On Jan 19, 11:33 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 17 Jan 2012, at 21:20, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > My point is that a Turing machine is not even truly universal,
> > let alone infinite.
> A universal Turing machine is, by definition a machine, and machine
> are by definition finite.
> The infinite tape plays a role of possible extending environment, and
> is not part of the universal machine, despite a widespread error
> (perhaps due to a pedagogical error of Turing).

What machine makes the infinite tape?

> That error comfort me in talking about universal numbers, and defining
> them by the relation
> phi_u(<x, y>) = phi_x(y).    u is the universal machine, x is a
> program and y is a data. "phi" refer to some other universal number
> made implicit (in my context it is explicited by elementary arithmetic).

So a universal machine's universal number made implicit from data in a
program = a program's universal number from data. I don't understand
what it means.

> > It's an object oriented syntax that is limited to
> > particular kinds of functions, none of which include biological
> > awareness (which might make sense since biology is almost entirely
> > fluid-solution based.)
> This worth than the notion of primitive matter. It is mystification of
> primitive matter.

It's not an assertion of mysticism, it's just a plain old
generalization of ordinary observations. Programs don't get excited or
tired, they don't get sick and die, they don't catch a cold, etc. They
share none of the differences which make biology different from

> >> Also, something can be infinite without encompassing everything.  A
> >> line
> >> can be infinite in length without every point in existence having
> >> to lie on
> >> that line.
> > If that's what you meant though, it's not saying much of anything
> > about the repertoire. A player piano has an infinite repertoire too.
> > So what?
> >>>> To date, there is nothing we
> >>>> (individually or as a race) has accomplished that could not in
> >>>> principle
> >>>> also be accomplished by an appropriately programed Turing machine.
> >>> Even if that were true, no Turing machine has ever known what it has
> >>> accomplished,
> >> Assuming you and I aren't Turing machines.
> > It would be begging the question otherwise.
> >>> so in principle nothing can ever be accomplished by a
> >>> Turing machine independently of our perception.
> >> Do asteroids and planets exist "out there" even if no one perceives
> >> them?
> > They don't need humans to perceive them to exist, but my view is that
> > gravity is evidence that all physical objects perceive each other. Not
> > in a biological sense of feeling, seeing, or knowing, but in the most
> > primitive forms of collision detection, accumulation, attraction to
> > mass, etc.
> I can agree with that. This is in the spirit of Everett, which treat
> observation as interaction. But there is no reason to associate
> primitive qualia and private sensation from that. It lacks the
> "retrieving memory" and self-reference.

Doesn't an asteroid maintain it's identity through it's trajectory?
Can't the traces of it's collisions be traced forensically by
examining it. Memory and self reference have to come from somewhere,
why not there? Don't forget, without human consciousness going as a
comparison, we can't assume that the experience of raw matter is
ephemeral like ours is. It may not be memory which is the invention of
biology, but forgetting.

> >>> What is an
> >>> 'accomplishment' in computational terms?
> >> I don't know.
> >>>>> You can't build it out of uncontrollable living organisms.
> >>>>> There are physical constraints even on what can function as a
> >>>>> simple
> >>>>> AND gate. It has no existence in a vacuum or a liquid or gas.
> >>>>> Just as basic logic functions are impossible under those ordinary
> >>>>> physically disorganized conditions, it may be the case that
> >>>>> awareness
> >>>>> can only develop by itself under the opposite conditions. It
> >>>>> needs a
> >>>>> variety of solids, liquids, and gases - very specific ones. It's
> >>>>> not
> >>>>> Legos. It's alive. This means that consciousness may not be a
> >>>>> concept
> >>>>> at all - not generalizable in any way. Consciousness is the
> >>>>> opposite,
> >>>>> it is a specific enactment of particular events and materials. A
> >>>>> brain
> >>>>> can only show us that a person is a live, but not who that
> >>>>> person is.
> >>>>> The who cannot be simulated because it is an unrepeatable event
> >>>>> in the
> >>>>> cosmos. A computer is not a single event. It is parts which have
> >>>>> been
> >>>>> assembled together. It did not replicate itself from a single
> >>>>> living
> >>>>> cell.
> >>>>>>> You can't make a machine that acts like a person without
> >>>>>>> it becoming a person automatically. That clearly is ridiculous
> >>>>>>> to
> >>> me.
> >>>>>> What do you think about Strong AI, do you think it is possible?
> >>>>> The whole concept is a category error.
> >>>> Let me use a more limited example of Strong AI.  Do you think
> >>>> there is
> >>> any
> >>>> existing or past human profession that an appropriately built
> >>>> android
> >>>> (which is driven by a computer and a program) could not excel at?
> >>> Artist, musician, therapist, actor, talk show host, teacher,
> >>> caregiver, parent, comedian, diplomat, clothing designer, director,
> >>> movie critic, author, etc.
> >> What do you base this on?  What is it about being a machine that
> >> precludes
> >> them from fulfilling any of these roles?
> > Machines have no feeling.
> What I say three times is true.
> What I say three times is true.
> What I say three times is true.
> (Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark).

I really don't find it a controversial statement. 

mechanical  [muh-kan-i-kuhl]
Part of Speech:         adjective

Definition:     done by machine; machinelike

Synonyms:       automated, automatic, cold, cursory, *emotionless*, fixed,
habitual, impersonal, instinctive, involuntary, laborsaving,
*lifeless*, machine-driven, matter-of-fact, monotonous, perfunctory,
programmed, routine, *spiritless*, standardized, stereotyped,
unchanging, **unconscious, unfeeling, unthinking**, useful

Antonyms:       by hand, **conscious, feeling**, manual

This is not evidence that machines are incapable of feeling but it
indicates broad commonsense support for my interpretation. Of course
popularity does not mean truth, but it does mean that I don't have to
accept accusations of some sort of fanciful eccentricity peculiar to
myself alone. My interpretation is conservative, yours is radically
experimental and completely unproven. How can you act as if it were
the other way around? It's dishonest.

> > These kinds of careers rely on sensitivity
> > to human feeling and meaning. They require that you care about things
> > that humans care about. Caring cannot be programmed. That is the
> > opposite of caring, because programming requires no investment by the
> > programmed. There is no subject in a program, only an object
> > programmed to behave in a way that seems like it could be a subject in
> > some ways.
> If you define the subject by the knower, believability by provability,
> and if you accept the classical theory of knwoledge (the axioms:  Kp-
>  >p, K(p->q)->(Kp->Kq)). Then it is a theorem that a subject exist for
> machine, and indeed that machine have to be puzzled by the relation
> between that subject and their body.

It sounds like I can name anything 'knower' and have that be a theorem
for subjectivity.

> Now, there is no reason to expect a *human* subject. Unless the
> machine is a copy of a human at some genuine level. But most machines
> are not a priori human machines.

Right. I don't have a problem with natural holarchies of the parts of
a material machine being subjects, just not likely very high quality
subjects. I just don't think the parts know each other unless they
naturally grew as parts of a whole.


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