On Mar 8, 1:24 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Can you transplant a particular flame from one candle to another?
> Can a particular flame exist from one nanosecond to the next?
I think that it can 'insist'. The continuity is figurative but real,
both through time and literally across space as 'energy'. The flame is
not an object but rather a relatively (to us) objective facet of an
intersubjective process which is experienced locally by the molecules
of wick, wax, and air surrounding them, the retinal cells of the eye
and brain of the observer, etc.
> > Can you cut a spark down the middle lengthwise and put half here and half
> > there?
> Certainly, a spark is made of matter, plasma to be specific, so put half
> the plasma here and the other half there.
The spark is a momentary fragmentation of matter sublimating across
space. You can't put half of 'it' somewhere because it is mostly
motion. It's like cutting a curveball in half and expecting to get a
perfect half of the curve.
> > >> I think there is a thought experiment that can resolve this issue: You
> > are a copy of Bruno Marchal made as precisely as Heisenberg's law allows
> > and you are now facing the original Bruno Marchal in a symmetrical room,
> > thus the two of you are receiving identical sensory input
> > That's an assumption. A compass duplicated in this way would not be
> > receiving identical sensory input.
> That could only happen if the magnetic field in that room favored one
> direction over another, and in my thought experiment I'm talking about a
> room with a infinite number of symmetries, like a sphere.
By isolating it that way though, you are excluding the possibility of
consciousness being anchored to the temporal narrative of the cosmos
rather than a phenomenon of objects in space. To duplicate even a
compass this way requires now that the entire universe contain only
symmetrical objects (otherwise won't the compass will point to the
asymmetry?). Of course magnetism is only an example. There may be many
ways to access factual external orientation. A GPS. A radiotelescope,
etc. Consciousness may have sense built into it along those lines.
> > > Someone with an exact copy of my brain might not be able to read English
> > because they haven't had any history reading it. The brain may not encode
> > in English or Chinese but in neurotransmitters which don't know the
> > difference.
> The only difference between a native English speaker and a native Chinese
> speaker is the position and momentum of the atoms in their brain; as a
> matter of fact that's also the only difference between you and me.
That's an assumption. Since we don't see English or Chinese characters
arranged within the tissues of the brain being shuttled around from
region to region, and we see no homunculus or translator running i/o
between the optical form and the perceived meaning, we really have no
idea that the arrangement of the atoms is the cause. I think it's much
more likely is that it is the instantaneous and meaningless shadow of
a long-term meaningful experience. The poker game is not inside the
cards or their arrangement.
> > My thought experiments start with "if something is real, then it cannot
> > ever be truly identical to anything else in the cosmos
> Then your thought experiment starts out as Bullshit right out of the box
Ah, a scientific opinion if ever I heard one.
> because science tells us there is no difference between one electron and
> another, there are no scratches on electrons to tell one from another.
Just because we can't tell one electron from another doesn't mean that
there is no difference. You are applying macro-scaled presumptions
about matter onto the microcosm. Electrons don't have scratches
because they don't have surfaces. They are more primitive than that.
Electrons cause objects to have scratches, they don't scratch
We can tell the difference between photons in the reflection on the
surface of a glass and photons passing through a glass. How do you
think that works exactly?
> this is not just vague philosophy, the identical nature of things when they
> get very small is behind the idea of "exchange forces" one of the pillars
> of modern physics, and from that you can deduce that there must be two
> classes of particles, bosons like photons and fermions like electrons, and
> from there you can deduce The Pauli Exclusion Principle, and that is the
> basis of the periodic table of elements, and that is the basis of
> chemistry, and that is the basis of life. From just the fact that electrons
> are identical and a little high school algebra you can derive The Pauli
> Exclusion Principle and that principle is not only responsible for life it
> is the very reason matter is solid, it is the only reason your feet don't
> sink into the ground and you fall to the center of the earth. So don't tell
> me nothing can be identical!
All of that can still be just as true without anything being literally
identical. None of what you describe becomes impossible if we
understand that physical equivalence coexists with temporal
uniqueness. Events can recur but never in the same universe twice.
This is not vague philosophy either, this is an inescapable
statistical truth. No moment can be reproduced. If awareness is a
single moment stretched over a lifetime, then it cannot be
transplanted or duplicated.
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