On Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:36:45 AM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 24, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>>wrote:
> > There was no email message from the perspective of 'objective reality' 
>> that you assume exists independently of all experience.
> That's interesting, objective reality needs quotation marks. So I guess I 
> was right, according to you the moon does not exist when you are not 
> looking at it.

No. Not unless you think that my looking at something is the same thing as 
something being looked at by a universal metaphysical voyeur.

> > computers have an experience of voltage changes, and that's it.
> If true then you, Craig Weinberg, have a experience of synaptic voltage 
> change, and that's it. Apparently the experience of voltage change is 
> astronomically richer than previously thought.

Not at all. I have chemical, genetic, biological, neurological, personal, 
social, cultural, and anthropological experiences as well as electronic or 
geological experiences. Each of these layers is not only a phenomenal 
territory, but each territory maps every other territory in different ways, 
providing access to recovered meta-territories.

> > There is no information literally in the wire.
> Then why are you wasting your money paying for internet service, if its 
> not information then what do you call it, what are you getting for your 
> money? 

I'm getting conduits for the automated assembly of forms, i.e. formation. 
The 'in' is provided by us human users.

> This is another example of word games, some people just want to say "I 
> believe in God" so they warp the definition of God until they can, and you 
> just want to say the words "information does not exist" and it doesn't 
> matter what the words mean.

No, it's just that you don't understand what information actually is, so it 
seems like some special thing to you. Information is your word for God.

> > The wire is a chain of molecular forms which change their relation to 
>> each other when stimulated properly at one end.
> Yes, and that's why a wire is so good at transmitting information.

A wire is good at imitating a stumulus with high fidelity. There is nothing 
informative about it, unless you have the sense to read some experience 
into it that has meaning for you.

> > There is no information there unless this formation is 'in'-terpreted in 
>> such a way as to 'in'-form something.
> And according to you the ability to do this interpretation has something 
> to do with digestion and the physiological ability to produce flatulence. 
> I've been trying but I'll be damned if I see the connection.

Only if what is being interpreted is a text that requires first hand 
experience of being an animal. All of human consciousness would require 
that level of experience as a minimum pre-requisite. Why wouldn't it? 
Otherwise you would see refrigerators and boulders having conversations 
with each other eventually.

> >>The thing I don't understand is why this is supposed to be a problem 
>>> only for those who think a intelligent computer is conscious and is 
>>> supposed to be no problem for those who think that other intelligent humans 
>>> are conscious.
>> >Because we have no reason to doubt that other people are fundamentally 
>> different from ourselves
> There are fundamental differences between males and females and you are a 
> male, so do you think that women are conscious, and if so why? And there is 
> no fundamental difference between you and your twin brother in a deep sleep 
> under anesthesia, do you believe he's conscious, and if not why not?

Because I have a sense of proportion about the differences. Both men and 
women are living beings, Homo sapiens, hominids, primates, vertebrates, 
animals, eukaryotic organisms, Holocene Earthlings, etc. Being dead comes 
in very low on the taxonomic ladder. If you are dead, you can't get to step 
two of being an organism.

> > Computers aren't playing the same game as living organisms, even when we 
>> program them to pretend as such. They don't fear death or disconnection. 
>> They fear nothing at all and they desire nothing at all
> And we know all this because Craig Weinberg says all this, and for no 
> other reason.

I never claim to have any special knowledge or insight. I encourage 
everyone to check it out for themselves. If you think that computers are 
afraid of being turned off or that they long for more RAM, well, that's 
laughably moronic sophistry in my opinion, but hey, I could be wrong.

> >  The scientific method is never followed in linear order. Hypothesis, 
>> gathering information, experimentation are driven by the scientist 
>> themselves, not your toy models of arbitrary regimentation. Hypothesis is 
>> *exactly* the process of finding a theory that makes you feel like you have 
>> explained something and then testing it through experimentation, gathering 
>> more information, refining your hypothesis, etc.
> All true but that's not what you did because you haven't explained 
> anything, nor have you done any testing. 

I am the experiment. All I have ever done is testing.

> We all know what happened, it makes you feel good to believe that humans 
> are fundamentally superior to computers so you looked for reasons that 
> could reinforce your belief and only for reasons that could reinforce your 
> belief. And that's not science.

I used to believe as you do. Now I understand why I was wrong. I got lucky. 
To me, your idea of science is mainly prejudice and faith in convention and 
authority. It's safe.

> >Free will is pre-logical.
> Free will isn't even illogical, it's non logical, like a burp; but then 
> you do say that digestion is somehow involved in all this so maybe your 
> ideas do hang together after all.

Without free will it makes no difference what you say or think. You are 
just making noises while your genes burp and digest.

> > it is inconceivable for you to entertain that logic itself has limits
> I have written many many times about the limits of logic as found by Godel 
> and Turing but I have never tried to convince somebody that my 
> philosophical ideas are worthwhile even though they are logically 
> contradictory as you have done. Nobody, absolutely nobody, would embrace a 
> theory that they knew to be logically inconsistent unless it gave them so 
> much pleasure that they just couldn't stand to give it up, and that's no 
> way to find the truth.

I don't know where you get this assumption about pleasure from. The idea 
that human experience cannot be fully explained with logic is not new. If 
anything the idea that everything must be explained by this narrow 
reductionist logic is an aberration which keeps cropping up despite being 
exposed as faulty again and again. Behaviorism failed. Phrenology failed. 
Genetic supremacy failed. Functionalism has failed as well, you just don't 
understand how yet.

> >> At one time it was blindingly obvious that human beings with a black 
>>> skin didn't have the same sort of feelings as people with white skin do, 
>>> even though they acted as if they did, that's how they convinced themselves 
>>> that there was nothing wrong with slavery.
>> >Exactly my point. Humans are terribly biased by default in how they see 
>> others.
> And according to you the way to overcome this bias and correctly judge the 
> worth of others is to ignore what they actually do, ignore how brilliantly 
> they behave or what good deeds they perform and concentrate on answering 
> one and only one question; are they made of carbon or silicon? According to 
> you carbon is all that matters, and according to Protestant Christians 
> belief in their idiotic mythology is all that matters, and according to 
> redneck hillbillies a white skin is all that matters.

Carbon is not the important aspect. That is the wrong level of description. 
Living cells matter. Living cells that are derived from other living cells 
which go back to the first living cell. When and if we succeed in creating 
a second 'first living cell' from inorganic molecules, then we can think 
about how it is going to acquire a billion years of life experience.

> > The consciousness of human beings is not in question.
> Consciousness is very much in question when the human being in question is 
> sleeping or under anesthesia or dead. Why? Because when they are in that 
> state they don't behave intelligently.

They behave the same as an intelligent person behaves when they are deeply 
asleep. The capacity for consciousness is not limited to the behaviors that 
a machine detects.


> John K Clark

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