On Jan 10, 12:40 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >No free will = no hunger. No need for it. No mechanism for it. No logic to
> > it.
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII sequence "free will" means.

The old 'stick your fingers in your ears and say lalalalalala' trick.
Impressive, but deciding to do such a thing would require FREE WILL.

> > That was my point. Knowing how to eat does not require logic or induction.
> But your question was "Is it induction that provides our understanding of
> how to swallow?", you asked about understanding; for prediction induction
> alone is enough but for understanding you need logic, and for some things
> neither is required. A rock can stay on the ground even though it's not
> very good at induction and nobody has a deep understanding of gravity yet.

There is more to understanding than logic. You need a subject who is
motivated to make sense out of something. They can employ logic,
intuition, induction, insight, memory, etc. Lots of modes of sense

> >>  The genetic code in DNA could not be more digital, and it was good
> >> enough to build your brain and every other part of you out of simple
> >> amino acid molecules; if you look at the details of the assembly process
> >> biology uses to make complex things, like your brain, you find its
> >> amazingly computer-like.
> > That may not be true even for DNA:
> >http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110525/full/473432a.html
> >http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6038/53
> DNA translates its information into RNA

It's true that the RNA bases are informed by the DNA bases (just
because RNA is motivated to mirror each base of the DNA) , just as a
baseball game is informed by the score in each inning, but there is no
actual 'information'.

> and RNA tells the ribosomes what
> linear sequence of amino acid molecules to make, after the ribosomes are
> finished the linear sequence folds up into very complex shapes forming
> proteins, and that makes you including your brain. This controversial
> experiment (as I said no experiment is finished until it is repeated) says
> that there is a unknown mechanism that sometimes makes minor changes in the
> DNA to RNA part of that chain. In no place in that paper is it suggested
> that the unknown mechanism (assuming it even exists) is analog and for a
> very good reason, indeed it is very clear that there is no way it could be
> analog.

It says very clearly that the changes are not random - ie, they are
intentionally edited. That's not about analog vs digital, it is about
crushing the delusion of the machine metaphor in biology.

> Think of your father and grandfather and great grandfather and all the
> millions of individuals in the past that led up to you; every one of those
> individuals got old and died but their genetic legacy remains as vital as
> is was the day they were born thousand or millions of years ago, and there
> is absolutely no way that could happen if the information was encoded in a
> analog manner.

But I'm not my father or grandfather or great grandfather, nor am I a
combination of my mother and father. The digital aspects are
complemented - always - by analog processes.

> Do you
> remember the old analog cassette tapes, if you made a copy of a copy of a
> copy of a copy of a music tape pretty soon the resulting tape had so many
> errors in it that it could no longer be called music and was unlistenable;
> that was because with analog copying the errors are cumulative, but that is
> not the case with digital copying.

It doesn't matter though because eventually the music has to be output
to an analog audio device to make sense to your analog inner ear. You
are just talking about encoding and recording, not the qualities that
the production of musicality (or life, or consciousness) entails.

>If the internet was based on analog
> technology the big music companies would have had no problem with bootleg
> copies of their product, but it uses
> digital methods so they had a very big problem indeed.

Not true. Music companies had a problem with cassettes too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Taping_Is_Killing_Music. Recording
devices have always been forbidden at popular movies and concerts.

> > The primary sequence of DNA is just part of the story though. Secondary
> > and tertiary epigenetic factors are can determine which genes are used
> > and which are not, and they are not digital.
> Of course they're digital!! Cytosine and guanine are 2 of the 4 bases in
> DNA and it is the variation in the sequence of these 4 bases that carry the
> genetic code. The epigenetic factors you're talking about happens because
> sometimes at the point where cytosine and guanine meet a molecule called a
> "methyl group" is sometimes attached. A methyl group is a very small
> molecule consisting of just one carbon atom connected to three hydrogen
> atoms, and the existence of a methyl group changes the way the sequence of
> bases in DNA is translated into a sequence of amino acids in a protein. But
> the methyl group is either at the cytosine-guanine point or it is not, the
> code is still purely digital as
> indeed it HAD to be.

There is nothing particularly digital about the folding problem. It is
an analog process which occurs through concrete chemical interaction,
not the invariable execution of a template. 

> > Synapses don't fire, neurons fire across synapses
> That distinction escapes me.

Do chickens cross the road or do roads cross themselves? A synapse is
just a gap between neurons.

> > Just because traffic lights turn from red to green before drivers move
> > their cars forward doesn't mean that the traffic light is what is making
> > cars move from one place to another.
> Huh? Traffic lights are a very important reason that cars move from point X
> to point Y in the way they do.

Not without drivers to make sense of the lights. The reason cars move
is because drivers know how to make them move when they want to.
Lights are a way for many such drivers to avoid killing each other.

> > An anecdotal account of being hit by a bus is not the same thing as
> > the experience of it.
> True, but that anecdotal account is the best you can do unless you're ready
> to step out in front of a bus yourself.

Definitely, but it's still no better than nothing for some purposes.
If your whole point is to explain the first hand experience, then an
anecdote can only take you so far. An anecdotal account of blue is
almost worthless.

> > But digital flowers don't smell like anything or feel like anything or
> > grow in the ground with water.
> That's because flowers are nouns but you're not really interested in nouns.

Nothing is a noun except words. No physical object is a noun, but
nouns can refer to physical object if the listener interprets the word
the way it is intended by the speaker.

> Digital arithmetic in a computer does seem to be the same as the arithmetic
> you do in your head, except that the stuff in your head is much slower and
> much more prone to error.

Oh really? Do you count in - - ----- - - ---- -          ----- -- - -
- - -- --- -- - --- - -       --  -        --- --- - - - -- ---- ?

> > Surprise is relative. What a programmer might find surprising might
> > seem inevitable to someone who has spent more time studying the
> > program's implication.
> Baloney. There is not a person on this planet who knows what will happen if
> you program a computer to find the first even number greater than 2 that is
> not the sum of two prime numbers and then stop.

That can only mean that you are admitting that the brain is not a

> And it only took me 18
> words to describe that problem, there are a infinite number of similar
> problems where if you want to know what the computer is going to do there
> is nothing you can do except watch it and see.

Nah, it would just take longer. You could have a billion Chinese
people work on the problem and come up with the same result, it just
might take longer and there might be more errors.

> > physical presence is part of being. Someone can pretend to be a
> > computer over the internet but it's not as easy in person. There is no
> > Turing-like test that would be sufficient to my standard short of brain
> > invasive procedures.
> You and I have never met, so do you think I'm conscious? You never met
> Plato either, and unlike the case with me (or the Turing Test) the
> interaction between you and Plato is strictly one way, so do you think
> Plato was conscious? Was Socrates conscious? All you know about him is what
> Plato said about him.

With consciousness there is no 'simply is' quality, only a 'seems
like' quality. My view is that this is literally true. This is the way
the universe actually works.


Your view is that 'seems like' quality is just poor resolution 'simply
is' quantity. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Quantity, if
anything, is a low res reduction of seems like, as black & white is to
the color spectrum. Quantity defines *that* something is, from the
outside, but now the who or why or what is is from the inside. But
quantity adds something important to the picture. It anchors the many
to one and one to many relations of quality, providing a lowest common
sense denominator. This should not be confused with a universal truth
though, just as black and white is not the universal truth of color -
to the contrary, it is color which has been completely desaturated:
color without any color. Quantity therefore is fact with no truths,
mechanism with no meaning. 'Simply is' is the greatest trick of all,
the most outlandish 'seems like' illusion that can be shared. I say
'simply' because it isn't just 'what is', it's the skeleton of what
is. A blueprint. It has no value or purpose on it's own.

> > By that reasoning, we should treat actors on TV as real people in our
> > living room that just happen to not pay us much attention.
> Well that's exactly what I do. What other behavior could I adopt toward
> people or things that pays me no attention?

Most people understand that they are watching images on TV.

> > Just because they [physicists] have misinterpreted the results of the
> > experiments in the same way doesn't mean that the universe doesn't make
> > sense.
> Although not logically self contradictory there are experimental results
> that defy all our common sense ideas about space time and cause and effect,
> if you want I can give you a excellent example of that.

I'm familiar with them. (Dozens of times). The experimental results
are fine, it's the interpretation of them that is inside out.

> > Measurement doesn't make reality, measurement is just a
> > feeling/experience. It is the correspondence of internal feeling with
> > external non-feeling feelings that makes reality.
> Very poetic, very noble, but the trouble is that just one ugly fact can
> destroy even the most beautiful theory.

A fact is an external non-feeling.

> > MWI is another almost-plausible explanation, but once you understand
> > how the subjective-objective symmetry works, we can realize that it's
> > just another way to preserve sentimental mechanemorphism.
> I don't know what any of that means.

It means MWI is born of desperation to preserve the machine metaphor
of the universe.

> >>  If you know of a theory that makes better predictions about what will
> >> happen when things become very small I and the entire world would love
> >> to hear all about it.
> > > It's a perfect theory for predictions on the microcosmic level,
> Perfect, wow that's great! What does your theory predict the magnetic
> moment of the electron will be?

My theory predicts that there isn't necessarily an electron at all.

> Quantum mechanics predicts it will
> be1.00115965246 and that agrees well with the experimental value of
> 1.00115965221. What does your theory predict the value will be?

My theory predicts that electrons seem one way to electronic
instruments, another way to human brains, and another way to human
minds interpreting the exterior behavior of electronic instruments.

> > Those are inferences based on the assumption of information existing
> > in the first place.
> Yet another iteration of the X does not exist subroutine whenever you get
> into a tight corner.

If you keep making the same misrepresentations, I keep pointing them
out in the same way.

> > What those formulas are actually calculating are the physics of
> > electromagnetism and the minimum requirements for us to
> > make changes that are meaningful to us.
> I don't get it, but whenever I say something like X might create
> consciousness you say but X is not conscious it's just X. Well of course X
> is not consciousness, if I said consciousness causes consciousness it would
> not be much of an explanation!

Instead, I can understand that causality supervenes on consciousness
and not the other way around.

> > There is no actual bit that uses physical energy.
> Yes there is.

No. A bit is a logical abstraction. Nothing real is made of bits.

> > It's just a figurative way to talk about the limits of how we use atoms.
> What about temperature and pressure, are they just a figurative way to talk
> about atoms too?

Yes, but they refer to an aggregate quality on a higher frame of
perceptual relativity. We feel temperature and pressure on our frame
of reference. On an atomic scale, there is only density and velocity.

> If information does not exist then neither does pressure
> or temperature or entropy because all of them "just" describe the way atoms
> or groups of atoms behave.

Right. They don't exist as a 'simply is' quality, they *insist* is a
'seems like quality'.

> > Would successful quantum computing change the Boltzmann constant?
> Not in any way I can see. Is there any particular reason you think it might?

Because if you can change a bit instantaneously on the other side of
the world, why not change a trillion bits instantaneously? Does it
cost the sun more energy to make one thousand reflections in a broken
mirror than one reflection in one mirror?

> > there is a long history of brilliant minds who have gotten their hands
> > dirty making Earth-shaking philosophical discoveries
> Yes, but none of those Earth-shaking philosophical discoveries, at least in
> the last 400 years, were made by philosophers,  they were made by
> scientists and mathematicians.

Did scientists and mathematicians ever end slavery or capital
punishment? Cruelty to animals?

> > There's an atheist board I spent a lot of time on
> >http://whywontgodhealamputees.com. It looks like the forum is broken
> > now.
> Were you pro god or anti?

I'm anti god but I thought there was a chance that atheists would be
smart enough to understand my ideas. They weren't.

> > Well, I'm not a big fan of reading philosophy personally, but I don't
> > imagine that it's useless just because I don't like it.
> You've got me wrong, I like philosophy a lot, I just don't like
> philosophers very much because they have very little to do with philosophy.
> Philosophy is a vital active field, but psychology has made no progress in
> 50 years, they're still running the same rats through the same mazes and
> arguing about the same things they did in 1960.
> > What qualifies someone as a philosopher?
> Writing "philosopher" under the occupation line on their tax returns.

I wonder if anyone actually does that?

> > You want me to go to the library to read the paper that you are citing?
> Yes, either that or stop saying ALL scientific papers are mumbo jumbo.

I just said that scientific papers also have a lot of mumbo jumbo.
They have important things in them too, as might philosophy.

> > Free will is the difference between yes-no and true-false.
> So free will is the "NOT" operation. What new names have you made up for
> the "OR" operation, how about the "AND" operation and "NAND" operation?

No. The NOT operation does not assert a command. Va! Allez! Allons!
Computers don't do that.

> > Free will is the ability to tell the difference between an accident
> > and 'on purpose'.
> You can't always predict your own actions nor what the environment will do,
> so sometimes your actions turn out the way you like, this is to say they
> advance your goals, and sometimes they do not.

Sure, because 'seems like' is a spectrum. It's not digital. Doesn't
mean there's not a difference, it means there's many subtle shades of

> > On what basis do you claim that I'm unclear about the meaning of free
> > will?
> Because you are unable or unwilling to answer a simple question which has a
> even simpler yes or no answer, "when you move your arm with your free will
> did you do so for a reason?".

The answer to that question is 'you move your arm for many reasons,
free will is the ability to choose which ones make the most sense for
us at the time'.

> > Intention doesn't need a to have any one cause
> That's OK, in the real world macroscopic objects usually behave the way
> they do for many reasons, the result is still deterministic.

It's more than deterministic. It is making determinations itself.

> > it makes one deliberate cause out of many possible/potential causes,
> Did it make "one deliberate cause out of many possible/potential causes"
> for a reason or did it do it for no reason?

Again, for many reasons and for it's own reason.

> > it's not random.
> At last a answer! It did not do it for no reason thus according to the laws
> of logic it did it for a reason, and so is deterministic.

No, that isn't the automatic other option. Why would it be?

> > We select the reason that we use to decide.
> And did you make that selection for a reason or did you not? I really don't
> think these are difficult questions.

No, but they are the wrong questions. They presume a binary ontology
to begin with, so they are begging the question. We make the reason
that we use to select our option. We forge it in the moment as a novel
synthesis which is more than the sum of it's parts.

> > Spoken like a true occidental literalist.
> I hope that doesn't mean what it seems to mean because it seems very
> racist.  Well at least you didn't call me round eyes.

Not occidental in a geographic sense, but in an epistemological
extremist sense.

> > Organisms evolve to be drive their own desires and whims using free
> > will and teleology.
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII sequence "free will" means.



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