On Tuesday, October 16, 2012 4:02:44 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 1:38 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> A possible answer is that all 
> >> possible universes exist and we find ourselves in one of those that 
> >> has the kind of physical laws leading to observers. 
> > 
> > 
> > I'm familiar with the Anthropic principle, but what program does it run 
> on 
> > and where did the language that that program was written in come from? 
> The universe is algorithmic insofar as a small number of physical rules 
> gives rise to everything that we see around us. 

Only if we infer that is the case. Physical rules don't give rise to 
anything, especially beings which experience some version of 'seeing 
everything around them'.

> There is of course the idea that the universe is actually a simulation but 
> that is more controversial. 

A tempting idea until we question what it is a simulation of? What law 
states that computations exist ab initio, but the capacity to experience 
and participate in a simulated world does not?

> >> If a collection of spring-loaded dominoes becomes so complex that you 
> >> can't understand it or predict what it's going to do next, you will 
> >> have to be careful what you say to it. 
> > 
> > 
> > No, you won't. The limitations of our own intellectual capacity to keep 
> > track of complex quantities is no excuse to turn water into wine. 
> Complexity 
> > in itself is meaningless without something to make sense of that 
> complexity, 
> > to sum it up, in some qualitative presentation which is completely 
> > orthogonal to quantity. 
> A particular type of complexity is able to make sense of itself. That is 
> the defining feature of a mind. 

No complexity can have a 'type' unless there is already a priori a sense of 
discernment. In order for anything to give rise to a mind, there must 
already be some pre-existing mental outcome to which some particular recipe 
of complexity can stumble upon. The defining feature of a mind is 
meta-perception, not magical sequences of complexity. 

> >>>> 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. 
> >> 
> >> I'm not sure why you prefer "puppet" to "zombie" but if they mean the 
> >> same thing, OK. 
> > 
> > 
> > The difference is that a zombie is charged with an expectation of life 
> which 
> > is absent. We have no such expectation of life in a puppet, so we 
> correctly 
> > identify it as a fictional presentation in our minds of a natural object 
> > rather than a supernatural being who lacks personal presence. 
> A philosophical zombie is not charged with an expectation of anything 
> mental, that is one of its defining characteristics. 

That's what I mean by charged. If you define something as having no mental 
experience and give it a name of a generic undead person, you are charging 
your definition with an expectation of absent personhood. If I say puppet, 
there is no supernatural absence of personhood, there is a common sense 
notion of prosthetically extended personhood of the puppeteer through an 
inanimate object. 

> >>>> 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? 
> >> 
> >> When you place three spheres together so that they are touching you 
> >> create a triangle. 
> > 
> > 
> > Not if you can only see the two closest spheres. Not if the spheres are 
> > black in a dark room. Not if the spheres are made of smoke. Etc. 
> Formation 
> > is not an independent property. It is contingent upon interpretative 
> senses. 
> > If I place three spheres together, what do they sound like? Limiting our 
> > consideration of the universe to geometric forms and algebraic functions 
> is 
> > useful precisely because it is the most meaningless way to approach the 
> > universe. It is the absolute most aloof and detached perspective from 
> which 
> > we can imagine ourselves a dimensionless voyeur. It's a conceit which is 
> > incredibly useful but ultimately the very worst possible approach to 
> > understanding subjectivity, and one of the worst approaches to 
> understanding 
> > the cosmos as a whole (even though it is one of the best in a different 
> > sense, as the meaningless truths are by definition the most universal, 
> since 
> > meaning is about private experiences of significance.) 
> > 
> >> 
> >> The triangle is a necessary side-effect of putting 
> >> the spheres together in that way. 
> > 
> > 
> > Only if you are a thing who can see triangles and the spheres are made 
> of 
> > the kind of thing which we can see in a consistent and unambiguously 
> clear 
> > way. 
> The point is that the supervenient triangular property, whatever by 
> whomever and under whatever circumstances it may be so called, cannot be 
> separated from the three spheres touching. It may or may not be the case 
> for brain and mind but I give this as an example to at least make it clear 
> what I mean. 

You aren't seeing my point. The triangle is nothing but pattern 
recognition. It is an experience of the person whose brain is in touch with 
some presentation of forms - could be lines, drawings, actual spheres, etc. 
If you look at an ambiguous image you can see how this works. Foreground 
and background relations are not externally valid.

> >> When you create a system that perceives, responds, perceives its own 
> >> response, adjusts its response, etc. you have a system that is 
> >> conscious. 
> > 
> > 
> > This is begging the question. The only way that we know how to do this 
> is to 
> > reproduce biologically. Otherwise you are saying that if I have a 
> cartoon of 
> > Bugs Bunny which children see as a system where Bugs Bunny perceives, 
> > responds, perceives his own response, adjusts its response, etc, then 
> Bugs 
> > Bunny is conscious. 
> It's "begging the question" if I make the assumption in the premises of an 
> argument that purports to prove it. But I propose it as a theory: if Bugs 
> Bunny does do this in an interactive way, such as a real rabbit would, then 
> Bugs Bunny is indeed as conscious as a real rabbit. 

If I see an old YouTube of a dead celebrity talking to Johnny Carson, does 
that mean that both of them are indeed conscious? Playing the YouTube has a 
power of resurrection? If not, please explain in detail why not.

> >> The consciousness is a necessary side-effect of such a 
> >> system. 
> > 
> > 
> > Why should it be? How could it happen? Just a disembodied metaphysical 
> magic 
> > that appears whenever a system which we have designed to seem to act in 
> a 
> > way that reminds us of ourselves? 
> What we observe is that when certain physical processes happen, 
> consciousness happens. 

We observe that physical processes coincide with reports of particular 
kinds of conscious experiences. We have no theory to link the two causally 
and even lack an understanding of anesthesia.

> This is a minimal theory. It's like observing the inverse square law for 
> gravitational attraction. As a minimal theory, it is enough until new facts 
> come along requiring further explanation. 

Enough to send us in the completely wrong direction.

> >> Now, you don't like this idea but what's wrong with it apart from 
> >> that? It's a minimal explanation and it's consistent with all the 
> >> facts. 
> > 
> > 
> > I like the idea fine, it's just that I understand why it doesn't work. I 
> see 
> > the gaping hole in it, because it is the same hole that I came though 
> > myself. 
> So what fact is explained by your theory that is not equally well 
> explained by the theory that consciousness supervenes on intelligence? 

In light of

The fact that intelligence has no pragmatic reason or opportunity to create 
or use consciousness to accomplish any unconscious purpose (even 
The fact that intelligence in all observed cases evolves naturally through 
the development of an infant into a child and from primitive to more recent 
The fact that attempts at artificial intelligence thus far not only show no 
glimmer of consciousness but to the contrary continue to embody the 
emptiness of mechanism.
The fact that the regions of the human brain involving intelligence are 
preceded by limbic-emotional and thalamic-sensory consciousness.
The fact that human beings cannot function as intelligent agents while 
unconscious, but can be conscious without developing intelligence.

My theory explains that the experiences of the microorganisms, tissues, and 
organs which make up our body, as well as the cultures, species, and worlds 
which we participate in are capitulated within our personal experience 
directly as sub-personal and super-personal influences. This means that 
human thought is a channel of sensemaking, different from visual sensation 
or tactile sensation only in its proximity in scope to our native 
personhood. Our consciousness is a sense of senses of senses. Cognitive 
intelligence is a range of that sense. A computer lacks the many 
sub-personal and super-personal influences which anchor us to the realism 
of the physical universe. It has no realism at all, and consists of our 
intelligence reflected back to us on a very low level impersonal mechanical 
exploit of rigid body physics.

My post this morning relates: http://s33light.org/post/33701093109


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit 
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to