On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:26:43 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> > I agree with all you say, except the implication of the last sentence:
> > evolution would never produce results with some inessential side effect.
> > First, evolution has to produce things by evolving - not starting from a
> > clean sheet. In the case of consciousness I think it quite likely that
> > happened. Conscious thinking is similar to talking-to-yourself because
> > evolution happened to take advantage of auditory processing of language
> > internalize symbolic cogitation. Second, even though the same result
> > be obtained in some other way, it might be less efficient in some sense
> > do so. We might conceivably make a human-acting robot that cogitated
> > a computer separate from the one used for processing language and while
> > think it would be conscious, it would be conscious in a different way.
> The most plausible explanation is that consciousness is a necessary
> side-effect of the type of information processing that goes at its
> simplest stimulus->response->behaviour modification.
I find that the least plausible explanation. It means that if a billion
people talk to each other and give each other information, that some kind
of consciousness must necessarily arise as a side-effect. You could say
that it might arise, but the idea that such a side effect is somehow
necessary as to accomplish certain kinds of information processing is
laughably romantic to my mind. If I recruit people to recruit people to all
do math together, then a magical genie will appear. Necessarily. Because of
behavior modification. Mm. Yeah. No ghost in the machine, but machine that
runs on ghost power...because...why?
> Stathis Papaioannou
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