On Jan 18, 10:14 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> Wrote:
> " Consciousness can change behavior but it might not have to. Like a possum
> > can play dead."
> So if something passes the Turing Test it is intelligent and probably
> conscious,

I would not say that passing the Turing Test implies intelligence or
consciousness. It might be now, but we can't rule out the possibility
that programs will become so convincing that almost nobody can tell
the difference but without having any understanding or consciousness.
I don't imagine it will happen so easily, but the Turing Test alone
doesn't empirically prove anything in principle.

> but failure to pass the Turing Test tells you nothing for
> certain. Rocks don't act intelligently and so fail the test, we conclude
> that rocks are probably not conscious, but maybe just maybe rocks are
> brilliant and as conscious as you or me and are just playing possum. Maybe,
> logically it can't be ruled out, but I rather doubt it.

If we need a Turing Test to tell us that rocks are not conscious, then
we are lost.

> " You decide whether to slow down or not."
> And you made that decision for a reason or you did not.
> " Whether you do slow down or not is random"

Only from the perspective of the flow of traffic. It is not at all
random from the perspective of the driver. Since the traffic signals
don't know whether any individual driver is going to slow down or not,
it has to be considered probabilistically. The significance and
subjectivity is stripped out, leaving only a computational skeleton of
the event.

> OK, then there was a reason and its deterministic.

Reason is in the eye of the beholder.

> " all of these things - teleportation, diamond impersonation, etc are no
> less unlikely than consciousness. [...] There is no way that mutation could
> produce that unless those things were already possible to produce."
> Yes, Evolution could not produce a perpetual motion machine, and in fact it
> could not even come up with things far more mundane, like a macroscopic
> part that can move in 360 degrees. Evolution is a blundering inefficient
> and very stupid process, it's just that until the invention of brains it
> was the only way complex things could get built. Nevertheless Evolution
> managed to produce consciousness and probably first did so more than 500
> million years ago; I conclude that producing consciousness is not that
> difficult, intelligence on the other hand is an entirely different story

Why would what the brain does be different than evolution? Could it
be... free will? Subjectivity? Significance?

> " Life has no reason to evolve from non-life."
> I doubt if that is true, but if it is then life evolved from non-life at
> random.

That's not possible because there has to be a phenomenal support for
biological coherence in the first place. You can't just throw ping
pong balls around in a vacuum for a few billion years and expect there
to be a chance that a frog will pop up somewhere. If you stop reverse
engineering the reality of what the universe is like now and consider
how it would be possible for it to get that way instead, you'll see
that it doesn't make any sense without sense built into it from the
start. An unconscious universe cannot randomly create conscious

> " How can mutation produce consciousness if consciousness was not already a
> > potential?"
> I never said there wasn't a potential. If consciousness is the way data
> feels like when it is processed I'd say that is a potential. And I can see
> absolutely no reason why 3 pounds of grey goo can make use of that
> potential but a microcircuit can not.

Data doesn't feel anything because data is just pattern recognition of
a material body. A microcircuit can't make use of that potential for
the same reason that you can't water your garden with formaldehyde. It
has to be real water. Not a liquid that looks like water or a
mathematical simulation that reminds us exactly of how water flows, or
even ice, but actual liquid H2O.

> " Your answer is that it must have since consciousness exists and evolution
> > is responsible for all properties of life."
> Consciousness MUST be a byproduct of intelligence or it would not exist,
> but I know for a fact that at least one conscious being does exist in the
> universe.

Why would consciousness be a byproduct of intelligence and not the
other way around?

> " But my whole point is that awareness is inherent"
> Then why can't a computer be aware? Why is wet grey goo the only thing that
> can take advantage of this interesting potential?

A computer isn't aware because it's just a lot of little parts that
don't know each other. They didn't all come from the same cell like
our cells do. It's little parts are proto-aware (they detect and
respond to certain physical changes) by virtue of being matter made of
atoms, but they made out of very specific inorganic materials -
semiconductive glass. Glass doesn't do anything interesting. That's
what makes it so useful in science and technology; it is inert yet
transparent, thermoplastic yet thermosetting. Precisely the opposite
of what makes organisms interesting. They are volatile, dynamic,
precariously homeostatic.

I'm not saying that there couldn't be some way for glass to be the
basis for a conscious organism, only that we don't have any reason to
suspect that there could be. If that were to happen though, it won't
be because we are imposing a design on it. The glass would have to
form into an organism on it's own.


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