On 9/27/2012 10:40 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:40:14 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:

    On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 12:55 AM, Craig Weinberg
    <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:
    > Say that you have been captured by the [totalitarian fiend of
    your choice],
    > and are tied up in a basement somewhere. The torture has begun,
    and is has
    > become clear that it will continue to get worse until you
    'become one of
    > them'.
    > Fortunately you have been supplied by your team with a
    'Chalmers' device,
    > which allows you to know exactly what to say and do to convince
    your captors
    > that you have turned and become 'one of them' in earnest. Using
    real-time em
    > field sensitivity and quantum computing, the computational
    states are not
    > only analyzed, but predicted for everyone in the room so that
    you are
    > furnished with the best lines and gestures, sobbing, explaining,
    > The Chalmers device allows you to be a flawless actor. Is there
    any reason
    > that this wouldn't work in theory? What law says that acting can
    only be so
    > good, and beyond that you actually have to 'love Big Brother' in
    order to
    > seem like you do? If we had a device that would allow us to
    control our
    > bodies, emotions, and minds precisely and absolutely, why
    couldn't we use
    > that device as a mask?

    The perfect actor might believe it or he might just be acting. Acting
    is top-down replacement, not bottom-up replacement. Bottom-up
    replacement would involve replacing a part of your brain so that you
    didn't notice any difference and no-one else noticed any difference.

Acting is an augmentation, not a replacement. It's a skill set. It involves a capacity to embody social expectations so that one's audience doesn't notice any difference. It's the same exact result from the third person view. An actor is a zombie being operated by a person.

    > Part II
    > Instead of replacing parts of the brain with perfect functional
    > what if we used a hot wire to ablate or burn parts of the brain.
    If I burn
    > one region, you lose the power of speech. If I burn another, you
    lose all
    > understanding of physics and math. If I burn another, you go
    into a coma. I
    > can do different combinations of ablation on different subjects,
    but would
    > there be any case in which someone who was dead could be induced
    to speak or
    > solve math problems? Why not? I could replace the motherboard of
    a burned
    > out computer with any other compatible motherboard and expect to
    pick up
    > right where I left off. If I toasted a critical part of any
    computer, there
    > is no loss of potential functionality to any of the other parts,
    > that part is implicated in the boot up process or not. Just
    because a
    > computer won't boot doesn't mean that it can't be easily
    repaired. Not so
    > with a living organism. If you blow out a simple power supply in a
    > biological system, it will never run again - not even a little bit.
    > What say ye?

    Replacing body parts that break down with artificial ones is
    well-established in the medical industry, and will become
    so in future as the devices become more sophisticated.

Are you saying that you expect replacing someone's brain would be no more problematic than replacing any other body part?

Hi Craig,

I kinda have to side with Stathis a bit here. The problem that you are hinging an argument on it merely technical, it is not principled. My opinion is that a neuron is vastly more complex in its structure than a transistor, heck its got its own power supply and repair system and more built in! Nature, if anything, is frugal, there would not be redundant stuff in a neuron such that we only need to replace some aspect of it in order to achieve functional equivalence.

The point is that the brain is a specialized biological computer that has achieved computational universality because it learned how to process language. It is because it can figure with symbols and representations that it can do what it does. This does not make it "special" in any miraculous way, it just shows us how Nature and its evolutionary ways is vastly more "intelligent" than we can possibly imagine ourselves to be.




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