On Tue, Feb 19, 2013  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The laws of physics as you understand them forbid any form of
> consciousness

The laws of physics as I understand them neither forbids nor demands any
form of consciousness.

> The only thing you know about the brain is the way that people have used
> instruments, using a one dimensional signal that comes into a wire from
> some probe or meter.

That is true but its truth is not confined to the brain. The only way you
know about ANYTHING, except perhaps for pure mathematics, is indirectly by
interpreting a sequence of electrical signals sent to the brain. And those
electrical signals did not even come from the apple you think you're
"looking" at, they came from your eye. And the eye did not directly detect
the apple either, it only detected electromagnetic waves (that the brain
would later hypothesize came from a apple) and then used a convention that
both the eye and brain agreed upon and translated those electromagnetic
waves into electrical sequences that are sent down a wire to the brain.

> Looking at an apple

How a apple looks to you is NOT an apple.

 > smelling

How a apple smells to you is NOT an apple.

> and tasting the apple

How a apple tastes to you is NOT an apple.

> I experience everything that matters about apples

Everything that matters to you perhaps, and in exactly the same way complex
numbers can provide everything that matters to you about 3D space.

 > When we talk about apples, we are talking about qualia.

If so then when we're talking about the color red why aren't we talking
about electromagnetic waves 7700 angstroms long? You can't have it both
ways, either the qualia of a thing is identical to the thing itself or it
is not, and either answer leads to a contradiction in your philosophy.

> There is no 'one dimensional wire to your brain'. The optic nerve is a
> community of living organisms [...] We can talk about sugar content or
> cellular structure, but there is nothing apple-like about that.

Why is it that the cellular structure of a apple is not important but the
cellular structure of a nerve is?

> Why should any signals be interpreted as 3D space?

Because it can be without contradiction, and because Evolution has
determined that this interpretation helps in getting genes into the next

> Where do the dimensions come from?

The qualia of spacial dimensions come from complex numbers (probably); as
for the dimensions themselves who knows, I don't even know for a fact they

> You have no support for your supersitition that there is a such thing as
> 3D space independent of that experience orchestrated by a brain

So we're back at the qualia of a thing being identical to the thing itself
, in that case I wonder why anybody even bothered to invent the word
"qualia" in the first place, but never mind, from now on I don't want you
to give me that old line "electromagnetic waves of 7700 angstroms are not
the qualia red"

> > Please give me an example of any arithmetic process which generates
> physical or experiential consequences.


>> complex numbers can be both qualitative as well as quantitative, they
>> can have both a magnitude and a direction.
> > No. All of the qualities of numbers are figurative. The direction and
> magnitude are poetic and abstract, not spatial.

The correct complex number can give me enough spatial information to tell
me how much gunpowder to put into my cannon and what angle to elevate it at
to drop a artillery shell on your head and poetically turn your brain into
bits of grey goo and stop your abstract mind from working forever.

> >>  if the way computers process data is meaningless why is computer data
>> processing a multi-trillion dollar industry?
> > Because it is valuable to us to be informed.

If computers strip out the meaning from data how can that inform us.

> > It is not because computers are made of silicon, but because anything
> that does not become a living being by itself can't generate a history of
> personal experiences of human>animal>cellular quality.

You did not "become a living being by itself" anymore than Watson did.

> I don't care whether computers are conscious or not.

I do not believe that for one single second, and if you're honest with
yourself you won't believe it either. Coming to this problem with a clean
slate and without prejudice NOBODY would be convinced by the anemic and
contradictory arguments presented by you and others on this list. This is
clearly the case where somebody has strong emotional reasons for wanting
something to be true and then looks around in panic desperate to grab hold
of anything however insubstantial that might keep the idea afloat for just
a little longer.

  John K Clark

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