On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:26:43 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM, meekerdb <meek...@verizon.net<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> > I agree with all you say, except the implication of the last sentence: 
> that 
> > 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 
> this 
> > happened.  Conscious thinking is similar to talking-to-yourself because 
> > evolution happened to take advantage of auditory processing of language 
> to 
> > internalize symbolic cogitation.  Second, even though the same result 
> might 
> > be obtained in some other way, it might be less efficient in some sense 
> to 
> > do so.  We might conceivably make a human-acting robot that cogitated 
> using 
> > a computer separate from the one used for processing language and while 
> I 
> > 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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