On Jan 6, 10:33 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

I get that idea from other people on this board. Many people who I
have debated with on these issues are quite confident that our
knowledge of particle physics is sufficient to simulate all phenomena
in the universe. (Obviously I don't share that view, hah).

> > 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".

I don't see any logic or induction in the assertion that the only
possible epistemological sources for Homo sapiens must be logic or
induction. It's just a naked assumption with no basis either in
neurology or psychology. Not trying to criticize you personally but
this view of consciousness is a caricature. How do you know that you
are hungry? Is it logical that a feeling that seems associated with
the inside of your abdomen should indicate that your survival depends
upon putting some formerly living organism in your mouth? Is it
induction that provides our understanding of how to swallow? All of
our logic and induction is a pale shadow of our native epistemology:

> > 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.

All computation in nature, including the human brain is analog. Still,
that's not what I was talking about.

> >> 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.

That would be an anecdotal subjective account. There is nothing we can
see from looking at the brain's behavior that suggests LSD or heroin
causes anything except biochemical changes in the neurological organs.

> Also if you
> experience intense fear or anger a chemist will be able to detect elevated
> levels of adrenaline in your brain.

But if we had no access to a person's account of feeling fear or
anger, the chemists detection of elevated levels of adrenaline in the
brain (and body) would be meaningless. There would be no possibility
of imagining there could be a such thing as fear or anger. At best
there would be physiological associations which relate to evolutionary
biology. The brain tells us nothing about consciousness by itself. We
need consciousness to begin with to learn anything about it. Same goes
for consciousness - we can learn nothing about the brain just by
trying to imagine what is going on physically in our minds. This is
the 'explanatory gap' - no common ground between neuroscience and

> 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.

I think the claim that computation is intelligence was invented by
futurists and computer enthusiasts.

> 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.

Is it wacko to say that a plastic flower has no link to a real flower?
That a photograph of fire has no link to actual fire?

> 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.

Computers are great, but they are great at computing, not
understanding. They are useless when it comes to being conscious. It's
the same for me about your view. Only the most glassy eyed computer
fanatic would fail to see that an electronic puppet is not capable of
turning into a living human mind.

> > 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.

That's my point.

>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 .

You don't need direct evidence. *Our* human awareness can tell when it
encounters itself. Behavior has a lot to do with it, but there are
other factors. Like size. If a person was the size of an ant, we would
have a hard time accepting it as an equal. But we can't limit our
ability to feel the humanity in another person to emulable behaviors
alone. It is entirely probable that we have a sense of a person that
is direct but not reducible to easily identified intellectual
understandings. A dog is probably not going to be fooled by an

> > 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
> country.
> #4) Almost infinite.
> #3) Free will.
> #2) There is a reason it's random.
> #1) God wants.

Category error may be a popular and pretentious term, but in this case
it's accurate and appropriate.

> > 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
> subject.

An intelligent computer is designed to seem conscious though. That
doesn't make a difference to you? A person seems conscious in many
ways that a computer does not seem to be. That is exactly what I am
saying - not that there's some magical difference between conscious
and not conscious, but that human consciousness is not the same thing
as programmed silicon imitating human consciousness.

>  > 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.

"Until it is measured it does not just seem to have no polarization it
really has none"

This contradicts what you were trying to show. Your example shows how
even when confronted with obvious perspective-driven phenomena, the
intolerance for 'seems' demands that measurement magically creates
reality - an unambiguous, literal reality. It's hard for me to even
entertain discussions about photons and QM because I see the whole
model as obsolete.

> >> 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.

Is there some special source of information about parts of speech that
you subscribe to which differs from standard English, or are you just
deciding that my English teacher must be more misinformed than others?
Who has an English teacher in third grade anyhow?

Consciousness is not made of atoms but it is executed through them.
Consciousness is an actual physical process. Computation is not as
clear cut. 1+2=3 can't take acid and come up with a different answer.
It just depends what you really mean when you talk about computation.

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

Wow. You do realize that there is a thing called the internet and on
that thing that there are scientific papers available to the public.
They look like this: http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr454-6/mfr454-65.pdf
and say things like "The isolates were
transferred from TSA slants into 5 ml of TSBH and allowed to incubate
for 24 hours at 37°C; 0.2 ml of each culture was transferred to
another 5 ml of TSBH and incubated for 18 hours at 37°C. The 18-hour
culture was diluted with saline until the density was comparable to
McFarland standard #2 (McFarland, 1907)."

In one sense, thorough practical description. In another sense, hyper-
legitimacy fetishism. No less mumbo jumbo than any non-scientific

>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.

Not sure what you're talking about. The people who I have debated with
are exactly like you. They believe the same things you do for the same
reasons, and they link to the same kinds of peer-reviewed academically
published studies that you would. I have never once had anyone point
me to any kind of flaky site. You are only able to make sense out of
my ideas if you believe that I must be misinformed about science, but
I assure you that is not the case. I know your argument better than
you do. Just take a look at this forum alone. I've been over this
territory dozens of times.

> > that are all but unreadable
> Unreadable by the general public but they were not written for them but for
> fellow specialists.

Obviously. Do you think that isn't the case for philosophy?

>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.

It's true of all sufficiently deep examinations of subjects. That is
my point. If you don't know philosophy or psychology, then it's mumbo
jumbo to you.

> > 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.

Sorry, I don't have a subscription for that.

> > 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.

Right. That's why I said that species don't all turn into each other.

> >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.

Without free will, all human speech can only be noisy gibberish.

> > 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'm saying that the minimum requirement for one thing to make sense is
itself and it's opposite or absence. You can't just have one thing
with nothing to compare it to.

> >> 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

>From experience. Just like how I know when I'm hungry. Sense. Your
behavior is just part of what I use to make sense of what you are
saying. Mostly it's just expectation.

> > It's not something that needs to be consciously deduced.
> Yes, it's intuitively obvious that if something is intelligent then it is
> aware.

Unless something is designed expressly to fool that intuition.

> And it's a tautology that if something does intelligent things then
> its intelligent.

That's a logical fallacy. If an IED does violent things, is it

> 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;

"first one hemisphere, then the other, **then both**, then back"

> 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.

I understand it's not perfect, but I think it would be adequate.

> > 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".

Your dog has no need for Tensor Calculus, but it can figure out how to
get fed and find a mate, which makes it more intelligent than any
computer ever made thus far.

> > 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.

Intelligence has nothing to do with it. Flowers can look like they are
sleeping or dead.

> > 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
> computer.

See...you didn't need to know about my egg related behavior to make
that prediction.

> > 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.

Intention has possible effects, not deterministic ones. We try. Does
determinism try?

> 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.

I'm only stating obvious common sense in a simple and direct way. You
are grasping at straws to make it seem otherwise.

> >*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.

If it were deterministic or random there would be no reason for 'us'
to 'create' anything. That is why intention cannot be reduced to
determinism or randomness. Of course there are reasons, but they are
our reasons. We decide which of the many agendas that we personally
have the power to influence matters to us. Sometimes that decision is
overwhelmingly clear, other times it is highly preferential and
libertarian. Why do you want to make the universe more mechanical than
it seems?

> >> 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
> monoxide.

No I'm just giving you an obvious counterfactual example to your
accusation. Water seems fundamental to life. Who are you to claim that
fact is meaningless?

> > Intelligence is just how a person uses their brain.
> As I said, mind is what the brain does.

That's not the same thing. I am saying 'Driving is how a person steers
their car" and you are misconstruing that to mean "Driving is what
steers the car". You left out the most important part - as do all of
your replies. It is the height of anthropomorphic exceptionalism to
take seriously the possibility of muon-neutrinos, superposition, "dark
energy", and superstings, but the concept of 'free will' and 'people'
are soo exotic and wacko as to be worthy of compulsive scorn.


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