On 2/14/2012 1:35 PM, John Clark wrote:
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:

    > To actually implement digital substitution, we would have to not
    only match the functionally of the module internally but also
    match the interactions of that module with the environment.

No, you'd only have to match he interactions with the environment, what happens internally is inaccessible to us by direct observation. And before you start yelling objections to that reflect on the fact that other human beings are black boxes to us, we can hypothesize that they have a internal life and we can hypothesize what it feels like to be that other person, but we have no direct access to such things and we can never know for sure if our hypothesis is right.

    > Silicon does not have the same chemical properties as carbon

Silicon does not have the same chemical properties as the element germanium either (although they are in the same column in the periodic table as is carbon) and yet you can make transistors out of both and in fact the first transistors were germanium. So is arithmetic performed on a germanium computer different from arithmetic performed on a silicon computer? Or can the atoms be treated as black boxes and the important thing being the logic in the way the atoms are arranged and thus the "4" a silicon computer produces to the question "how much is 2+2" is the same "4" that a germanium computer produces?

The thing I don't understand is that everybody agrees that our conscious experience is not at the level of carbon or silicon or germanium atoms, or atoms of any sort for that matter, we are not conscious of them and until a few centuries ago no conscious being even knew they existed, and yet one and only one of those 3 atoms is supposed to produce consciousness even though we are no more conscious of that atom than the other two atoms. Quite frankly I think the idea that 6 protons 6 electrons and 6 neutrons (carbon) is conscious but 14 protons 14 electrons and 14 neutrons (silicon) is not and can never be no matter how you put such objects together is nuts.

  John K Clark
Hi John,

You are completely missing the point. I don't have time to discuss this any further with you. My apologies.



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to