On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

>> 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.

I don't know where you got the idea that our information was that complete,
if it was scientists would be out of a job because they'd already know
everything that was worth knowing. They don't.

> 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.

Besides logic the only other resource at our disposal in dealing with a
very complex world is induction, making use of the fact that in the
universe we inhabit things usually continue; but I don't see how that can
help us directly study consciousness in other people any better than logic
can, and at best all induction can say is "X is probably true".

> Not analog computing...analog in the sense of 'comparable or conceptually
> similar'.

But that's exactly how analog computing works, they use something
conceptually similar to the thing you're interested in and measure that
thing in various ways to give you a answer that will be of the same
magnitude as the thing you want. Rather than count analog computers work by
measuring, or I should have said that's the way they worked in the olden
days, they're obsolete, nobody makes analog computers anymore.

>> generating subjectivity is what the brain is doing.
> > As far as we can tell, the brain is doing nothing except biochemistry
> and physics.

If I change the biochemistry of your brain your subjective experience will
change, it you don't believe me just take a drug that is not normally in
your brain, like LSD or heroin, and see if I'm right. Also if you
experience intense fear or anger a chemist will be able to detect elevated
levels of adrenaline in your brain. So if consciousness can change brain
chemistry and brain chemistry can change consciousness then clearly the two
do have something to do with each other and are in fact closely linked.

>You think that subjectivity was invented by computerphobics?

I think the claim that there is no link between intelligence and
consciousness was indeed invented by computerphobics. And as if that wasn't
crazy enough you take it a ridiculous step even further into wacko land,
you say there is no link between intelligent behavior and intelligence. I
don't think there is any way anybody would advocate such counterintuitive
and downright nutty ideas unless they were desperately looking for a reason
to dislike computers.

> Deciding that subjectivity must provide external evidence of itself to
> itself to support your prejudice is not the path to understanding,

I don't need evidence to prove to myself that I am conscious, the idea is
ridiculous because I have something much better than scientific evidence,
direct experience. As for your consciousness, I will never have direct
evidence for that and so must learn to make do with evidence that you at
least behave as if you were conscious .

> it's a category error.

Category error is #11 on my list of odious phrases. To get on my list the
phrase must be used in polite society and seem to many to be perfectly
acceptable and even clever, but to me seem incorrect, insipid, evil,
stupid, or just never used to support a position I agree with. The other 10
on my list are:

#10) You can't cry FIRE in a crowded theater.
#9) A huge quantum leap.
#8) Life is sacred.
#7) The exception proves the rule.
#6) level the playing field.
#5) Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your
#4) Almost infinite.
#3) Free will.
#2) There is a reason it's random.
#1) God wants.

> 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.

I agree, you seem to be conscious and a intelligent computer seems to be
conscious and that's all I know and that's all I will ever know on that

 > The problem with physics is it has no tolerance for 'seems'.

Actually the opposite is true, physics has elevated the status of "seems"
and demoted the status of "IS". That photon over there seems like it has no
polarization because you haven't bothered to measure it, but modern physics
says until you measure it and it seems to be polarized in one particular
direction the photon has no polarization. Until it is measured it does not
just seem to have no polarization it really has none.  And the way you do
the measurement is crazy but the universe is crazy so it works; take a pair
of polarized sunglasses and spin them at random, lets say the sunglasses
end up at 137 degrees, if the photon makes it through the sunglasses (and
there is a 50% chance it will) then the photon is polarized at 137 degrees
has always been at 137, if the photon doesn't make it through the
sunglasses then the photon is polarized at 47 degrees (137-90) and always
has been at 47.

>> a computation is not made of atoms and neither is thought, only nouns
>> are made of atoms.
> > 'a computation' is a noun.

More misinformation from your third grade English teacher, the same one who
told you that "I" is a pronoun, and she was wrong about that too; but the
main point is that neither computation, thought nor consciousness are made
of atoms.

>> 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

Link? There's your problem right there! I'm talking about peer reviewed
scientific journals like Nature or Science or Physical Review Letters. I'm
not talking about a link to some jackass's web page that you've never heard
of who posts some crap claiming to have found conclusive evidence of ESP or
flying saucers or cold fusion. The only thing that sequence of ASCII
characters tells me is that the bozo had enough money to buy a computer.
No, I'm wrong, it doesn't even tell me that, it could be a homeless man
with BO who just wandered into a public library and posted some shit.
Sometimes the crackpot even manages to get his ASCII sequence printed on a
dead tree, but his article is never cited by real scientists, and even the
"journal" he writes in is never cited by anybody worth a damn.

> that are all but unreadable

Unreadable by the general public but they were not written for them but for
fellow specialists. If you want to read them you've got to learn the
language, for example there are no words or phrases in common usage that
describe the thousands of parts and processes in a cell that biologists
need to talk about, so they have no choice but to make up new words that
are unfamiliar to most. The same thing is true for all the sciences.

> 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.

I think the December 2 2011 issue of the excellent journal "Science" should
be contemporary enough for you; look at pages 1245-1249 for the paper
"Detection of Pristine Gas Two Billion Years After the Big Bang" by
Fumagalli, O'Meara and Prochaska.

> Not all species turned into each other.

Of course not.

> Chimpanzees never turned into Homo sapiens.

But Chimpanzees and Homo sapiens had a common ancestor about 6 million
years ago that turned into both of us. And the common ancestor between
gorillas and humans lived about 10 million years ago, and orangutans about
14 million years ago. Actually, genetic studies have shown that chimpanzees
are more closely related to humans than they are to orangutangs.

>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'.

An illusion is real it is not gibberish, an illusion is a perfectly
respectable subjective phenomena, thus "free will" is most certainly NOT a
illusion; "free will"  is a noise that some members of the species Homo
sapiens like to make with their mouth.

> 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 have no idea what that means.

>> I will repeat my question, if it's not from my behavior then HOW DO YOU
> > Because I know my own behavior and I know that you are likely similar to
> me.

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

> It's not something that needs to be consciously deduced.

Yes, it's intuitively obvious that if something is intelligent then it is
aware. And it's a tautology that if something does intelligent things then
its intelligent. Tautologies get a lot of bad press but they do have one
thing going for them, every single one of them is true.

> 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.

But you'd only know what it's like to be half man and half machine not what
being a 100% machine is like; in fact it could be argued you wouldn't even
know that because if you were half machine you wouldn't be you anymore. So
"you" still wouldn't know.

> If something is aware, I think it's intelligent.

I'm pretty sure my dog is aware of a milk-bone when I show him one, but he
is not aware of Tensor Calculus even though I've tried to teach it to him
because he's not intelligent enough. You've got it backwards, you should
say "if something is intelligent, I think it's aware".

> We believe other people are conscious because we have no reason to doubt
> us.

But I am certain you do NOT think other people are always conscious, you
don't think they are when they are sleeping or dead. Why is that? Because
when they are sleeping or dead they do not behave intelligently.

> 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 things.

I predict you won't lay a egg either, so I guess that proves you're a

> Intention is a cause that is neither random nor deterministic.

I see, determinism means cause and effect and intention is a cause but it
is not deterministic so     INTENTION HAS NO EFFECT. I take it back, I
don't see. If your above statement is true then intention does absolutely
nothing to anything or anybody and is about as useful to you me or the
universe as a screen door on a submarine.

>*We create causes*. What is controversial or difficult about that?

So we create causes and if we create those causes for a reason then its
deterministic and if we create those causes for NO reason then it's random.
OK fine its clear now.

>> 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.

So you base your entire philosophy on the mystical properties of dihydrogen

> Intelligence is just how a person uses their brain.

As I said, mind is what the brain does.

  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