On Friday, February 8, 2013 11:23:48 AM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com <javascript:>>wrote:
>
>  >> I don't believe other people have minds when they are sleeping or 
>>> under anesthesia or dead because when they are in those states they don't 
>>> behave very intelligently. 
>>>
>>
>> > But that is because you believe that intelligence == mind. I don't.
>>
>
> You believe that other people have minds when they are sleeping or under 
> anesthesia or dead!??
>

Do you believe that you have a house when you aren't standing in it?
 

> If they have minds under those circumstances then rocks must have them too 
> and whatever you mean by "mind" can't be anything very interesting and I 
> don't care if something has a "mind" or not.
>

What you think is a rock is actually an event shaped by experiences on the 
molecular and geological scale, but not on a biological or zoological or 
anthropological scale. This means that this event doesn't correspond to a 
human mind, but a human mind does have access to some of the same kinds of 
geological and molecular experiences, which are presented to humans as 
tactile, acoustic, kinetic, visual experiences (and olfactory in the case 
of sulfurous minerals).
 

>
> > for evolution to generate consciousness there has to exist a gradient to 
>> climb.
>>
>
> Yes.
>
>  > Unless the evolutionary process just stumbles into consciousness
>>
>
> If Evolution just stumbled onto consciousness by a lucky chance and was 
> not the byproduct of intelligence then it is of neutral survival value and 
> the human race would have lost that property long ago by genetic drift. 
>

Exactly. And since we know that all behaviors could be accomplished 'in the 
dark', as it were, unconsciously and without any magical qualitative 
presentation (which exists invisibly in never never land), then we should 
suspect that consciousness, or the potential for consciousness precedes 
evolution itself.
 

> That's the reason creatures that have lived in dark caves for thousands of 
> generations have no eyes; elsewhere a mutation that rendered a creature 
> blind would be a disaster but in a cave it wouldn't hinder its genes 
> getting into the next generation at all.  
>
> In short if consciousness improves survival 
>

It doesn't. If we presume that every other process in the cosmos which 
operates with fantastic precision by being unconscious is not missing out 
on anything important, then no, there is no conceivable advantage that some 
kind of interior presentation of feeling and storytelling would have over 
biological mechanism. After all, these unconscious mechanisms presumably 
operate consciousness itself, so anything that could be accomplished 
through conscious awareness could certainly be accomplished biologically. A 
human organism looking for food is no more in need of consciousness for 
their survival than a mitochondria or a T-Cell is.
 

> it can only do so by effecting the behavior of the organism and then the 
> Turing Test must work for consciousness as well as intelligence.  if 
> consciousness does not effect behavior then if MUST be a byproduct of 
> something that does or Evolution would never have produced it and yet I 
> know for a fact it has at least once and probably many billions of times.
>
>  > So you are implicitly assuming that there is some measure of 
>> consciousness, where you can say that entity A is more conscious than 
>> entity B. 
>>
>
> I am saying A is certainly more intelligent that B and consciousness is a 
> byproduct of intelligence.    
>

Consciousness would be the stupidest byproduct of intelligence imaginable. 
"Hey we need a compression algorithm for this data. How about we invent a 
spectacular multi-dimensional participatory environment with billions of 
sensations created from nowhere? That should reduce throughput, no? It's 
like hiring Led Zeppelin to play inside of your motherboard to inspire the 
data to move faster.
 

>
> > What would that even mean?
>>
>
> In dealing with consciousness the only experimental subject I have to work 
> with is myself and I note that when I am sleepy I am both less conscious 
> and less intelligent then when I am wide awake
>

That suggests that your intelligence supervenes on your consciousness (how 
awake you feel), not the other way around. Stupid people aren't always 
sleepy.


> > My cat seems conscious to me (but I can't know for sure). Is he less 
>> conscious than me? Well I know stuff that he doesn't, but he also knows 
>> stuff that I don't -- for example he knows how it feels to be a cat.
>
>
> You think your cat is conscious even though you're a lot smarter than a 
> cat, so why wouldn't a computer who was a lot smarter than you also seem to 
> be conscious. You could say that you'll never be able to prove the computer 
> is conscious but the exact same thing is true of your cat or even your 
> fellow human beings.
>

If a computer did what it does naturally, without human intention to 
program a device to mimic mental functions, then certainly it could seem to 
have some intelligence - although it would be an oddly unbalanced, 
on-trick-pony kind of intelligence. We don't have to be fooled by that 
though, because we can understand that computers don't self-organize out of 
their own sensory experience, they are put together programmed by humans 
for humans.

Craig
 

>
>   John K Clark
>
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>
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