On Friday, March 1, 2013 4:37:41 PM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
>
> On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
> > All that matters is that we understand that there is no presentation 
>> quality to a file. Presentation is 100% in the interpreter.
>>
>
> And a computer can be and often is the interpreter. 
>

If that were the case then computers could not understand an audio file was 
audio until they listened to it with innate computational ears which just 
so happened to match the rendering of human ears. 

This is the same reason why we can't play a DVD with our tongues. There is 
a huge difference to us between detecting pits on a Mylar disc and watching 
a move. To a computer, as long as it is labeled as a dvd image, it will try 
to open it with an application which is specified for that file - even if 
that application controls an electric can opener instead of a video screen.
 

>
> > You are really saying that we could use a program that acts like a video 
>> screen instead of an actual video screen. 
>>
>
> Exactly. If you don't want to look at a video screen to see a cat scan 
> then a X ray computerized tomography machine will be happy to print out the 
> spacial coordinates of the organs, although I don't know why you'd want 
> that.
>

Right, you wouldn't want that because it would be all but worthless to a 
human being. As worthless as a video screen image is to a computer. All 
video display equipment is useless to computers for that reason; because 
there is no perceiver there. No high level sensory-motor participant. There 
are only numerous low level sensory-motor experiences which we have not 
seen transform themselves into anything more sophisticated by themselves.
 

>
> >There will never be an app on your iPhone to make it waterproof.
>>
>
> As I've said before it's important not to confuse levels, a simulated 
> flame won't burn your computer but it will burn a simulated object. 
>

No, that argument is bogus. There is only one physical level. All 
simulations supervene on that physical level. This is why a simulated flame 
need not burn a simulated object at all. It is entirely up to the 
programmer's whim how the laws of physics will work, or indeed if they are 
lawful at all in any given sim, or across many nested sims. Simulated flame 
can work for 10,000 levels of simulation, but not a single one of those 
simulated flames can access the physical level...because they aren't real - 
they are figures..symbols...facades engineered to fool our body's public 
senses.

 

> A real flame won't burn the laws of chemistry but it will burn your 
> finger. And some things cross all levels, like information processing; 
> there is no difference between simulated arithmetic and real arithmetic or 
> between simulated intelligence and real intelligence.
>

There is no such thing as real arithmetic. It's all a simulation. That's 
why they call numbers figures or data - they have no reality to them except 
what coordinated sensory experience can provide.

 
>
>> >  Consciousness is the capacity to discern between menu and meal 
>>
>
> A computer with a optical character reader and a simple amino acid 
> detector could easily tell the difference between a menu and a meal. 
>

Nope. I could just print a menu on the back of a Turkey and spray a menu 
with aminos. It will be eating the menu in no time.
 

>
>  >> A electronic cochlear implant that enables deaf people to hear 
>>> produces no sound, all it makes is lots of zeros and ones. The same thing 
>>> is true of the experimental artificial eye.   
>>>
>>  
>>
> > Sure, because there is ultimately a living person there to hear and see. 
>> Without the person, the implants won't do anything  worthwhile.
>>
>
> Before you were saying only a eye or ear made of meat would do and now 
> you've abandoned that position, how far back along the chain of perception 
> will you retreat before you admit you were wrong? My guess is you will 
> never change your position because a belief that was not formed by logic 
> can not be destroyed by it.
>

Only an eye or ear made of meat will be 100% satisfying - which is why the 
quality of the implants are crap. I don't see how anything I've said 
contradicts that.
 

>
> > it won't be able to open any file without software to identify which 
>> application to associate it with.
>
>
> Yes, and you couldn't tell the difference between audio and video without 
> a neural network inside a bone box sitting on your shoulders.
>

False equivalence. Your computer would have to be missing it's electronics 
to compare properly. You are floating a premise that there is some state of 
consciousness in which we cannot tell the difference between an audio and a 
visual experience but your example allows no experience at all.
 

>
> How can you have spent any time programming a computer without noticing 
>> that everything must be explicitly defined and scripted or it will just 
>> halt/fail/error?
>>
>
> Nobody has found anything in the human brain that didn't strictly follow 
> the laws of physics either.
>

That has nothing to do with the dependence of computer programs on a 
script. We are not only scripted by physics, we control physics directly 
and consciously.
 

> And I have never been able to consistently predict what a computer is 
> going to do even if I'm the one who wrote the program, and you're no better 
> at making such predictions than I am, nor is anybody else.  
>

But I can predict that if that program doesn't work, it will never fix 
itself.  I can predict that if you don't write the program, one will not 
sprout from the realms of Platonia to fill the void. 


> > it's not an audio or video file. Not literally or physically. A file is 
>> just a source of generic binary instructions. 
>>
>
> And that's all a cochlear implant produces and yet the deaf report those 
> generic binary instructions give them the qualia of sound.
>

No. The binary instructions are used as the basis to manipulate physical 
electrodes. If they did not cause electric changes in the nerve tissue, no 
amount of instructions will help.


> >  computer + user = high quality user experience. Computer + computer = 
>> no high quality experience. 
>>
>
> You have no pathway whatsoever to judge the quality of experience of even 
> your fellow human beings, 
>

That's because I can judge that the quality among human experience varies 
widely and idiosyncratically. The same way that I can judge that machines 
have no variation in their quality of experience, and that we rely on that 
fact routinely in using them. They are not pets, they are not babies - we 
have no concern for their experience at all.  There will never be an 
abolitionist movement or a machine-rights movement.

 

> the best you can do is observe there behavior and then guess
>

Speak for yourself. I don't have to limit my understanding to some 
ridiculous formal epistemology. I can use the full complement of my senses, 
experience, intuition, and reasoning to arrive as a better-than guess.
 

> ; and yet you continue to make these grand sweeping statements about what 
> a computer does and does not feel without a shred of evidence or 
> theoretical justification, and that's as tiresome as it is stupid.     
>

You don't think that your robotic sophistry isn't tiresome and stupid?
 

>  
>
>> > Plug a cochlear implant into a computer and the raw data remains raw 
>> all the way through. There is no conversion to any sense modality
>>
>
> HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW!
>

Because I could input the exact same data that an implant would from any 
source - a file, a camera, a fancy thermometer. The computer doesn't know 
the difference between two identical sets of data. Are you suggesting that 
it does? Where does it begin to make itself distinct? How many zeros does 
it take to tell whether it's darkness or silence?
 

>
> > I understand why computers have no experience. 
>>
>
> Your "understanding" is based on amorphous mystical drivel.  
>

All you can do is hurl ad hominems, because you have no case. Truth is not 
on your side, so you lash out.
 

>  
>
>> > A computer is only going to say what it is programmed to say. 
>>
>
> BULLSHIT! The human programer himself does not know what the computer is 
> going to say next.
>

That doesn't mean that a computer can begin saying things without a program 
which makes that possible. A gunsmith doesn't need to know who is going to 
get shot to be able to know that what they make is for shooting and not a 
flashlight.
 

>
> > If it has no vocabulary which refers to human experiences of sound, it 
>> will have nothing to say about some new stream of generic data that related 
>> to aural sensation. It's not going to try to express anything about the 
>> experience of sound.
>>
>
> Of course the computer could comment on aural sensation but it wouldn't 
> matter if it did it 10 times a day and gave you brilliant insights into 
> Beethoven's music you never had before, you would not change your ideas one 
> iota, you'd just say that's "just" something or another and so it doesn't 
> count.
>

It depends whether or not it was programmed to spit out vocabulary that we 
associate with sound or not. 

So it data that is associated with an audio capture is automatically 
experienced by the computer as sound, wouldn't that mean that words we say 
into a microphone would be understood in every possible language?

Again, it doesn't matter how clear and obvious my points are, you will keep 
denying all of it with hand waving about mysticism and prejudice.
 

>
> > It's a fact that thus far implants do not compare favorably to natural 
>> cochlea.
>>
>
> Is that what your ideas hinge on, the lack of audio fidelity using current 
> electronic technology? 
>

Do all of your arguments hinge on a straw man?
 

> When future technology makes electronic ears that provides better fidelity 
> than ears made of meat will you then admit you were wrong. Of course not! 
>

Examples of simulated products which are universally preferred to their 
original counterparts:


....

....

mmm. Bionic arms? Oh, no that was a TV show.

 

>
> > It's not important though - even if the implant sounded perfect,
>>
>
> I thought as much.
>
> > you would rather believe that a roll of toilet paper with holes in it is 
>> as smart as anyone
>>
>
> Although for practical reasons I would recommend using electronics, a roll 
> of toilet paper can indeed be as smart or smarter than the 3 pounds of grey 
> goo in your head because toilet paper can be made into a Turing Machine. 
>

And there you have it - your theory of consciousness. An accident which can 
never aspire to be as great as cardboard. I guess it's better to be dead, 
so your body can be made into a Turing machine in the silent intangible 
void.
 

>
> > Proof is part of consciousness. Try proving something to a cadaver.
>>
>
> Try proving that a cadaver is conscious or is not conscious.
>

It's a mistake to hold consciousness to a standard of proof - all that we 
have is our senses, intuition, experience, and reasoning. Evidence is for 
objects. We aren't objects. The compulsion to insist on evidence is part of 
consciousness, not part of nature.
 

>  
>
>> >> I understand as well as you do that there is such a thing as 
>>> consciousness, but I also understand that because it has no observable 
>>> consequences
>>
>>
>> > All observations are its consequences.
>>
>
> Blather that sounds deep until you think about it for more than 1.2 
> seconds.
>

It takes less time for your to turn your own impatience and prejudice into 
irrelevant insults.
 

>
>  > Are you expecting the movie camera to be found in the movie?
>>
>
> Perhaps, if there is also a mirror in the movie.
>

Can you prove it's a mirror? Couldn't I make a movie with a rutabega in a 
'mirror'?
 

>  
>
>> > Evidence is not an appropriate criteria for evaluating consciousness
>>
>
> After that I don't think I need to say more.
>

Unfortunately is is not possible to understand consciousness unless you 
grasp why that must be the absolute truth. You don't get it. You don't 
understand that you have never been outside of your own consciousness, and 
so you take it for granted. You think that the universe without John Clark 
will be just like the universe as John Clark understands it. You don't 
understand that this is just as anthropocentric as any form of theism. 

Craig 


>   John K Clark
>  
>  
>

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