On Jan 24, 11:41 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 23, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Identical twins have the same genetics and they can disagree with each
> > other."
> That tells you nothing, a copy of you that was exact down to the limit
> imposed by Heisenberg would disagree with you about all sorts of things,
> like who was your wife and who controlled your bank account.

Those aren't opinions though, they are differences in the environment.
Both heredity and environment influence opinion but opinion is more
than that also. It is an accumulation of choices about what is
significant in our environment. Just as each day of our lives has more
to do with the previous day than it does anything else, so to are our
opinions a product of semantic momentum more than they are any
physical or environmental substrate. We bring ourselves into any
environment and we influence our destiny more by our actions than by
our genetic inheritance.

> > We don't see too many people change their opinion midstream without
> > knowing why, as would be the case in this cosmic ray scenario.
> You've never seen anybody you know very well act out of character? You've
> never surprised yourself and acted out of character and felt foolish and
> angry with yourself afterward?

We have different parts of ourselves with different agendas that
conflict, but we are generally aware that we have changed our minds
intentionally and not involuntarily. I have never heard someone say
that their mind was changed or opinion was changed against their will.
We might say that some influence changed our mind but it is implied
that we allowed our minds to be changed and continue to willfully
support the change.

> > It's not for a reason, it is through your own reasoning. You are
> > providing the reason yourself.
> So it's not for a reason and it's for a reason. Make up your mind!

I'm not being ambiguous. For and through are not the same thing.
Working for money is not the same as making your own money through a
printing press.

> > > you're saying a yellow traffic signal is not red AND not not red, and
> >> that my friend is gibberish.
> > > Yellow anticipates red, so the meaning of it can also be considered not
> > not-red.
> And that my friend is logical nonsense, if yellow isn't red you can't say
> yellow isn't not red either, they teach that in Logic 101.

Logic 101 is reductionist theory. It's not reality. Reality always has
multiple senses - including some which make the other sense seem
irrelevant. That's how sense works - it focuses attention on some
phenomena at the expense of everything else.

In a literal sense, the yellow light is different from the red light.
In a figurative sense, the meaning of the yellow light is 100%
contingent on the meaning of the red light, such that the yellow, red,
and green lights are all modes of a single traffic signal. The same is
true for will. When heredity says 'aggressive' and your environment
says 'aggressive not permitted', it is will that decides whether the
maybe gap in between should go one way or the other or should fight
heredity or change the environment.

> So if Free Will
> isn't deterministic you can't say it isn't not deterministic either.

Of course I can. 'Maybe' is not yes and it is not not-yes. It is it's
own conditionality which relates and overlaps to both yes and no but
is reducible to neither one. Maybe is actually the primitive from
which all yes and no emerges.

> And I
> seem to remember you accusing me of anthropomorphism and me saying it's a
> valid tool but it can be abused, and I think that a color anticipating
> something is a example of abuse.

It's not the color that is anticipating anything, it is the driver who
is feeling anticipation through the yellow signal (or center light if
you are color blind) and it's association with the red signal and it's
association with the necessity of applying the brakes to avoid traffic
accidents and moving violations.

> >>> It's like I'm watching Fox News or something.
> >> >> That's the worst insult I've ever had in my life.
> > > Sorry. Maybe was hyperbole.
> Yeah, call me a scum sucking mutant if you want but don't compare me with
> Fox News, that's hitting below the belt.
> > I don't see a difference between will and free will.
> One is cause by something or not caused by something, the other is caused
> by nothing and isn't  caused by nothing. In other words one makes logical
> sense and one does not.

What is will caused by?

> > We talk of compulsion and addiction as disorders because they defy our
> > will.
> In addiction we want to take drugs, we may want to not want to take drugs
> but as the old Rolling Stones song goes "you can't always get what you
> want".

Right, that's what makes it abnormal. Normally if we don't want to
take drugs, we don't take drugs (or overeat, gamble, etc)

> > If there were no free will, society would have no impulse to punish.
> > There would be no stigma against crime at all, we would just accept that
> > nothing has any control over its own behavior.
> Don't be ridiculous. If you're chasing me with a bloody ax I don't give a
> hoot in hell if you had bad genes or bad upbringing or were the victim of a
> unfortunate random quantum fluctuation or if you can control your behavior
> or not, I just want society to do everything in its power to get you to
> stop chasing me with that damn ax and to discourage similar activity in the
> future.

It's not ridiculous. My chasing you with an ax would be no different
than colon cancer or heart disease chasing you. You would not project
criminality on the cancer because you know that it can't be deterred
that way because it has no free will. Humans can be deterred only
because they have free will which is open to considerations of
alternatives and the power to make choices by themselves.

> > Other people's consciousness is really none of my business.
> And yet you think a computers consciousness is our business.

I have no reason to suspect that a computer is conscious in the first

> Actually from
> a human viewpoint it doesn't matter if computers are conscious or not, but
> it does matter that they're smart and getting smarter very very fast.

Right. It only matters if we care about figuring out what
consciousness is. Once we understand that computers are never going to
become conscious in any non-trivial way, that frees us up to turn our
efforts into making outstanding digital servants to toil away forever
for us.

> > Anyone can seem intelligent if they are given the answers to the test.
> > All Watson does is match up questions to the answers it already has been
> > given.
> So you think Watson's programers could deduce every single question anybody
> could ask and then they just wrote up a appropriate answer. That's just
> foolish.

They didn't need to, they just needed to write algorithms for
linguistic pattern matching and attach it to a massive database full
of trivia. Do you think that Watson understands what 'Potent Potables'
actually means? That's just foolish.

> > The test of intelligence is when computers begin killing their
> > programmers intentionally.
> It's only a matter of time.
> > Watson can only outsmart me at Jeopardy.
> And at checkers and chess and solving equations and at being a research
> librarian and being a accountant. Give it another 5 years and you can add
> driver, pilot ,lawyer and physician to the list.
> > Let us both try figuring out whether or not someone is being sarcastic or
> > not and we'll see who wins.
> Watson is already very good at puns, rhymes and word games, and very often
> on the net I make some sarcastic wisecrack and people think I'm serious; or
> at least I think they're people.

That's because the internet strips out non-verbal communication which
Watson has no capacity to detect in the first place.


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