On 16.09.2012 21:55 meekerdb said the following:
On 9/16/2012 12:44 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 15.09.2012 21:56 meekerdb said the following:
On 9/15/2012 9:35 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 9/15/2012 4:11 AM, Russell Standish wrote:


Hi Russell,

That is far too inclusive a definition of computation.

Not really, it only requires some way of representing the
information such that it can be transformed. The integers are
not the only kind of number that we can represent numbers (or
any other mathematical object) with. IMHO, we are naive to
think that Nature is hobbled to only use integers to perform
her Computations. We must never project our deficiencies on

I would go even farther than Russell implies.  A lot of the
muddle about computation and consciousness comes about because
they are abstracted out of the world.  That's why I like to think
in terms of robots or Mars rovers.  Consciousness and computation
are given their meaning by their effecting actions in the world.
To find out what a string of 1s and 0s means a Mars rovers memory
you need to see what effect they have on its actions. You know
that "1+1=10" means 1+1=2 when 10 in a register causes it to pick
up two rocks.

So to further abstract computation to mean "transformation of
information" will lead to even more of a muddle.


So this is some kind of enactive model of consciousness, similar to
 what Alva Noë writes in Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your
Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness.

One question in this respect. Let me start with a quote from Max
Velmans, Understanding Consciousness

Section Can qualia be reduced to the exercise of sensory-motor

p. 102 “Piloting a 747 no doubt feels like something to a human
pilot, and the way that it feels is likely to have something to do
with human biology. But why should it feel the same way to an
electronic autopilot that replaces the skills exercised by a human
being? Or why should it feel like anything to be the control system
of a guided missile system? Anyone versed in the construction of
electronic control systems knows that if one builds a system in the
right way, it will function just as it is intended to do, whether
it feels like anything to be that system or not. If so, functioning
in an electronic (or any other) system is logically tangential to
whether it is like anything to be that system, leaving the hard
problem of why it happens to feel a certain way in humans

Do you mean that the meaning in a guided missile system happens as
 by-product of its development by engineers?

To me, it seems that meaning that you have defined in Mars Rovers
is yet another theory of epiphenomenalism.

And your quote and question are yet another example of "nothing
buttery" and argument by incredulity.


I am not sure if I understand you. I am not saying that I am right but I really do not understand you point. You say

"Consciousness and computation are given their meaning by their effecting actions in the world."

and it seems that you imply that this could be applied for a robot as well. My thought were that engineers who have design a robot know everything how it is working. You comment suggests however that in the robot there is something else that has emerged independently from the will of engineers. I would be just interested to learn what it is. If you know the answer, I would appreciate it.


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