On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 9:53 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> Sure, our belief in simulations can make them seem quite realistic to us.
> That doesn't make them real though.

And so simulators join a long long long list of things that you say are not
real. If X contradicts your philosophy you just declare that X is not real;
that's what the opponents of Galileo did, they insisted that everything
rotated around the Earth but when they looked through Galileo's telescope
they could clearly see that Jupiter's moons rotated around Jupiter NOT the
Earth. So what was their response to this powerful evidence? You guessed
it, things seen through a telescope were not "real".

> Why even have robots? Why not just make a simulation of outer space and
decide that it's real?

Only one reason, we can't make a good enough simulation for that because we
don't have enough INFORMATION.

> We don't have to guess

Incorrect, you should have said "I don't have to guess", you have no way of
knowing if I or anybody else "really" understands anything, all you know is
that sometimes we behave as if we do.

> that neurons have understanding, because we are associated with them and
we have understanding.

There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain, if you divide
understanding into 100,000,000,000 parts is the the result still
understanding? If you divided even the largest library on Earth into 100
billion parts you'd be lucky to have a part that contained even one single
letter. Is the letter "Y" a library?

> We do have to doubt that transistors have understanding because they
don't produce any results which remind us of an organism which has
understanding like ours.

Solving equations playing Chess winning at Jeopardy and asking Siri
questions on a iPhone certainly reminds me of  organisms which have
understanding like I do, but I have no way and will never have a way of
knowing if any of these thing's understanding is really "real", and given
what a good job they do there is no reason for me to care. And I could say
exactly the same thing about my fellow human beings.

> It's [the brain] nothing like a computer which drops the contents of RAM
> as soon as electricity is cut off

As anyone who has ever used a flash drive could tell you not all RAM acts
that way.

> > Mind is doing things too. It has analogs to current and power (sense and
> motive), relativity (perceptual frame), entropy (negentropy-significance)
> which relate to electromagnetism in an anomalous symmetry.

Analogs? Ah, so you're a fan of analog processes, then welcome to the
exciting world of analog computing. Thanks to the new Heath Kit Home Study
Course, you can build your very own analog computer in the privacy of your
own home. Make big bucks! Amaze your friends! Be a hit at parties! This is
a true analog computer, no wimpy pseudo analog stuff here, this baby can
handle infinity.

Before you begin construction of your analog computer there are a few
helpful hints I'd like to pass along. Always keep your workplace neat and
clean. Make sure your computer is cold, as it will not operate at any
finite temperature above absolute zero. Use only analog substances and
processes, never use digital things like matter, energy, momentum, spin, or
electrical charge when you build your analog computer.

Now that we got those minor points out of the way we can start to
manufacture your analog computer.

Step One: Repeal the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
Step Two: Use any infinitely accurate measuring stick you have handy and

Step Infinity: ...

> When we assume that mind is what brain tissue is doing, then we are
> jumping to the wrong conclusion and leaving no room in the cosmos for
> subjectivity.

Nonsense, generating subjectivity is what the brain is doing. Traditionally
the words "mind" and "subjectivity" were almost synonyms, until very
recently everybody just assumed that if something behaved intelligently
then it had a mind and if it had a mind then it had consciousness and
subjectivity. But then computers got too good and some were uncomfortable
with the idea that they could become aware, so they decided to embrace what
they wished was true not what reason told them was true.

Deciding on what is true and only then start looking for evidence to
support your prejudice is not the path to enlightenment.

> The cosmos has only presentations. Nothing else.

A presentation needs an audience, so does the moon exist when nobody is
looking at it? Nobody existed 13.2 billion years ago and on January 27 2011
astronomers first looked at a galaxy that was 13.2 billion light years
away; did that galaxy "really" exist before January 27 2011? Call me crazy
but I think it probably did.

> There is nothing that broken glass can be except for the presentations of
> it from every perspective

But if broken glass is consistent and symmetrical under changes in
perspective then it must have some existence independent of perspective. So
what IS broken glass that causes the qualia that both you and I perceive of
as broken glass? I have no idea.

> > It is only real if something (could be itself) perceives it.

Like the perception of music coming from an iPod? Is the music coming from
a iPod "really" music or does it just behave as if it were music? A iPod is
after all just a special purpose computer designed to turn bits into music.
Or is it only "simulated" music?

> > It's [broken glass] not an elephant that we are all only feeling a part
> of, it's a billion reflections of an entire elephant, each one customized
> by the sense of how the beholder relates to it.

OK, but then this "entire elephant" has a existence independent of it's
many reflections, after all a reflection needs to be of something, so what
is the "entire elephant" that causes all these reflections? I have no idea.

> Yes, as far as I know, blue is only produced by retina cells and neurons
> working together.

Why is it inconceivable that CCD light detectors and microchips could also
produce blue, especially if you're right and blue is a primitive? I don't
understand why carbon atoms can do these things but silicon atoms can not.

> You don't think Quantum gravity is mumbo jumbo?

Right now the theory of Quantum Gravity is not mumbo jumbo and neither is
it science, it is nothing, it does not exist; but I have not given up, it
is my hope that someday it will exist, and I know for a fact that if we
don't at least try to find the idea we will certainly never discover it.

> An abacus is made of real atoms too, but the computation of it is not.

That is true, a computation is not made of atoms and neither is thought,
only nouns are made of atoms.

> > There is no 'information' in reality.

I see you're in another tight corner hence another call to the "X does not
exist" subroutine.

>Most scientific papers I have looked at contain a huge amount of mumbo
> jumbo.

Most?? A HUGE amount? In what scientific journals did you find all these
mumbo jumbo papers? I'd really like to know.

> Darwin's theory is essential for explaining heredity and speciation

Yes, and bacteria are one species and human beings are another species and
Darwin's theory can explain how one turned into the other, and contrary to
your opinion I think that "really matters".

> but doesn't address anything about life that really matters as far as
> individuals personally living it.

In other words you find some of the answers it gives are unpleasant so you
make up your own answers and invent a cosmology that gives answers you
like. I prefer not to live in a dream world because you can't hide from the
facts forever, sooner or later they will return with a vengeance.

>Just because it's part of the fabric of the universe doesn't mean it can't
> be described.

If something is fundamental then that's the end of the matter, there is
nothing more to say. Kids ask "why" questions a lot and sometimes a entire
chain of "why" questions, and soon all we can say in reply is "it just is".
Either the chain of questions "What is that made of?" comes to an end or it
does not, you say some chains do come to an end, for example you say the
blue qualia is at the end of one of those chains of questions and so is a
primitive, it's fundamental. So it's not playing fair to then demand in
your next breath that I explain exactly how a computer assembles the blue
qualia and generates it in quantity.

> I sleep and experience different states of consciousness and I know that
> you are like me in that regard.

I will repeat my question, if it's not from my behavior then HOW DO YOU

>> If I throw it into a fire and everybody could see plain as day that
>> contrary to all expectations the concrete log was indeed burning just like
>> a real log and then you did nothing but chant over and over "a concrete log
>> can not burn" then that would indeed be crazy, as crazy as saying a
>> intelligent ANYTHING is not conscious.
> > The minute we make a concrete log that burns like a real one then I
> would agree.

That is a excellent response, another excellent response would be "the
minute I see something behaving intelligently I will stop saying it is not

> Because information isn't real.

Yet another tight corner another hence yet another iteration of the "X is
not real" subroutine.

> Real intelligence is just high frequency consciousness.

That response is not instructive; how would the world be different if
intelligence was something other than "high frequency consciousness"?

> Machine intelligence is high frequency unconsciousness.

How could we tell the difference between that and low frequency
consciousness? What experiment could I perform to resolve this question?

> Left to it's own devices though, the program is limited to whatever
> native capacities the physical machine has.

Yes, a computer and the way it operates, it's program, is limited by the
physics of its parts, just exactly the same way the human brain is.

> We suspend disbelief in each others sentience for a reason.

And the reason is that I and probably you could not function if we believed
we were the only conscious beings in the universe, and intuition positively
screams at us that if something is intelligent then it is aware, and pure
logic tells us that if something behaves intelligently then it is

>> If I reproduce the way your atoms are organized then I have duplicated
>> you.
> > Not necessarily. If you reproduce a baseball game - the way the players
> are organized on the field, will the game play the same?

If everything is duplicated exactly then the outcome of the game will be
exactly the same, however if things are only ALMOST the same then chaos
could take over and we could see large changes in outcome of the game.
However I don't think I'd need to duplicate you as accurately as Heisenberg
allows to say that you've been duplicated; when you take a sip of coffee
you don't become another person but that drink has changed you far more
than quantum uncertainty will.

> >> It certainly isn't obvious to me! A computer can make changes in the
>> world around it and does it all the time;
> >They can only make the changes that we program them to make.

Even though they are deterministic computers can and do make changes to the
world that their programmers could never predict, absolutely never; if
these machines could not surprise their makers there would be no point in
building computers at all.

> I'm not sure why you equate teleological free will with 'randomness'.

It's hard to believe you're confused by this. Everything, absolutely
positively EVERYTHING is deterministic OR it is not deterministic. If a
thing is deterministic then there is a reason it acted the way it did, if
it is not deterministic then nothing caused the thing to act the way it
did; and the definition of random is a event without a cause.

> Intentionality is a third option

If you have a intention to do something then you had a aim or a plan to do
it. A aim or a plan is a cause and thus your intention is deterministic;
and it had better be because when somebody intends to do something for no
reason whatsoever we say they are irrational or even insane. That's why
when somebody does something for reasons we don't understand we are upset
and demand a answer to the question "why did you do that?".

> free will actually creates causes of it's own that are novel and
> non-random.

If you put a gun to my head I could not explain what that is supposed to
mean, and I would bet money you can't give a coherent explanation either.
The basic problem I have with your ideas are that they are vague, you
suggest no way to test if they are correct, they don't explain how the
human brain produces intelligence and you don't make clear why a wet soft
brain can produce consciousness but a hard dry computer can not. And you
have not thought through just what the "free will" noise is supposed to

John K Clark

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to