On 12/22/2012 7:11 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:41 AM, Stephen P. King
<stephe...@charter.net <mailto:stephe...@charter.net>> wrote:
On 12/20/2012 6:17 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
I accidentally sent the previous email before
I was done, sorry. Please consider this more complete version
of the intended whole:
Those images in the videoclips, while still remarkable,
probably were constructed simply by monitoring
sensory MRI signals just as one might from a video camera,
and displaying them as a raster pattern, artificially
converting the time voltage signal into a timespace signal.
Ok. We're not even sure what we're looking at. The brain is a
gigantic^n kludge. We are seeing stuff happening in the visual
cortex that can be meaningfully mapped to images. This stuff
correlates with what the subject is seeing, but in a weird way.
As I was watching the brain scan image video I noticed a lot
of weird text like stuff mixed into the image. What was that?
I think so. I believe they are caused by the new images being
constructed from samples of the original images shown to the subjects.
So we can speculate that we're watching, for example, a pattern
matching process taking place. The most spectacular thing for me
is when we see the anticipation of the ink blot explosion. That's
something you wouldn't get from a video camera (but you could get
from a computer running a sophisticated AI).
Perception of the moving image from a given perspective
by the brain might take place in the following way :
1) FIRSTNESS (The eye). The initial operation in processing the
raw optical signal is reception of the sensory signal.
This is necessarily done by a monad (you or me),
because only monads see the world from a given
In my opinion you are conflating intelligence and consciousness.
I see two separate issues:
1) The human being as an agent senses things, assigns symbols to
them, compares them with his memories and so on. The brain tries
to anticipate all possible futures and then choses actions that
are more likely to lead to a future state that it prefers. This
preference can be ultimately reduced to pain avoidance / pleasure
seeking. In my view, the fundamental pain and pleasure signals
have to be encoded some how in our DNA, and were selected to
optimise our chances of reproduction. All this is 3p and can be
emulated by a digital computer. Some of it already is.
2) There is a "me" here observing the universe from my
perspective. I am me and not you. There's a consciousness inside
my body, attached to my mind (or is it my mind)? I suspect
there's one inside other people too, but I cannot be sure. This
is a 1p phenomena and outside the realm of science. It cannot be
explained by MRI machines and clever algorithms - although many
neuroscientists fail to realise it. This mystery is essentially
what makes me an agnostic more than an atheist. If there is a
god, I suspect he's me (and you). In a sense.
You can have 1 without 2, the famous zombie.
I disagree! The very act of fulfilling the requirements of 1
"connects it to" the #2 version of itself. The isomorphism
between 1 and 2 is just a fact of how logical algebras can be
represented as spaces (sets + relations) and vice versa! What gets
glossed over is that Human beings (and any other physical system
that has the potential to implement a universal machine) are not
static structures. The logical algebra that represents them cannot
be static either, it has to evolve as well.
Think of how you would model a neural network X as it learns
new patterns.... The propositions of your logical algebra for X
would have to be updated as the learning progresses, no?
Ok, I agree that humans beings and neural networks are not static
structures. This is trivially true. I still don't get how
consciousness is supposed to emerge out of a dynamic process.
The purely subjective part of consciousness *is* the relationship
between the dual aspects of the process. The rest is just content that
can be described in third person.
Are you claiming, for example, that if I start running game of life it
will become conscious and have a 1p perspective? I'm not using this as
a counter-example, I am honestly asking. I don't know the answer to that.
Yes, but what it would be conscious of is vastly different from
what we see of a CA running a GoL. The key question to ask is: does a
system have some form of representational closure so that there is a
means to distinguish self from notself. All of this is before we enter
into consideration of self-modeling, which is what self-awareness requires.
This is not a visual display, only a
complex sensory signal.
2) SECONDNESS (the hippocampus ? the cerebellum? ).
The next stage is intelligent processing of the
optical signal and into a useable expreswion of
the visual image.
(From the monadology, we find that each monad
(you or me) does not perceive the world directly,
but is given such a perception by the supreme monad
(the One, or God). This supreme monad contains
the ability to intelligently construct the visual image
from the optical nerve signal)
3) THIRDNESS (cerebrum ?) Knowing this visual expresson
by the individual monad according to its individual perspective.
This perspective is somehow coordinated with motor muscles
etc.), but I question that this is an actual 2D or 3D "display,"
such as in the videoclips. (The videoclips are another matter
as they are artificialy constructed.)
I agree with you, but maybe videoclips can still be created from
there. If the neural network contains a piece of information A, and
this information can be represented by image B, there has to be a
function f: A -> B. Of course finding this function (and/or computing
it) might be incredibly hard.
It is helpful to see function f: A -> B as a Functor and not a
plain jane function. Maybe a presheve is a better model.
Fair enough for functor. I don't know what a presheve is.
It should have been spelled "presheaf": see:
If there is an actual or simulated display then we are
faced with Dennett's problem: the infinite regress of
spectators, spectators of spectator, etc.
Ok, but here we're back to 1p.
We defeat Dennett by showing that the regress cannot occur
when there are physical resources required by the computations for
each level of the recursion. We can cutoff recursions in our
algorithms with code: if count of loops is 10, stop. But physical
systems can not count, they just run out of juice after a while....
Yes. For example, in the simulation argument, you still end up having
to have an ultimate reality which is no longer a simulation.
But if there is no display, we do not need an observer self,
and are possibly ending up with Michael Dennett's materialist
concept of the self. This might be called epi-phenominalism.
The self is simply an expression of the brain.
I don't believe it is just an expression of the brain (I suspect
you don't either), but part of the reason why I don't believe is
1p, so I cannot communicate it (can I?). I don't know. I tried at
dinner parties and got funny looks.
I do think that the consciousness is an expression of the
brain *and* all of its environment that molds its behavior. It is
silly to think that skin is the boundary that a mind associates with!
We cannot forget causal closure in our reasoning about 1p!
Telmo, can't you see that the defining characteristic of 1p is
that one cannot communicate it?
Only I can know exactly what it is like to be me. So I can infer
or bet that you have a "what it is like to be Telmo" but I cannot
know it, by definition and this relation is symmetrical between
any pair of conscious entities.
Ok, but why shouldn't I just believe in solipsism then?
I do not at present know the answer.
Consider dual aspect monism! It works!
What's the best place to read about it?
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