On Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:08:07 AM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
>
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
> > Even if it could [ tell the difference between a audio and a video file] 
>> that would only represent a more advanced file analysis function, not any 
>> kind of audio or video sensitivity.
>>
>
> Please explain the difference between the two.
>

In the former, the computer can read up the file and pick up some bytes 
which can tell it which applications would be likely to open it. In the 
latter, the computer could actually see or hear the file when it is being 
played and know the difference between those two experiences. It's like a 
computer could be programmed to choose a healthy entree on a menu, but it 
can't actually eat the meal and tell you whether it was any good.
 

>
>  >> when I play a video on a web page my computer always sends the audio 
>>> signal to the speaker and the video signal to the screen and not the other 
>>> way round. How can it do that it it doesn't know if the output should go to 
>>> the screen or speaker? Is it just lucky?
>>>
>>
>> > Uh, no. The web browser is explicitly instructed by the code of the 
>> file which application list is appropriate.
>>
>
> I don't know what to make of that. You're saying that if there was no 
> audio or video properties in the file
>

Meaning that there are no pictures or sounds within the file, yes. The file 
is only a pattern of countable switch positions, like a piano roll. A 
player piano has no awareness of music, nor to the paper rolls that it 
plays have any properties which are musical. If it had properties which 
were inherently musical, then you would not need ears to hear it, and you 
could simply hold the piano roll in your hands and experience music.

then the computer could not tell if it was audio or video,
>

I didn't say that at all. The computer can't tell if its audio or video no 
matter what. It can only tell what application might be associated with 
opening that file.
 

> but if there are no audio or video properties in it what on earth makes it 
> a audio or video file? 
>

It's not an audio or video file. Not literally or physically. A file is 
just a source of generic binary instructions. If you feed those 
instructions into a monitor, it becomes visual - even if its a song (hence 
an oscilloscope visualization), if you unplug the monitor, the computer 
doesn't know the difference. 
 

> It's like saying you can't tell if a book is written in English if there 
> are no English words in it!
>

No, it's like saying that you can tell if a book is written in Japanese 
even if you don't speak Japanese. You know enough to be able to identify 
who of your friends might be able to read it phonetically to someone who 
speaks Japanese, but nobody understands the meaning of the words except the 
final Japanese-speaking end-user. Those three levels of quality represent 
the low level OS recognition, the application level, and the user level. 

The user level is very different from the other two, however. Identifying 
the general category of written language and translating language from one 
generic code into another are mechanical processes which can be easily 
programmed. We can formalize our expectations about the appearance of 
written language and write a program which uses that key to guide a 
translation from one stream of binary instructions to another stream which 
has been designed to be output to a sound card. This can't be done at the 
user level, however. It's not a matter of choosing and matching input and 
output categories as in the optical scanning and phonetic output phases, 
it's a matter of ultimately experiencing the meaning itself. The Japanese 
speaking user hears the words not as an a-signifying code or strung 
together synthetic phonemes, they hear language and significance. This is 
not just a different function, it is the opposite of all functions. 
Experience can only be the beginning and ending of all possible functions.
 

>
> > The computer has no idea what audio is.
>>
>
> 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 
> wrong.  
>

It's funny, sometimes ideas which can't be proved wrong are that way 
because they are actually right.
 

>
> > A computer can only look at everything one way - as a binary code. 
>>
>
> And yet a computer can display music, speeches, sound effects, text, and 
> video of anything.  Apparently the word "look" has some weird mystical 
> meaning for you that it doesn't have for me.   
>

All displays are for the user. A computer, on its own, could not possibly 
have any use for any kind of display at all.
 

>
> > but the computer has no experience either way.
>>
>
> 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 
> wrong.  
>

It's even harder to argue with a robot.
 

>
> > A computer doesn't know anything about the world beyond its peripherals.
>>
>  
> 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 
> wrong. 
>  
>
 
It's even harder to argue with a robot.
 

>
> > It can't tell whether a bitstream ends up in your ears or eyes. It 
>> doesn't know if it's running on a laptop in the middle of a warzone or on a 
>> virtual server in a data center.
>>
>
> 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 
> wrong.   
>

It's even harder to argue with a robot.
 

>
> > You don't need file extensions in every OS, but the fact that they exist 
>> at all should show you [...]
>>
>
> that computer technology advances and things that were once necessary for 
> those machines to operate correctly no longer are.
>

Mac never had file extensions. PC programmers were just lazy and tasteless. 
What it should show a reasonable person is that the innate capacities of a 
computer are unlike that of a living organism. The living organism doesn't 
get an environment which has file extenders to allow passive identification 
of experiences - it has to rely on the truthful synchronization of its 
senses.
 

>
> > There is no condition which will make a machine queasy
>>
>
> 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 
> wrong.  
>

It's even harder to argue with a robot.
 

>  
>
>> > our sense of queasiness is not in any way a logical result of a data 
>> mismatch. 
>>
>
> You are entirely wrong. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_sickness
>
> "When feeling motion but not seeing it (for example, in a ship with no 
> windows), the inner ear transmits to the brain that it senses motion, but 
> the eyes tell the brain that everything is still. As a result of the 
> discordance, the brain will come to the conclusion that one of them is 
> hallucinating and further conclude that the hallucination is due to poison 
> ingestion. The brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed 
> toxin."
>

None of that has to do with a sense of queasiness. Vomiting could be an 
experience which has no more queasy qualities than does sweating or crying. 
You don't seem to have progressed in any way this whole time in grasping 
the hard problem or explanatory gap. I can only conclude that is likely 
that your skills lie elsewhere - which is what my model predicts. People 
with a hard left-brained approach are not going to be able to look at 
consciousness independently of forms and functions, just as New Age 
psychics are not going to be able to solve differential equations. 

Craig


>   John K Clark
>
>
>

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