On Feb 12, 12:55 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 8:24 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote: > > > Apparently what's next is imagining that machines are people and people > > are machines. > > I certainly hope so. In the last 3 or 4 centuries we have gradually (too > gradually for my taste) gotten away from the idea that things happened > because of the soul or gods or God or vague amorphous free floating glows > that nobody can see, instead we have started to embrace the notion that > everything happens because of natural law, including life.
What's the difference? We've only changed the name from God's Will to evolution/mechanism/probability and see the universe as the absence of soul or gods instead. It's the same unreality only turned on it's head. > The discovery in > the 1950's about how DNA can not only duplicates itself but contains the > program that tells cellular machinery how to assemble enormously complex > proteins confirms the idea that a living cell is a purely mechanical > factory. Which would have solved the problem, except that we don't experience ourselves as enormously complex proteins. We don't experience the world as irrelevant spectators to a purely mechanical process. The complete failure of mechanism to generate any possible explanation for consciousness or experience, let alone a possible mechanism by which biochemical gears can seem like anything other than what they are cannot be brushed aside. If the discovery of DNA explained the existence of the feeling and awareness of life, then we would not be having this conversation, but it didn't explain anything, it only opened the door to more complex mechanisms, which may actually be taking us further away from understanding the wholeness and simplicity of "I". > And invoking God or stooping so low as to resort to vital life > forces to explain its operation is no more necessary than saying you can't > understand how a steel mill works unless there is a steel mill god or a > mysterious steel mill force that nobody can see. Invoking vitalism or religion to characterize my views is a similar low stooping resort. I have specifically argued against pseudosubstance conceptualizations to model life or awareness. It is not a phlogiston, an elan vital, aether, etc. It is exactly what it seems to be. Experience, feeling...private, signifying sensorimotive events. My view has no woo or religion at all. It is a description of the cosmos precisely as we experience it, nothing more and nothing less. > > > > We'll be imprisoning software soon I suppose. > > It's already happened, web browsing software is banned in North Korea What does that have to do with imprisonment? Does North Korea intend to rehabilitate the software? Does it employ behavior modification techniques to discourage recidivism? Censorship is not incarceration of software, and the fact that your argument is that desperate to make a connection like that tells me that there is nothing there to defend. > and > until a few weeks ago it looked like certain types of file sharing programs > were about to be banned in the USA. But long term the far more important > scenario is AI software imprisoning us. It has already happened. It's called corporatism. > > > What a computer does is arithmetic to us, but [...] > > To hell with the "but", just answer the simple question "is computer math > simulated arithmetic or real arithmetic to us?". For once give me a > straight yes or no answer. It's real arithmetic to us, but not to the computer. Just as a traffic signal is a real signal to us, but not to the signal itself. > And don't try to weasel out with its real to X > but not to Y because then it would be subjective and "real" means > objective. Do you think that a traffic signal understands traffic? And don't try to weasel out by saying "it's the whole system" or some other apologetic. > > If your answer is "yes" then there is no reason the computer couldn't also > do geometry that is real to us, or real algebra, or real logic, or real > physics, or real poetry or do anything that seems intelligent to us. It seems real to us, of course. That was never my argument. Our entire subjective experience is a 'seems like', so that a realistic imitation accomplishes the goal of allowing us to suspend disbelief of the imitation. We see through the medium. This is photography, movies, books, music, drugs, etc. A trash can that says THANK YOU seems polite to us in one sense, but we can also understand that literally, objectively, it's only a plastic lid, and the other things are only emulsions, pixels, ink in paper, grooves or pits in a plastic disc, psychoactive molecules, etc. > > If your answer is "no" then there is no unique answer to the question "how > much is 2+2?", the value of 2+2 varies from person to person and its true > value can be anything you want it to be. No, it doesn't vary from person to person as long as the logic of the system matches. 2+2 is meaningless if you are talking about drops of liquid. I can divide one drop into an arbitrary number. There are many aspects of the cosmos that are not served well by arithmetic reductionism. Emotion, feeling, symbolism, etc. > I'll tell you one thing, I'd > refuse to walk over a bridge designed by a engineer that had that > philosophy because in the end nature always wins out over delusion. Absolutely. I agree. But bridge building does not explain everything in the universe. The fact that engineering cannot account for consciousness is indisputable as far as I can tell, and that does not make it a delusion. > > > The original email is my subjective experience of composing it, therefore > > it cannot be sent. What can be sent is neither a simulation nor an > > imitation but rather a completely separate semiotic text which can be used > > by human beings to communicate > > And that very semiotic stuff is how we tell the difference between stupid > human beings and brilliant human beings; and if the semiotic stuff is > really good we also judge that the thing that produced it was conscious. That's why a good AI program reflects on the brilliance of it's human programmers, rather than the dumb device which articulates their recordings. Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.