On Jan 26, 9:32 pm, acw <a...@lavabit.com> wrote:

> There is nothing on the display except transitions of pixels. There is
> nothing in the universe, except transitions of states

Only if you assume that our experience of the universe is not part of
the universe. If you understand that pixels are generated by equipment
we have designed specifically to generate optical perceptions for
ourselves, then it is no surprise that it exploits our visual
perception. To say that there is nothing in the universe except the
transitions of states is a generalization presumably based on quantum
theory, but there is nothing in quantum theory which explains how
states scale up qualitatively so it doesn't apply to anything except
quantum. If you're talking about 'states' in some other sense, then
it's not much more explanatory than saying there is nothing except for
things doing things.

What I'm talking about is something different. We don't have to guess
what the pixels of Conway's game of life are doing because, we are the
ones who are displaying the game in an animated sequences. The game
could be displayed as a single pixel instead and be no different to
the computer.

>(unless a time
> continuum (as in real numbers) is assumed, but that's a very strong
> assumption). (One can also apply a form of MGA with this assumption
> (+the digital subst. one) to show that consciousness has to be something
> more "abstract" than merely matter.)
>
> It doesn't change the fact that either a human or an AI capable of some
> types of pattern recognition would form the internal beliefs that there
> is a glider moving in a particular direction.

Yes, it does. A computer gets no benefit at all from seeing the pixels
arrayed in a matrix. It doesn't even need to run the game, it can just
load each frame of the game in memory and not have any 'internal
beliefs' about gliders moving.

> regardless of how sensing (indirectly accessing data) is done, emergent
> digital movement patterns would look like (continuous) movement to the
> observer.

I don't think that sensing is indirect accessed data, data is
indirectly experienced sense. Data supervenes on sense, but not all
sense is data (you can have feelings that you don't understand or even
be sure that you have them). I'm not sure why you say that continuous
movement patterns emerge to the observer, that is factually incorrect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akinetopsia

>
> Also, it would not be very wise to assume humans are capable of sensing
> such a magical continuum directly (even if it existed), the evidence
> that says that humans' sense visual information through their eyes:

I don't think that what humans sense visually is information. It can
and does inform us but it is not information. Perception is primitive.
It's the sensorimotive view of electromagnetism. It is not a message
about an event, it is the event.

> when
> a photon hits a photoreceptor cell, that *binary* piece of information
> is transmitted through neurons connected to that cell and so on
> throughout the visual system(...->V1->...->V4->IT->...) and eventually
> up to the prefrontal cortex.

That's a 3p view. It doesn't explain the only important part -
perception itself. The prefrontal cortex is no more or less likely to
generate visual awareness than the retina cells or neurons or
molecules themselves.

The 1p experience of vision is not dependent upon external photons (we
can dream and visualize) and it is not solipsistic either (our
perceptions of the world are generally reliable). If I had to make a
copy of the universe from scratch, I would need to know that what
vision is all about is feeling that you are looking out through your
eyes at a world of illuminated and illuminating objects. Vision is a
channel of sensitivity for the human being as a whole, and it has as
more to do with our psychological immersion in the narrative of our
biography than it does photons and microbiology. That biology,
chemistry, or physics does not explain this at all is not a small
problem, it is an enormous deal breaker.

My solution is that both views are correct on their own terms in their
own sense and that we should not arbitrarily privilege one view over
the other. Our vision is human vision. It is based on retina vision,
which is based on cellular and molecular visual sense. It is not just
a mechanism which pushes information around from one place to another,
each place is a living organism which actively contributes to the top
level experience - it isn't a passive system.

> Neurons are also rather slow, they can only
> spike about once per 5ms (~200Hz), although they rarely do so often.
> (Note that I'm not saying that conscious experience is only the current
> brain state in a single universe with only one timeline and nothing
> more, in COMP, the (infinite amount of) counterfactuals are also
> important, for example for selecting the next state, or for "splits" and
> "mergers").

Yes, organisms are slower than electronic measuring instruments, but
it doesn't matter because our universe is not an electronic measuring
instrument. It makes sense to us just fine at it's native anthropic
rate of change (except for the technologies we have designed to defeat
that sense).

Craig

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