On Feb 9, 1:26 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> >> How in hell would putting a computer in the position of the man prove
> >> anything??
> > >Because that is the position a computer is in when it runs a program
> > based on user inputs and outputs. The man in the room is a CPU.
> A CPU without a memory is not a brain or a computer it's just a CPU. The
> man must be a infinitesimally small part of the entire Chinese room; think
> about it, the man doesn't know a word of Chinese and yet when he is in that
> room it can input questions in Chinese and output intelligent answers to
> them also in Chinese, so the non-man parts of that room must be very
> remarkable and unlike any room you or I have ever been in.

The rule book is the memory. A computer works the way the Chinese Room
illustrates - the dumb CPU retrieves recorded instructions of a fixed
range of procedures. The contents of memory is dumb too - as dumb as
player piano rolls. The two together only seem intelligent to the
Chinese speakers outside the door, because they are intelligent and
can project their own understanding on the contents of what the
computer mindlessly produces.

> > He and the rule book are the only parts that are relevant to strong AI.
> A rule book larger than the observable universe

Where are you getting that? I have already addressed that the book
only needs to be as large as the level of sensitivity of the Chinese
speakers demands. A conversation that lasts a few hours could probably
be generated from a standard Chinese phrase book, especially if
equipped with some useful evasive answers (a la ELIZA). The size isn't
the point though. Make it a 5000 Tb database instead. What would be
the difference? A book is only there as a device to ground the then
unfamiliar mechanics of data processing into familiar terms.

> and a room that thinks a
> billion trillion times slower than you or I think.

Speed is a red herring too.

> Searle expects us to
> throw logic to the wind and to think that even if the consciousness is
> slowed down by that much the room in general can't be conscious because...
> because.... just because.

Because if it makes sense for a room to be conscious, then it makes
sense that anything and everything can be conscious, which doesn't
make much more sense than anything.

> However Searle does not expect us to think it odd
> that 3 pounds of grey goo in a bone vat can be conscious,

Because unlike you, he is not presuming the neuron doctrine. I think
his position is that consciousness cannot solely because of the
material functioning of the brain and it must be something else. We
know the brain relates directly to consciousness, but we don't know
for sure how. What Searle is doing is ruling out the possibility that
computation alone is responsible for consciousness. I agree with this,
but go further to suggest that physics has a mechanistic side
expressed as matter across space/topology as well as a non-mechanistic
side expressed as sense experience through time/sequence.

> that's different
> because... because.... just because. Because of this I expect that Searle
> is an idiot.

He may be an idiot, I don't know, but I think in this case his
experiment is valid, even if a bit ungainly.

> > >> The organization of my kitchen sink does not change with the
> >>> temperature of the water coming out of the faucet.
> >> Glad to hear it, now I know who to ask when I need plumbing advice.
> > Couldn't think of a legitimate counterpoint?
> I didn't even try because I didn't want to inflect needless wear and tear
> on my brain. The problem is I don't give a damn if the organization of my
> kitchen sink changes with the temperature of the water coming out of the
> faucet or not. I'm more interested in how the brain works than kitchen
> sinks.

The metaphor works though. We can make a distinction between the
temporary disposition of the brain and it's more permanent structure
or organization.


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