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

> A successful evolutionary outcome doesn't have anything to do with the
> veracity of the content of a signal.

If the interpretation your brain performs on a sequence of impulses that
come from your eyes is not compatible with the facts in your external
environment then you are going to be eaten by something that has fewer
incompatibilities than you do, it's as simple as that. That was true for
your parents and for their parents and for hundreds of millions of your
ancestors before that to a time when the Earth was young. And you can't
fool it, Evolution is not concerned with philosophical bullshit, it cares
about getting genes into the next generation and nothing else.

> I don't know why you're going over evolution101 with me.

Because you don't know Evolution 101.

> > The interpretation may not be local to the brain, but to the lifetime of
> the personal experience associated with the brain.

Personal experience is of no use unless it is remembered and memory is
encoded in the brain.

> >> 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.
> > But it could not be any more efficient than no presentation at all.

How did you learn this, did it come to you in a dream?

> Absolutely, clearly, and unarguably: not possible.


> > The reason would be the that they received a neurological to move - just
> like a computer does. IF TIGER = 1 THEN RUN.

Sure, but to do that you have to interpret a sequence of impulses from your
eye as a tiger and that is not a trivial thing to do, computers are only
now starting to be able to do image recognition and they still are not
nearly as good as people are at it, but then Evolution had a 600 million
year head start. Computers are improving at great speed and if we talk
again about computer vision 10 years from now the story could be very

> you are unwilling or unable to imagine thought experiments in which the
> existence of consciousness *is not an option*.

Not true, I believe that once you have intelligence the existence of
consciousness *is not an option*.

> Evolution is not going to invent geometry to make data look pretty if
> pretty is meaningless.

Pretty is not meaningless if pretty data can be manipulated with less
mental fire power than the same data presented in a ugly way. In fact
that's probably at least part of the reason that people have a aesthetic
sense, pretty is simple symmetrical and elegant.

 > Don't you see that you aren't questioning consciousness?

Are you questioning consciousness, do you consciously believe that
consciousness does not exist?

> There is consciousness, therefore it must have evolved.


> If it evolved it must have an evolutionary purpose.

No, it might have no Evolutionary purpose whatsoever, consciousness could
be a spandrel, it could be the byproduct of something else, something that
did have a evolutionary purpose.

> But consciousness violates conventional physics far more egregiously than
> magic.

Physics neither insists that consciousness exists nor insists that it does
not, physics is in fact just like you, it has nothing of interest to say
about the subject.

> This is what you are not explaining - the gap between data and experience
> of some kind.

If consciousness is fundamental as you insist it is then there is nothing
you can say about it except that consciousness is the way data feels like
when it is being processed.

> > Within the experience of the individual, the qualia of significance is
> even more of a driving force for a person than survival.

Maybe for some individuals, but most certainly NOT for Evolution, and if
we're talking about why people have the sort of mind that they do it is
only Evolution's opinion that is important.

> > You are right about evolution not valuing sense

Thank you.

  > that's because chance and teleonomy are driven by consequence - the
> flip side of choice/teleology.

The driving force for Evolution is mutation and natural selection,
teleology has nothing to do with it. Mutation is random while natural
selection is deterministic, and choice is either random or deterministic.

> 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.
> But you couldn't determine that it is not what John Wayne would do or say
> either.

True, which is exactly why the Scorcese Test is of little use.

> you are saying that you could bring John Wayne back from the dead just by
> doing a perfect impersonation of him.

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, although using the word "just" does
not seem appropriate for something that profound.

> If you don't see why that isn't realistic,

Thought experiments don't need to be practical economic or realistic, they
just have to avoid breaking any known laws of physics.

> then I just have to accept that you live in a different world from me
> entirely.

I figure that out a long time ago.

> You know that no computer product has ever been anything but impersonal

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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