a brain weren't the critical organ of human life, it would just be an interesting sponge, even with it's trillion synapses. No more interesting than a bag of dirt teeming with organisms or a dead moon full of interesting geology. > > > If we found a brain growing in the attic and we had never > > seen one before, we would put gloves on and throw it in the trash. > > Ah...,well...,OK,....but what is your point? My point is that the significance of the brain supervenes on the relation of human consciousness to it, not on any particular configuration of physical processes. Brain needs mind to matter, mind needs brain for matter to matter to the mind. > > > > If so then the Turing Test works for consciousness and not just > >> intelligence; so if you have a smart computer you know it is conscious; > > > >Trivial intelligence is not consciousness. > > Just as I said, intelligence is whatever a computer can't do, yet. If a > computer does it then it's trivial but if a human does the exact same thing > then its brilliant. A computer never does the exact same thing as a human does. It just does things that seem to us that way when we program them to simulate our own expectations. No computer ever just does what a human does by itself. It's like saying that if a player piano plays Rachmaninoff then it's trivial but if a human does the exact same thing then it's brilliant. It's a straw man. The player piano isn't doing shit. That's why we need not be amazed at its talent. The talent is in the engineering of the piano and the human pianist that keys in the template for the scrolls. > > > Smart is worthless without consciousness. > > With enough smarts your computer can solve all the puzzles and tell you all > the secrets of the universe, and I'd certainly say that is not worthless. You can't hear anything it tells you without consciousness. You're taking it for granted. > So is this super smart computer conscious, well why don't you ask him? I'll > bet he'd answer "yes" and I'd see no more reason to think he was lying > when he said that than when you tell me that you are conscious. Would you also think that the word THANK YOU on a trash can lid in a fast food place is telling the truth and is being polite? > > >> I don't understand the question, what would be who's point? > > > > The point of anything being able to have an opinion. > > But you still haven't told me who's point. If I place my hand on a red hot > stove I remove it as fast as I can because in my opinion burning flesh is > undesirable. Do I really need another opinion from somebody or something > else on the subject? If it was deterministic you would remove it as fast as you could with or without any opinion about it. The whole notion of opinion is superfluous in that case. > > > If the universe was deterministic, then what would be the point of > > feeling one way or > > another about what was or wasn't happening? > > I still don't understand what exactly "the point" is that you're so worried > about, but whatever it is would a universe where some events have no cause > and things can happen for no reason ease your fears over this "point"? If > so then rejoice because Quantum Mechanics tells us that true randomness > does exist. So you are admitting that it makes no sense for there to be a such thing as opinion in a deterministic universe, but saying that it doesn't matter because Quantum Mechanics doesn't make sense either and that we *know* is the truth ;) > > > the whole issue is moot if it's deterministic. What is your motive > > to care about what you are going to do next if you can't do anything about > > it. > > How does randomness get you out of this existential funk? Randomness doesn't. Teleology does. The capacity to direct your body to make changes to the world around it intentionally and to feel satisfied with the results. > > >>And if you don't like everything always happening because of cause and > >> effect that's fine, the alternative is that some things do not happen > >> because of cause and effect, and there is a word > >> for that "random". > > > >Those are not the only two choices. > > You're right, my error, there are in fact 3. X is true, or X is not true, > or X is gibberish. Free will is gibberish. Without free will, this conversation could not exist. The only conceivable purpose of our communication is because we care about what we thing. That is nothing but free will. I am choosing these words and you are choosing to read them. Free will can make truth, lies, and gibberish into each other for its own private motives. > > > The word for that is called "intention". > > You intend to do X rather than Y for a REASON. When somebody does something > we don't understand the first thing we do is ask "why did you do that?", we > want to know the reason, the cause, of the action; and if they are unable > to give a coherent reply we say they are irrational. No we do X rather than Y because we FEEL that there is a reason. There need not be any rational reason for our behavior. > > > Free will. > > Free will is a idea so bad it's not even wrong. The only way I know of to > attach meaning to the noise "free will" is if it meant the inability to > always predict what one will do even in a unchanging environment; others > may know what you are going to do next but you won't know until the instant > you actually do it. Unfortunately I have never heard anyone use the term > with that meaning in mind (except for me). So "free will" remains just an > annoying sound that human beings like to make with their mouth. Cows say > "moo" and ducks say "quack" and and people say "free will". Free will is the single most obvious feature of existence for all 7 billion people who are alive. It is preposterous sophistry to convince yourself - to choose freely of your own free will that you have no free will. I understand your reasoning, and I used to share it, but it's based on bad assumptions. It requires a universe as seen by an immaculate hyper-transparent voyeur. Yes, when we look outside ourselves we see no free will, but we don't see any kind of subjective experience. That doesn't mean that the outside view is the correct view and the innate natural subjective view provided to you personally and directly by the universe is an 'illusion'. Once you realize that illusion is illusion, you can see how saying that free will is an illusion is the annoying sound that some people make with their mouths. > > > Motive. > > Look it up in the dictionary, it means a reason for doing something. Some > things have reasons for behaving as they do and some things, like roulette > wheels or quantum events, do not. Roulette wheels behave the way they do because the form and substance of it makes it easy to spin. Easier than a brick. The motive is that it wants to release the tension and power which has been applied to it externally, and it does that by moving until friction and mass satisfy that motive. > > > It is neither random or deterministic. > > I see, so its not cause and effect and its not not cause and effect, so > there is only one possibility remaining, it must be gibberish. Is that sentence cause and effect, random, or gibberish? Pick one. > > > Fortunately you don't really believe what you are saying > > From a early age I've learned that I don't need to lie to get a debate > going, I just have to say what I really think. > > > you wouldn't try to debate with me because that could only have a > > deterministic or random result. > > I will convince you that I am right or you will convince me that you are > right or both of our opinions will remain unchanged; I don't know what the > outcome will turn out to be and it doesn't matter because right now I'm > enjoying the debate. It would not be possible for either of us to convince the other of anything if we were deterministic. The concept of convincing couldn't exist. It would be like trying to convince a falling rock to fall up. > > > A rock can't predict anything, does that mean it must find that feeling > > pleasant? > > I don't know if a rock can predict anything or not, a rock has never spoken > to me. I'm saying that if something behaves intelligently then it is > probably conscious, For things that evolve naturally, that's true. For puppets designed to act intelligently it would obviously be false. >if something does not behave intelligently it may or > may not be conscious. I doubt it but maybe the rock is just shy, but for > whatever reason it sure does not seem to behave very intelligently. > > > Intelligence theories seem dull to me. It's just puzzles. > > Then you find science dull too, I like science but as I say there is no > disputing matters of taste. I have always liked science a lot. Not so much math or classical physics though. > > > Consciousness theories are useless because consciousness is useless. > > If its useless then consciousness MUST be a byproduct of intelligence or > Evolution would have never produced it, and you and I both know for a fact > that it did at least once. Evolution didn't produce consciousness, just as it didn't produce charge, spin, or mass. > > > I doubt that acetylcholine obeys the laws of chemistry, it just knows > > the sweet taste of an acetylcholine receptor and the foul stench of an > > acetylcholine antagonist and we interpret the consequences of that as > > the laws of chemistry. Also maybe all acetylcholine in a given > > organism has a unified experience like we do. It might have a systemic > > political agenda and vie with other neurotransmitters for > > representation, rigging the elections from behind the scenes to > > influence our behaviors. > > Oh dear, this is starting to sound a little like mumbo jumbo. You can't expect the consciousness of something a trillion times simpler than you to have the same kind of experience that you have. > > > if it wasn't atoms (and it certainly was not) and it wasn't > >> information then what was it? > > > > It's the semantic momentum of the self as a whole. > > This is starting to sound a LOT like mumbo jumbo. What the hell is > "semantic momentum" and what instruments do I need to detect it? It's what makes an idea into a story. You need only your psyche to detect it. > What are > the units of semantic momentum? Good question. I would have to make them up just like we do for physics. It would be subjective significance over time, so let's call them 'likes'. Your neuronal subselves have microlikes. It's molecularselves - nanolikes. > Is it quantized like linear and angular > momentum? It is the metaphorical feeling behind linear and angular momentum. Circumnambulence. 'Amazement' > Is it conserved like the more familiar types of momentum or does > it always increase like Entropy? And if this is really a scientific theory > you need to show how it could be disproved. > > > Did you really sit down one day and think "I have a theory that I am not > > the only person on Earth". > > No and it's really more of a axiom than a theory because I could not > function if I thought I was the only conscious person on the planet, but I > don't think all other people are conscious all the time, I don't think they > are when they are sleeping of dead because when they are in those states > they don't behave intelligently. The part where you admit that if you thought you were the only conscious person on the planet you couldn't function is the important part. It seems important to function, don't you think. Might not there be some significant truth in any fiction or inference which disables completely if you were you to act on your disbelief in it? > > > You seem focused on competition. > > That's because putting 2 theories into head to head competition is the only > way to tell which one is better. If a machine based on your intelligence > theory can solve more and deeper puzzles than a machine based on my > intelligence theory then your theory is better. Seeing it as a competition already stacks the deck in favor of that view. It is to watch a color TV show on a black and white TV and say it is only way of judging whether the show is in color or not. You define intelligence as puzzle solving which would be meaningless without consciousness and then claim that consciousness must not be very good if it can't beat a puzzle solving electronic cuckoo clock at cuckoo clock puzzles. > But there is no way on > Earth you can tell if your consciousness theory is better than mine, all > you can do is say you just like yours better and there is no disputing > matters of taste. No, I can say that my theory makes more sense. It is a theory of everything which knits together time, space, matter, energy, life, perception, consciousness, meaning, cosmology, and entropy. Yours makes one kind of abstract quantitative logical sense of computation and quantum but nothing else. It's not really yours either, it's just the run of the mill conventional wisdom among smart Occidental people in the early 21st century. I have had this conversation with many people and they believe what you believe and debate it the way you debate it. Some are more hostile, some are more issue oriented, but none disagree with your view. > And that is why intelligence theories will change the > world while consciousness theories will never develop into anything larger > than static navel gazing. Intelligence theories have already changed the world. For the better and for the worse. Game theory has been used to justify evil and insane policies on an international scale. > > > I will never be jealous of an inanimate object. > > Neither will I, but computers will not always be inanimate objects and even > today the line which was once so sharp is getting very fuzzy. Yes and no. Speech synthesis is no more convincing than it was in 1982. > > > I don't have any insecurities about computers. > > As Yoda said to Luke Skywalker "you will have, YOU WILL HAVE!". > Promises promises. Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.