On Jan 5, 12:29 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
Simulators are real, and the experience generated by them is real, but
the experience is not really what we are led to believe is what is
being simulated. That's why they are called 'flight simulators' and
> 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".
I think I'm actually playing the Galileo role. What I am pointing out
is not real is the obsolete misinterpretations of observations, not
the observations themselves. I am questioning the assumption of their
reality, revealing the emperor's nakedness, and suggesting a coherent
alternative worldview which explains the observations more completely.
> > 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.
If our contemporary knowledge of physics is so complete, then that
should be all the information we need.
> > 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.
Not necessarily. Just because the logic of my conscious intellect
dictates that it cannot know anything unless it has been explicitly
told doesn't mean that there aren't other epistemological resources at
our disposal. We don't have to question that people who seem to be
human might not be human.
> > 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?
Dividing human subjective understanding into fragments isn't the same
as dividing an object into fragments. I think what you get is a
qualitative change in the depth and richness of experience. If you
take a mirror reflecting the sun and break it into a thousand pieces,
each piece still reflects the sun and can be used as a mirror also.
It's not really important to know how it feels on these other levels
of perception external to ourselves, but it is important to see the
difference between sense, feeling, or detection, and a physical
mechanism. The mistake our modern view makes is to gloss over the
insurmountable chasm that separates subjective experience on any level
and objective mechanics of any complexity.
> > 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.
The reason to care is the same reason to care whether the Earth
revolves around the Sun or not, only this is much more important since
it is the difference between a worldview which sees us as we actually
are and one which denies any possibility of life, order, awareness, or
> > 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.
I didn't say all RAM. My point is that there are many ways that the
brain is nothing like a computer. There are no discrete registers used
as memory locations, no computations being completed and stored as
fixed values. It doesn't work like that. It's a biological community.
> > > 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.
Not analog computing...analog in the sense of 'comparable or
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: ...
I wasn't talking about analog computing at all, but a sensorimotive
primitive model does shed light on the uncertainty principle.
> > 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.
As far as we can tell, the brain is doing nothing except biochemistry
> 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.
You think that subjectivity was invented by computerphobics? Plato and
Descartes might disagree with you about that. Unless sundials were
their pet peeve?
> Deciding on what is true and only then start looking for evidence to
> support your prejudice is not the path to enlightenment.
Not when it comes to subjectivity. All evidence is weighed by
consciousness alone and no evidence is sufficient or necessary to
define subjectivity. Deciding that subjectivity must provide external
evidence of itself to itself to support your prejudice is not the path
to understanding, it's a category error. Subjects cannot be understood
objectively, just as blue cannot be described to a blind person.
> > The cosmos has only presentations. Nothing else.
> A presentation needs an audience, so does the moon exist when nobody is
> looking at it?
You are assuming that audiences are human. With a sensorimotive
primitive, all physical matter (either as a whole in the sense of a
primordial singularity or as particles and objects with detection/
reaction capacities) makes sense to itself.
> 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.
I think it did too of course, but in what form? Did it have a visual
pattern before the invention of eyes? Was it understood to be a galaxy
before the invention of understanding? What is it exactly that
existed? I think the answer is probably that matter has experience.
The universe hasn't been waiting 13.2 billion years as an invisible,
intangible, unconscious non-entity for us homo sapiens on this one
planet to make sense of it all.
> > 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.
Not really. It just has to make sense in every context, which is
impossible not to if the context is ultimately all one thing. It's a
bit different from just simulation, which synthesizes a virtual
realism by synchronizing perceptual feedback. Reality works by
beginning with the singularity and then splitting it into subject and
non-subject. It's the gaps which make something what it is. Like
twisting a balloon to make the shape of an animal - the animal shape
is in the twisting motive and the sense of the result.
> what IS broken glass that causes the qualia that both you and I perceive of
> as broken glass? I have no idea.
""Is", "is." "is"—the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were
abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what
anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment."
— Robert Anton Wilson
Nothing, is, it only seems. The problem with physics is it has no
tolerance for 'seems'.
> > > 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 isn't anything unless you are a person who can listen to music.
It's just a vibrating magnet with lights on it.
> > > 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.
It's the singularity. Sensorimotive/electromagnetic mass-energy/
spacetime. It's a significance machine that burns entropy as fuel and
makes itself seem like elephants and elephant beholders.
> > 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're absolutely right. I initially started with the idea that color
might exist as a subjective experience on the level of atoms - and
they might. After reading more about vision and the eye though, it
began to seem strange that there would be two different kind of retina
cells if color were primitive. It began to seem strange why we would
need cells in our eye at all. Why not just have holes in our head so
the brain could see out of it? I got to thinking about how retina
cells are really single celled organisms, and their response to light
might be a product of pre-Cambrian Era photosynthesis rather than
initial cosmic conditions. Reading a bit about chlorophyll and it's
similarity to hemoglobin (http://www.juicing-for-health.com/images/
chlorophyll-hemoglobin.jpg) and hemacyanin (http://www.applet-
magic.com/lifemolecules.htm), it started to make more sense that
perhaps the fantastically rich color that we see is, while not the
literal result of those three RGB molecules, but may well recapitulate
the time when metalo-organic compounds were proliferating through
early elaboration of photosynthetic sense for later use as biological
pigments. I could be wrong, but I like it. We are seeing through our
eukaryotic cells bathing in warm illuminated ocular fluid, what the
early forms of life in the ocean felt about light and each other.
> > 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.
I agree that we should try, I just don't think that should be our only
option. We should look at as many different possibilities as our
> > 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.
'a computation' is a noun.
> > > There is no 'information' in reality.
> I see you're in another tight corner hence another call to the "X does not
> exist" subroutine.
No it exists as a sensorimotive experience (for us humans, or anything
else that can share the sense of whatever is informing them), but it
has no reality independent of that. Deciding that a piece of paper is
worth a dollar does not make any changes to the paper in objective
> >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.
Seriously? People link me to scientific papers all the time that are
all but unreadable, packed with dense academic formalism and obscuring
a single, unremarkable point under a mountain of justification. Show
me a contemporary paper in a scientific journal that isn't like that.
> > 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".
Not all species turned into each other. Chimpanzees never turned into
> > 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
No. I find that it gives no answers at all. It's neither pleasant nor
> 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.
I see just the opposite. I have a direct understanding of a new
worldview which replaces an obsolete understanding which you still
cling to despite the fact that it doesn't really make sense. Where
'information' is real and computers are coming to life but the plain
fact of human experience and free will can only be an 'illusion'.
> >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.
If it's one thing that's fundamental, then it's the end of the matter,
but if it's one thing and it's opposite, then you have sense. My view
is that the one fundamental thing can only be reduced to that symmetry
of what it is as defined by what it is not.
> > 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
> KNOW THIS?
Because I know my own behavior and I know that you are likely similar
to me. It's not something that needs to be consciously deduced. How do
you know that these words mean something or that I mean something by
writing them? The sense comes from the presentation and my
expectations about it.
> >> 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
I would not expect a concrete log to burn though. I give the benefit
of the doubt to the expectation that it won't burn. The only thing
that I would expect to behave intelligently is a person who is
intelligent. The benefit of the doubt then should not be given to non-
humans. They have to prove they understand, and they can't do that
until I share a brain with them.
> > Because information isn't real.
> Yet another tight corner another hence yet another iteration of the "X is
> not real" subroutine.
No, you just keep coming back to the same unrealites again and again.
> > 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"?
It would be different in that we would be nothing but logical
automatons. We could not conceive of any difference between life and
death, pain and pleasure, all would be a meaningless continuity of
functional recursion. There would be no important difference to us
between a human being and a well articulated mannequin. Of course, we
wouldn't really be aware of anything at all because there would be no
'we', just an unconscious program running on different bodies, moving
them around to optimize survival and reproduction (not sure why it
would matter though).
> > 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?
The only think I can think of is to connect the machine up to your
brain. Walk yourself off of your brain and onto the machine - first
one hemisphere, then the other, then both, then back. See what
happens. Brain conjoined twins would help us see how to actually do
experiments like these.
> > 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.
Yes, but unlike a computer, the human brain left to it's own devices
changes it's own programs and modifies its physical environment
> > 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
Intuition does not scream at me that Watson is aware. Not at all. It's
just the opposite. If something is aware, I think it's intelligent. We
believe other people are conscious because we have no reason to doubt
us. We can see and hear and feel that they are like us.
> >> 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 can't be duplicated exactly unless the entire cosmos is duplicated
- which it can't be because there is nowhere else to put it. I'm
making the point that if you put the same players on the same field,
it's just another baseball game, not the same baseball game again.
> > >> 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.
Just because programmers can't always predict what a computer will do
doesn't mean that anyone off the street couldn't predict what it won't
do. Fall in love. Eat a brownie. Go on vacation. Lay an egg. Lots of
> > 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 NOT NOTHING. Intention is a cause that is neither
random nor deterministic. I would say that it's hard to believe that
you're confused by this too, but it's really not. So many people I
have had this debate with are not able to grasp this stunningly
obvious truth that I think that it is like color blindness or gender
identification. Some nervous systems just are not cut out to address
consciousness directly and and only examine the reflection of
consciousness in various logical modes.
> > 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
Yes! Your subjective motive is the 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?".
Insanity and irrationality still exist though. Your point though has
to do with the absolute freeness of free will, which I never claim.
Sure we have reasons, but we still sometimes choose to change our
options. The laws of physics could be said to be insane or irrational
too since we don't know why they exist in the first place.
> > 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.
I don't know how much more coherent it can be. *We create causes*.
What is controversial or difficult about that?
> The basic problem I have with your ideas are that they are vague, you
> suggest no way to test if they are correct,
You need to put things into your brain to test them in the way that
you mean. Otherwise the test is just to explore the ideas and see if
they make more and more sense, or if there is some counterfactual.
> 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.
Because consciousness is life. Life needs water. The brain doesn't
produce intelligence, it supports it. Intelligence is just how a
person uses their brain.
> And you
> have not thought through just what the "free will" noise is supposed to
Oh no, I've thought it through completely and I think I have arrived
at a legitimate and truthful understanding of it.
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