On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

>> What to you think with, your elbow?
>  > my point was that you have a double standard about which brain
> activities represent nothing but evolutionary driven illusions

Illusions? Evolutionary drive is what made you the man you are today. And
interpreting a 1D signal from the eye as 3D space is as valid a
interpretation as any other, and apparently Evolution has determined that
particular interpretation gets the most genes into the next generation.
Thus you are good at 3D visualization because your ancestors were good at
it too. You come from a long line of winners, most animals never manage to
reproduce but every single one of your ancestors did.

> and which ones represent an independent and absolute truth.

Huh? 2+2=4 is as close to a absolute truth as I can think of, what double
standard are you talking about? Evolution is like history, it could have
been different, a very small change in the distant past could cause
gargantuan changes in the present, is that what you mean?

> A signal is a sign.

I can't argue with that.

> A sign means that it has to be interpreted by someone or some thing.

Yes and in this case the brain is doing the interpretation, and electronic
cochlear implants can create a sequence of impulses that the brain
interprets as sound, and we're well on the way of doing the same thing with
3D vision.

> Our experience of 3D images is not useful to the brain in any way.

The 3D visualization of space would be very useful indeed if it's the most
efficient way to figure out how to jump out of the way when a saber toothed
tiger lunges at you on the African savanna.

> The electronic sequences need not be interpreted at all because they are
> already neurological signals.

That statement is nuts. To a animal without genes for interpretation a
neurological signal is just a neurological signal and there would be no
reason to move when a predator starts to run at it and the genes of that
stupid animal would not make it into the next generation; but a animal with
genes for constructing a 3D world would not only know to run but know the
direction to run, the magnitude of course is as fast as you can.

> > If all that is needed is math, then why have anything but data in the
> brain?

Because you need machinery to process that data.

> Why have geometry when you can have glorious certain digital number
> sequences?

Because looked at with the lens of complex numbers that digital number
sequence produces the qualia of geometry. Probably.

> Are you talking about ion channels opening, or neurotransmitters being
> secreted

When you talk about a car moving are you talking about the wheels turning
or the axle spinning?

> What's this about being adjectives though?

You are the way matter behaves when it is organized in a Craigweinbergian

> Geometry is a zombie. [...] Geometry cannot be derived from math alone,
> and neither can color, sound, touch, thought, or feeling.

It must be grand being a "hard problem" theorist because it's the easiest
job in the world bar none, no matter how smart something is you just say
"yeah but it's not conscious" and there is no way anybody can prove you

>  >> Behavior is the only thing that determines success in life, and it
>> doesn't matter if "success" means making money or making friends or
>> avoiding predators or catching prey;
> > Those things only mean success if you have meaning to begin with.

Evolution has always had a very clear idea what success means, getting
genes into the next generation; with humans Evolution has determined that
the best way to do that is with a large brain because that produces

> the most valuable thing of all, surely, is sense itself.

To you, to me too, but not to Evolution; and yet Evolution has produced
consciousness at least once and probably many billions of times; therefore
the conclusion is unavoidable, consciousness MUST be a byproduct of
something that IS valuable to Evolution.

> let's say that we have an AI which will pass the Turing Test

Then I'd say the AI is certainly intelligent and I would estimate that the
probability it is also conscious is the same probability that you are
conscious, and that is pretty high.

> and we have an video simulator as well which has digitized every
> photograph and film of John Wayne and can produce CGI movies that pass the
> Scorcese Test. Is the whole system now John Wayne?

If it behaves in exactly the same way that John Wayne would have behaved
(and not one of John Wayne's characters)  in those circumstances  then yes,
that would be John Wayne because it would be matter behaving in a
Johnwayneian way. However as a practical matter I have no idea how you
could determine that is what John Wayne would have done, so the Scorcese
Test is of little use.

> if he starts saying how he's been resurrected by a computer and now lives
> again in movies? Is he telling the truth?

When he says he's been resurrected he is telling the truth, when he says he
is again living in the movies he is not, John Waybe is not and has never
lived in the movies.

> >>> Why didn't I become a living being by myself?
>> >> Because you lack the ability.
> > How do you know though?

Because I strongly suspect that you are not God.

> I don't have a dog in this fight at all.

I flat out do not believe that. No sentient being would advance the
incoherent and astonishingly weak arguments that you have unless they
passionately wished for them to be true.

> computer simulations and services are so universally empty and
> non-sentient.

It must be grand being a "hard problem" theorist because it's the easiest
job in the world bar none, no matter how smart something is you just say
"yeah but it's not conscious" and there is no way anybody can prove you

  John K Clark

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