On Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:03:21 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Craig Weinberg
> > 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
>>>> 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.
So what? I can't shoot a gun unless the trigger works. Does that mean I'm
not shooting the gun by pulling the trigger?
> 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 movement of the molecules of your brain *is* your decision. That's what
I am telling you but you won't see it. You are only able to see it as a one
way street which makes no sense. What you are saying is like 'water is ice
but ice is not water'. If I feel something when something happens in my
brain, then that means that whatever happens in my brain is also an event
in the universe when something is felt. That means molecules feel and see.
You could say that groups of molecules feel and see, and that's ok too, but
you think it's the 'groupiness' that sees and not the physical reality of
the molecules themselves. I am saying that there is no independent
groupiness... it is a fantasy. Incorrect.
What this means is that molecules as we see them are not the whole story,
just as the brain and its actions are not the whole story. We are the other
half of the story and we are not made of neurotransmitters or cells any
more than a song we make up is our body. Two different ontological schemas.
Two opposite schemas twisted orthogonally by the private time to public
> 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.
Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "It appears that you are
bamboozled by complex systems".
>> 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 physical process is defined entirely by some detection-reaction
capacity which is a function of awareness. What is ball? What is bouncing?
What links these magical unexperienced ontologies to an experience and why?
The whole thing is consciousness...there is no other possibility.
Consciousness determines whether the ball seems round or whether it is a
flat plane which surrounds the observer., or maybe it is an endless plenum
of non-ball density from the inside. Maybe the ball is just the three
dimensional slice of an n-dimensional snake of hyper-ballness. It's all
sense making from top to bottom. Without it, there isn't even nothing.
>> 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
>>>> 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 would imagine that their legal department has defined 'identical' in a
commercially feasible way. They can probably send you a phone with similar
but not identical parts even. If you look at the serial numbers in your
replacement phone, you will readily see that identical is not to be taken
absolutely literally. 'Similar enough for you' is what they mean.
> 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?
Nothing is what it looks like. Nothing 'is'. Things can only seem.
Everything has different experiences from everything else. If it didn't,
they would be the same thing.
> Stathis Papaioannou
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