On Friday, March 1, 2013 12:41:52 PM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 01 Mar 2013, at 16:42, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Friday, March 1, 2013 10:23:24 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> On 01 Mar 2013, at 01:11, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> On Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:37:50 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>>> On 2/28/2013 1:50 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>>> You have no way of knowing what I can't know about you either.
>>> You have no way of knowing what ways I have of knowing what you know
>>> about what ways John knows of having ways of knowing about what you can
>>> know...either. :-)
>>> blather, n. strings of words in the form of assertions having no
>>> testable consequences.
>> Calling it blather doesn't change the fact that you can't make an
>> omniscient claim against someone else's non-omniscience.
>> You are the one claiming knowing that all machines cannot think.
> I don't know that all machines cannot think,
> Thanks God.
> but I understand why the reasons for assuming that they ever could are
> rooted in bad assumptions from the start.
> Which bad assumption? You never give them without begging the question.
The assumption is that sense can be reduced to or produced by arithmetic.
We can see this in the language example that I mentioned:
If we have some written characters is it possible to categorize them
optically, but these categories don't lead to discovery of any phonetic
information. Likewise, phonetic information doesn't lead to any semantic
Each level of meaning of the text is defined by the capacities of the
interpreter - not to compute arithmetic relations, but to have experienced
meaningful expression through different sense modalities (visual, audio,
grammatical, semantic, poetic...etc) .
The fact that we can formalize these relations mathematically only accounts
for the idea that any public presentation can be digitized and represented
presented, not that there could be any such thing as presentation or
There are countless examples of this which I have brought up, showing
clearly that while logic or arithmetic is an obvious extraction of
sensory-motor experience (as we ourselves learn math through gestures,
moving fingers, beads, or other objects), sensory experience is not a
plausible outcome of any arithmetic process. We have seen no arithmetic
process which is not part of a human experience or public physics, yet life
on Earth does not require us to perform mathematics at all.
Some of the examples I have mentioned:
John Wayne's Resurrection: Using a computer to reconstruct John Wayne's
images and voice, high quality interactive movies are produced in real
time, with an AI interpreter. While it should be easy to understand that
this bit of interactive theater does not constitute a conversation with the
Duke himself, it is argued here that I can't know that this absurdity isn't
Elvis the Anti-Zombie: Having a computer articulate my limbs and vocal
chords to imitate Elvis Presley perfectly, by Comp, there is no reason to
believe that I would begin to experience more and more Elvis qualia. That
if I acted enough like The King, then I must have memories of his life,
know the people he knew, etc. Again, the absurdity is plain, but here, it
is sufficient to dismiss it with "You Don't Know That".
Geometry is A Zombie: It's pretty simple really. An abacus can be used to
compute geometric functions - we could find the length of a hypotenuse if
we knew the other sides, for example. Moving these beads around and
counting them does not require any kind of triangular presentation. If the
universe were truly arithmetic - if it was all one giant quantum
abacus...where would we get geometry from, even in principle. Forget the
fact that it is obviously impossible for beads on bamboo sticks to 'imply'
triangles without an abacus user imagining that - the deeper problem is
that sense is completely redundant to computation. There is no good reason,
no bad reason, no maybe reason, no reason at all for computation to assume
any form other than the one it is already in, which is *no form*.
Then there's the pathetic fallacy. We know that language has these poetic,
metaphorical layers of meaning. We know that we use language to
anthropomorphize inanimate objects. We can call a ship 'she' or give a
computer a name like Watson. Not only is it absurd to take these uses of
languages literally, we should actively beware of the influence of this
kind of cognitive bias. It's complicated because we can be too generous
with some things and too prejudiced against some people, but at the same
time, we can still be right about correctly recognizing the impersonal
nature of objects and machines. We don't get in the line of fire of a
machine gun and try to scare it or bluff it.
If you conflate arithmetic and sense from the beginning, then you have no
chance of finding the hard problem or explanatory gap, because realism
becomes simulation, and numbers are assumed to exist as sensory-motor
agents. Again, we have not seen anything like this. To the contrary, no
byte of data has ever done anything by itself, and every form of
computation is grounded ultimately in experience. We have seen, however,
that sense does indeed take on a life of its own - inspiring new forms of
expression and endless cultural diversions to enhance the quality of our
> If we don't what consciousness actually is and what it does, then we skip
> the important part and reverse engineer a false confidence in unconscious
> And Bruno said, from Memory, in Sylvie and Bruno (Lewis Carroll): "I am so
> happy that I hate spinach, because, you know, if ever I could appreciate
> spinach, I guess I would eat some of them, and that is exactly what I would
> like never to think possible".
> You beg the question again.
When you start from the assumption that numbers and be themselves and do
things without a sensory context, you beg the question. It's easy to claim
consciousness from numbers if you define numbers as being conscious agents
from the start.
> Betting that machine could be conscious does not entail that we know what
> consciousness is or rely on.
Why would you bet a machine could be conscious if you don't know what it is?
> You have a reductionist view of science, leading you to close prematurely
> an inquiry.
Why do you think so?
> All rational computationalist are open to the falsity of comp, and what I
> show is that [comp + precise theory of knowledge] becomes refutable, so
> that we can progress.
Any theory of knowledge which is not rooted in sensory-motor experience is
going to have to be scrapped.
> But up to now, comp explains a lot of things, even if incorrect, notably
> the apparent many worlds, the quantum like logic of observation, the
> existence of non communicable truth and sensations, and eventually some non
> trivial Plotinian theology.
Comp does indeed explain a lot of things, but only public, generic things.
It has no way to explain qualia as something other than a black box. Many
Worlds, although I understand why it is compelling, ultimately fails to
understand significance. My understanding is that the universe is actually
a negentropic monopoly. The nature of significance is such that nothing can
escape the interconnectedness of the totality, because all physics,
spacetime, and experiential possibilities supervene on it. Many Worlds, I
suspect, is a mechanemorphic attempt to find a way around sense and
> In a sense comp explains why first person are not machine, and only borrow
> them to say hello to others machines. Why would not some immaterial
> programs be able to support human first person?
Why would machines need a first person ontology to identify each other?
It's the pathetic fallacy and begging the question to say that machines say
hello to each other? Why would they? 'Saying hello' is a personal
experience. Such a thing need have no meaning for a machine.
> I am not saying that this is true, only that it makes possible to
> formulate the mind problem, indeed to translate it into a problem in number
There's value in that, and there's value in developing AI servants which
surpass us in specific ways. The problem is when we lose respect for
authenticity and propriety, and remake the world in the image of a machine.
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