On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thursday, November 1, 2012 8:43:07 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>> I'm talking about *every experiment* that has been done. There is nothing
>>> to misunderstand. When I change my mind, through my own thought or though
>>> some image or suggestion, that change is reflected as a passive consequence
>>> of the macro-level event. I am not at the mercy of the cellular agendas of
>>> my brain - I can think about all kinds of things. I can take drugs to
>>> further impose my high level agenda on low level neurology.
>> You are at the mercy of the cellular agendas of your brain unless you
>> believe there is a magical effect of consciousness on matter.
> I am at the mercy of the cellular agendas of my brain - absolutely, but
> the cells of my brain are, in some cases, at the mercy of my agenda. If I
> want to stay awake all night playing with some interesting toy, my
> circadian rhythms are going to have to wait, for a while anyways.

But you can't stay awake unless your hardware allows it. You can't decide
to do anything unless your brain goes into the particular configuration
consistent with that decision, and the movement into that configuration is
determined by physical factors. The experiential aspect of it is completely
invisible to a scientist examining your brain.

> How else can I try to explain this?
> You have already explained it over and over. You aren't listening to me. I
> understand every bit of your argument. It is my argument that you don't
> understand. I used to believe what you believe. I know better now. You have
> nothing to teach me. Your choices are to listen, not to listen, or bang
> your head against the wall telling me what I already know.
>> It appears that you are bamboozled by complex systems,
> Nope. You are projecting stupidity onto me because your ego can't tolerate
> my disagreement with you.

It's not stupidity, it's impossible for a normal human to hold in his mind
the entire complex workings of a brain.

>  so that even if each simple interaction is understandable individually
>> you imagine that something mysterious might be happening if you can't hold
>> all of the interactions in your mind at once. To eliminate this difficulty,
>> consider a very simple system that manifests consciousness. Suppose it has
>> only two components, like two billiard balls. The components could have
>> whatever special qualities are required for consciousness. For example, the
>> balls could have evolved naturally as part of a larger organism. When these
>> balls bounce off each other, consciousness is implemented. Now, the
>> trajectory of these balls is determined completely by such factors as their
>> position, mass, velocity, elasticity, air density, gravitational field, and
>> so on. And as they go about their business bouncing around, consciousness
>> of a basic kind is generated. As they are moving towards each other the
>> ball system is thinking of the number 3, but when they hit and bounce apart
>> it changes its mind and thinks of the number 2. Now, would you say the
>> balls bounced apart because the system decided to think of the number 2, or
>> would you say the system decided to think of the number 2 because the balls
>> bounced apart?
> The difference between A) Balls bouncing because the system thought of a
> number and B) The system thought of a number because balls bounce is a
> matter of how the system interprets itself. Neither are primitively real.
> Consciousness is the capacity to discern different categories of realism.
> You dramatically underestimate the extent to which consciousness defines
> the universe. It is total.

The ball system believes that the bouncing apart happened because of its
decision. That is the nature of conscious systems: even if they are able to
see their own internal workings they still have the feeling "I did it
because I wanted to". Which is true, I did do it because I wanted to, but
the wanting, the decision and the action are all caused by the physical

>  The question was about two identical computers, one made in a factory,
>>>> the other assembled with fantastic luck from raw materials moving
>>>> about randomly. Will there be any difference in the functioning or
>>>> consciousness (or lack of it) of the two computers?
>>> Yes. We have no way of knowing whether the self-assembly is due to luck
>>> or not, so we have to give it the benefit of the doubt. The computer made
>>> in the factory is subject to the opposite bias, since we know precisely how
>>> it was fabricated and that it was made for the purpose of simulating
>>> consciousness. If asked to choose between a known pathological liar who
>>> claims to be telling the truth, and someone who has never claimed to be
>>> telling the truth, all things being equal, we have to give the benefit of
>>> the doubt to the latter, as we have no reason to expect deceit from them.
>> You haven't answered the question. The spontaneously formed computer is
>> *exactly the same* as the manufactured one.
> You are begging the question. I am saying that it is an ontological
> impossibility. Each event is a particular unrepeatable event in the history
> of the cosmos on some level.

My phone has a one year guarantee, so that it if it fails and can't be
repaired Apple will replace it with an identical phone. Are they opening
themselves up to legal challenge if this is ontologically impossible?

 I give you what is apparently a brand new iPhone 5, complete with
>> the inscription "Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China." You
>> turn it on and it searches for a WiFi network, asks you if you want to set
>> it up as a new phone, asks for your Apple ID, and eventually the home
>> screen appears with the familiar icons. I then inform you that this phone
>> was formed spontaneously in a distant galaxy and arrived on Earth after
>> being ejected by a supernova explosion billions of years ago.
>> You disassemble it and determine that in every respect it seems the same as
>> a phone from the factory. Do you still think that this phone would have
>> different experiences purely because of its origin?
> Yes, maybe it is a superintelligent entity that is reading my mind and
> appearing as something I can relate to.

Take as granted that it is what it looks like, just its origin is
different. Would it have different experiences?

Stathis Papaioannou

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