On Saturday, October 13, 2012 9:24:15 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> Two identical computers with identical programs taking environmental 
> >> input from sensors only millimetres apart could produce radically 
> >> different outputs. For example, the environmental input could be the 
> >> least significant digit in a temperature measurement and be used as a 
> >> seed in a random number generator. 
> > 
> > 
> > What would be the chances of two such divergent computations routinely 
> > speaking in unison? 
> You could put in a feedback mechanism checking each other's behaviour 
> and resetting if they diverge too much.

That implies a teleological designed of conjoined twins. In reality, they 
are just twins who didn't divide completely. There would not be any way 
that such an exclusively customized mechanism could appear. Besides, there 
would be no way to reset to each other. That would require a parallel 
telepathic datastream that both twins have access to.

> Or, rather than an RNG based 
> on the least significant digit in an environmental measurement it 
> could be based on the most significant figure. I'm sure you can think 
> of other ways of doing it. 

But evolution could not think of a way to do it. They aren't a new species, 
they aren't even mutants in all likelihood, they are just twins who didn't 
separate as some stage of mitosis.

> >> > Human beings 
> >> > are not programmed, they have to willingly participate in their own 
> >> > lives, 
> >> > they have to direct their attention to discover their own personal 
> >> > preferences. 
> >> 
> >> If you prefer, human beings are programmed to to willingly participate 
> >> in their own lives 
> > 
> > 
> > Why do you think that participation in one's own life has to be a 
> program? 
> > Did the Big Bang need a program? Does arithmetic need a program to know 
> how 
> > to compute? 
> Yes, the Big Bang is a program. There are initial conditions and rules 
> that lead deterministically to the unfolding of the entire multiverse 
> and all its rich content. All of science is an effort to work out 
> details of the algorithm. 

Then you have a infinite regress. How did the rules get there? A 
programmatic meta-big bang?

> >> and to direct their attention to discover their own 
> >> personal preferences. "Willingly participate" means they decide to do 
> >> something that they want to do. 
> > 
> > First there has to be a 'they' there who is aware of the possibility of 
> > their own participation and a capacity to detect and discern the 
> possibility 
> > of decision within that participation. Computers can't get to square 
> one. 
> > There is nothing that they 'want' or don't want to do. 
> So you say, but the computers could say the same of you. 

They are welcome to. Hey computer! You suck! Insult me!

But they don't say anything that is beyond their scripted parameters. Not 
ever. That's because they are machines. Basically an elaborate collection 
of springloaded dominoes. There's nothing there to want anything except to 
fall or spring back up.

> >> "Unwillingly participate" means they 
> >> are coerced, for example by threat or by forcibly taking control of 
> >> their body and moving it. 
> > 
> > This presumes that there is something there to resist such a coercion. 
> Yes. 
> >> "Direct their attention to discover their 
> >> own personal preferences" means they try something and see if they 
> >> like it, and if they do they store it in memory as a preference. This 
> >> is something that has evolved because it is adaptive. Organisms that 
> >> discovered something unpleasant and stored it as a preference did not 
> >> tend to do as well. 
> > 
> > 
> > That can all be done just as well without any experience of 'liking' 
> > anything. Experiences would be monitored, stored, and analyzed. Results 
> > would be factored in to future computations. What's to 'like'? It could 
> just 
> > as easily feel like itchy dizziness or like 7F 20 99 A6 77 01 00 03 and 
> it 
> > would work just as well - better in the latter case. 
> Which is why it appears that consciousness is epiphenomenal; if it 
> were not then we would be zombies. 

You don't need zombies when you have puppets. Zombies gives an inanimate 
object way too much credit. 

> By epiphenomenal I mean a necessary side-effect of the type of 
> intelligent behaviour putatively conscious organisms display. 

It's a contradiction to expect that a universe can be based entirely in 
necessity and then to imagine that there could be some kind of side effect 
which is in some way pseudo-experiential. It is sawing off the branch you 
are sitting on. Your argument is an epiphenomenon - a necessary side 
effect...of what?


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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