On Jan 12, 4:18 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >  If you know the logic behind something then you understand it and if
> >> you understand it you know the logic behind it.
> >  >  That's a false assumption. I can understand something whether or not
> > it has logic behind it.
> You can know something without logic but you can't understand it. The
> ancient Greeks knew about lightning just as well as we do but they did not
> understand it.

It's not a binary qualifier. We understand more about lightning than
the ancient Greeks, and they understood more than lizards, who
understand more than salt deposits. We have additional ways of making
sense of lightning, but our understanding of it is by no means
complete. We also have very likely lost some understanding about
lightning - lyrical, poetic sense, just as the advent of literacy was
at the cost of our ability to memorize and recite long stories.

> If understanding X does not mean seeing the logic behind X
> what does the word mean?

The etymology of the word understanding (from the PIE root *nter
meaning inner, like entero, interior; standing from the PIE root *sta,
meaning to set or place, like stable) I think rightly intuits the
nature of understanding as a 'settling within'. A feeling of interior
assimilation and integration of an external 'unsettled' proposition
(like a question). Understanding is an emotional quality which
underpins learning and weaves together the subject with the object so
that there is a personal identification through familiarity realized.
To understand these words is not to see 'the logic behind them' but to
feel the intent of them in the sense that they make to you. You aren't
seeing my logic, you are seeing yourself (with all of your human
baggage, cultural conditioning, and personal idiosyncrasies)
interpreting my meaning - motive - intent.

> > > If a change 'happens' it  could be because something is deciding for it
> > to happen. They are  providing the reason.
> OK, they did it because they wanted to do it, doing it gave them more joy
> than not doing it because that is the way their brain is wired; that is a
> perfectly legitimate deterministic reason for a perfectly legitimate cuckoo
> clock.

It doesn't have to be separated out that way. There is no actual
conscious reasoning taking place. If we have an itch we can choose to
scratch it or try to ignore it, but there doesn't have to be a reason
to choose one and not the other. We can do either. There is
determinism in how our choices are presented, and yes, it is often
framed as one choice seeming to be an obvious better choice than the
other, but the existence of the awareness of the choice at all is
already not a reasonable or inevitable feature in a purely
deterministic universe.

> > The difference between biology and  physics is specifically that it is
> > neither a cuckoo clock nor a  roulette wheel, it is living flesh;
> I'm talking about something much more fundamental than just the difference
> between life and death, I'm talking why things, any thing, happen at all;
> and there can be no doubt that things happen for a reason or they do not
> happen for a reason.

That's the default occidental view. It assumes that life and death do
not alter the ontological underpinnings of the cosmos. Life may not be
merely a cuckoo clock that uses a roulette wheel to make more complex
cuckoo clocks, it may use that mechanical elaboration to facilitate a
greater bandwidth to support more possibilities in the universe
itself. I think that is obviously the case. The clocks and wheels are
just the diodes and wires in the radio, but the purpose of the radio
is to receive radio broadcasts with listenable content. We are clocks
and wheels, but also clockmaker and wheelwright. Completely different
ontology. We make reasons up. We are not limited to the reasons
provided to us by the microcosm beneath us. Our reasons are natural
features of the cosmos at our native perceptual scope, in our own
natural language terms. Our anthropmormorphic reality is as genuine
and concrete as chemistry or physics. Making a funny face is as real
as if there were a periodic table of faces, only it's much richer and
dense with significance.

> >  >  If that were true than an identical twin would be the same person
> > sometimes.
> They are natural clones, they have the same genes but different memories
> and I know very well they are different people, I have identical twin
> sisters.

Yeah, my Dad is an identical twin too. That's what I'm saying, if it
was just genetics, and genetics were just digital, then identical
twins would be truly identical, just like a digital file. But they
aren't. They do have similarities, but not as much as you would think
a clone would have.

> >   > The genetic code can certainly be thought of as a digital  code,
> Obviously it's a digital code.

Obviously only because that's what our understanding is. We understand
digital codes and we see how the behavior of genetic transcription
fits that definition, but that doesn't mean that it is the complete
definition of what is going on.

>    >  but it's execution is all analog biochemistry.
> BULLSHIT! The genetic code and its execution is entirely mechanical and as
> digital as a digital  watch. When a single strand of DNA duplicates itself
> it forms a mirror image of itself, in the new strand the base adenine
> always replaces the base thymine (and vice versa) and the base guanine
> replaces the base cytosine (and vice versa), thus when the new strand
> duplicates themselves you get a exact copy of the original grandfather DNA
> strand. All these rules are entirely digital.

That article suggests that it may not be that simple. There is editing
going on. But let's say that it is perfect except for random mutation
for the sake of argument. That's not what I'm talking about. You have
a copy of DNA, great, but it doesn't do anything unless living cells
can make proteins based on that molecule. Proteins that fold and
stretch and curl, setting off cascades of unscripted consequences.

> Of course DNA does not make protein directly, that heavy lifting is the job
> of Messenger RNA
> (mRNA), so the DNA must make some and the digital rules for making mRNA are
> identical to the DNA duplication rules except that thymine is replaced by
> another base called uracil, but the rules are still 100% digital, and
> remember it is the sequence of these bases that caries the genetic
> information.

You're not telling me anything new here, but I am trying to present
you with a view that you aren't familiar with. I know what your view
is already, and I used to share it too. I'm just trying to explain why
it's not the whole truth. mRNA does nor make protein either. That's
why it's a messenger. It just carries a local copy of the translation
to the ribosome, which is an organelle of a living cell. mRNA won't do
anything in a dead cell.

> For example, the triplet CAT in DNA makes the mRNA triplet CAU and in and
> in the language of the genetic code that mRNA is written in that triplet
> symbolizes the amino acid histidine, BUT their are no special analog
> chemical properties that relate that triplet to the amino acid,

Why not? If the ribosome could turn CAU into histadine by itself then
it wouldn't need the ribosome. Just like we need a mp3 player with
headphones to get any music out of a digital file.

>and yet
> that triplet always causes that amino acid an no other to be added to the
> sequence making the protein. Why? The reason for that is another very small
> type of RNA called transfer RNA (tRNA). One type of tRNA has an anticodon
> that connects to the CAU triplet of messenger RNA like a key fitting into a
> lock. At another part of the transfer RNA molecule an amino acid can be
> attached, in this case histidine. However tRNA can't tell one amino acid
> from another, the amino acid attachment part is IDENTICAL in all tRNA
> molecules, but in practice, only those that have the anticodon for CAU are
> attached to histidine. Why? The reason for this is an enzyme
> (aminocyl-tRNA synthetase). This enzyme can tell one amino acid from
> another, and it can tell one tRNA molecule from another, and it can a
> attach a amino acid to it. But this enzyme does NOT look at the anticodon
> at all but at another part of the transfer RNA, the DHU loop. In the lab
> the DHU loop from one type of tRNA has been grafted onto another type of
> tRNA and that changes the genetic code. It's also interesting that this
> enzyme is a protein encoded by, what else, the digital genetic code. So the
> genetic code does not reside in any one of these stages, it resides in all
> of them, and all of them are digital

You are still talking about the code itself - I'm talking about the
execution of the code - the synthesis of protein. The consequences of
the characteristics of the proteins. Those are not digital codes. They
do not represent anything other than what they are. They are not
information. They are organic products with properties which would be
unforeseeable by purely arithmetic means. CAU does not equal histadine
just as the stop light does not equal rush hour traffic.

>  >  I'm not sure that analog is inherently an inferior format for copying,
> You're not sure?? Don't be ridiculous. When you download a program from the
> internet it has to be perfect, 99.99% fidelity is not nearly good enough
> because just one bit out of place could render the entire large program
> nonfunctional; you can never make a 100% perfect analog copy but such
> perfection is the norm in the digital realm, and even if a error is made
> there are error correcting algorithms that can usually correct it and get
> back to that 100% perfection that is required, there is nothing like that
> for analog copies.

You are conflating a particular implementation of 21st century digital
technology with the principle of digital encoding in general. At
another time in history, a skilled artist would make a much better
counterfeit note than a scientist trying to copy the note
mechanically. This era of computer technology could easily be the
precursor to a much more effective era of analog technology through
biology or quantum computing.

> So analog copies are never perfect but digital copies
> are usually perfect.

But digital copies are also never original unless the original itself
is a digital artifact. Would you rather have an imperfect copy of a
real gold coin or a perfect .jpg of a picture of a gold coin?

> As the chain of copies of copies of copies lengthens
> the quality of the copies ALWAYS decreases if it's analog, but not if it's
> digital, and some of your genes go back millions of generations.

I understand your point completely, and there is truth to it. I'm just
trying to show you that is an arbitrarily narrow way of thinking about
it. Digital has different strengths and weaknesses than analog. You
generally don't lose an entire analog document because of a single
error. Digital is good for copying, but so what? What is a copy good
for unless you ultimately translate it into some analog of the

> > > >  At the temperatures  and pH conditions found in cells any linear
> >> protein string with the same
> >>  sequence of amino acids ALWAYS folds up into exactly precisely the same
> >> shape. Different sequence different shape, same sequence same shape.
> >  >  If you change the temperatures and pH conditions, then they do not.
> > Sequence isn't everything
> What the hell difference does that make? In the cell, any cell, the the
> temperature and pH is always in a certain range or the cell is dead, and in
> that range the same sequence always gives you the exact same shape no
> matter how complex that shape is, so obviously that shape information HAD
> to be in that linear sequence of amino acids. It's digital.

Tertiary protein structure is not digital. If the chemistry is
different, it might not fold the right way. Just like if I don't cook
an egg long enough, it won't turn white. It doesn't matter whether it
was a chicken or a quail, the conditions of temperature have a
tangible, determining effect on the egg.

> > > It's nothing like a program being executed from a script
> It's EXACTLY  like running a program from a script, input a digital one
> dimensional linear program sequence and output a very complex 3D shape; the
> same sequence gives you the same shape, always.

But the shape causes the sequence to have different functions. If the
natural mutation of the sequence changes the shape so it doesn't fold
in the usual way, the analog properties of the protein are changed. It
was curly, now it's straight, so it can't contain insulin properly or
whatever. There is no code for the insulin deficiency, it's just a
consequence of the physical structure, like a certain mp3 might make
your headphones buzz. The buzzing is not digital. It's not part of the
code, nor is it a direct consequence of the sequence. It's in the
reconstitution of the analog that you get the effect.

>  >  Any computer should be able to emulate another computer of lesser
> > capacity and know exactly what it will do. That's what digital is all
> > about.
> But exactly the same thing is true of you. A man is walking down a road and
> spots a fork in the road far ahead. He knows of advantages and
> disadvantages to both paths so he isn't sure if he will go right or left,
> he hadn't decided. Now imagine a powerful demon able to look into the man's
> head and quickly deduce that he would eventually choose to go to the left.
> Meanwhile the man, whose mind works much more slowly than the demon's,
> hasn't completed the thought process yet. He might be
> saying to himself I haven't decided I'll have to think about it, I'm free
> to go either way. From his point of view he is in a sense correct, even a
> robot does not feel like a robot but from the demon's viewpoint it's a
> different matter, he simply deduced a purely mechanical operation that can
> have only one outcome.
>  But is it really a purely mechanical operation, what about the uncertainty
> principal? I don't see how it effects matters one way or another. It says
> that some things can happen for no cause and thus are truly random, but
> happenstance is the very opposite of intelligence and even emotion. Things
> either happen because of cause and effect or they don't and if they don't
> then they are by definition random and have nothing to due with volition.
> Those who claim that this is the source of the will must also
> believe that a nickel has free will when you flip it.

You just said 'happenstance is the very opposite of intelligence and
even emotion'. What I am saying is that you are correct in saying
that. Now all you have to do is realize that intelligence and emotion
is also the very opposite of determinism. A nickel has no free will,
but we have free will to choose which side will signify what intended
outcome. Indeed the whole idea of flipping a coin would make no sense
in a deterministic universe. We would always either be flipping coins
already (figuratively in our randomly deciding minds) or we would have
no need for them since the outcome is ultimately a foregone conclusion
independent of our thinking of our decision. We might as well just
play Russian Roulette instead of flipping a coin.

>  In our example the demon did not tell the man of his prediction, but now
> lets pretend he did. Suppose also that the man, being of an argumentative
> nature, was determined to do the exact opposite of what the demon
> predicted. Now our poor demon would be in a familiar predicament. Because
> the demons decision influences the man's actions the demon must forecast
> his own
> behavior, but he will have no better luck in this regard than the man did
> and for the same reasons. What we would need in a situation like this is a
> mega-demon able to look into the demon's head. Now the mega-demon would
> have the problem.

I'm not entirely sure what your point is but it reminds me of a Quora
answer I posted yesterday:

>  >  My theory is multisense realism. It is all about what is real and in
> > what sense. Information is not objectively real because it is  subjective
> > phenomena imagined as object, which it isn't.
> If information is not real why are you giving me all this information about
> your theory?

The information is just the means to an end of sharing the same sense.
We only need to inform each other when we sense that our sense might
differ. It's a refinement of jumping up and down, pointing, making
noises,etc. It's not a thing, it's just a way of sharing an

> > > Free will is the difference between true/false and Yes!/No!.
> So free will is negative one.

Where's that from? Is there a mathematical definition of Yes!/No!?

> >  > Free will  is  the difference between how voluntary muscle tissue and
> > smooth muscle tissue is activated.
> I can control some things like the muscles in my fingers but I can not
> control the muscles in my heart. My car's computer can control the air fuel
> ratio in the engine but it can't control the pressure in the tires.

You know what the car's computer can control, but it wouldn't know a
fuel ratio from a basketball score. It's just millions of doped
silicon crystals holding and releasing a feeling of charge, just as an
abacus is just wooden beads sliding and stopping on a stick. There is
no free will. Just because you attach a motor to the abacus to jiggle
the beads to make it heavy enough on one side that it triggers a
mousetrap underneath doesn't mean that suddenly there is free will.
Free will for what? The motor? The beads? The mousetrap? From where
could a feeling of voluntary influence arise?

We are different because voluntary influence is part of our palette of
natural sensorimotive capacities. We have the bandwidth to participate
in the world in that way, but the abacus or computer cannot. It
doesn't know it's a computer. It probably just knows "--- - - - ------
- --          --   --------------- -- - --- -- - - - - - - -- - - ----
-- -- -- - -- ----------- --- -"

> > >  Free will is the difference between  premeditated murder and accidental
> > manslaughter.
> Free will gibberish is one of the most important reasons the criminal
> justice system is such a joke.

Joke or no, it is an anthropological universal that would not be
explainable without free will. Would a computer build a prison? How
could it even conceive of such a thing?

> >  > Free will is the ordinary process by which we choose to express
> > ourselves in words and gestures.
> Did one mind choose to transferring information from his mind to another
> mind for a reason, or did one mind choose to transferring  information from
> his mind to another mind for no reason?

There are many reasons to choose to transfer and not to transfer, and
how and when and with what words and meanings. The free will comes in
like a transmission clutch, when we actively yoke this fugue of
possibilities together with a single course of action beginning with a
single next step. We choose which gear we want to be in.  As we mature
and accumulate experience, more of our decisions become automated and
our unconditioned self recedes to a certain extent. Just watch a two
year old. What are their reasons for throwing things and making
noises? Why do those reasons only make sense to two year olds and
angry drunks?

> >  > How many more do you want?
> Just one more will do, one that is not circular or gibberish.

Free will is what makes you think you have an opinion about free will.

>  > Free Will is Subjectivity * Significance. Determinism is Objectivity รท
> Entropy. Randomness is Insignificance.
> I couldn't fail to disagree with you less. Free will is a wet bird that
> never fly's at night. Free will is a little tweeting squirrel chirping in a
> meadow. Free will is a wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad. Free will
> is a colorless green idea that sleeps furiously.

You're can't disagree with me if you don't understand what I've said.
Making fun of the fact just seems like impatience to me.


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