On Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:47:14 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> How can a human exceed his hardware? Everything he does must be due to 
> >> the hardware plus input from the environment, same as the computer, 
> >> same as everything else in the universe. 
> > 
> > 
> > What input from the environment might cause an acorn to build and fly a 
> > B-52? Is there a special B-52 building gene that comes with humans but 
> not 
> > acorns? 
> Humans have a large number of genes enabling them to grow brains and 
> build B-52's while acorns lack these genes. 

Lots of animals have brains, but they don't build aircraft. They way you 
are arguing it, there is really no level of power which would not fit into 
your arbitrary expectations of what any particular piece of hardware could 
or could not do. Whether it's building B-52s or playing billiards with 
galaxies using telepathy, it all falls into the range of ho-hum inevitables 
of evolved structures.

> > It's a really narrow view of the cosmos which imagines that the 
> > universe is about nothing but what stuff it is made of - that the 
> > environment dictates with inputs but that the self has no 
> non-environmental 
> > outputs. 
> Do you mean can a human do something dependent only on himself and not 
> the environment? I suppose you could say this if you completely 
> isolated him from everything, although even then he would be subject 
> to factors such as ambient temperature and air pressure. 

I am talking about being an authentic participant in the universe. I am 
making causally efficacious changes to my environment, and your 
environment. I do these things not because I am bidden by any particular 
neural or species agenda, but by the agenda I personally co-create. Neither 
my body nor Homo sapiens in general particularly care for the content of 
what I am saying, who I vote for, etc. No impersonal law of physics is 
relevant one way or another.

> > What happens if we take it a step further and recuse ourselves and our 
> human 
> > layer of experience entirely. Who is to say whether the appearance of 
> > neurons and atoms is merely an evolutionary device to prop up the 
> hormone 
> > and neurotransmitter spray that is 'science' or if, instead, it is 
> > evolutionary biology which is the illusion of molecules, whose endless 
> > repeating patterns know no genuine coherence as individual creatures or 
> > species. 
> > 
> > Who chooses the level of description? 
> If you're a solipsist then you choose everything. 

Are you a solipsist?


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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