On Thursday, March 7, 2013 4:16:40 PM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
>  >>> Everything simulated is physical ultimately, but the physical has no 
>>>> signs of being a simulation, 
>>> >> Maybe, but I'm not sure what sort of sign you're talking about and 
>>> some have said only half joking that Black Holes, particularly the 
>>> singularity at the center of them, is where God tried to divide by zero. 
>>> And others have said that the quantum nature of reality when things become 
>>> very small reminds them of getting too close to a video screen and seeing 
>>> the individual pixels  
>> > I was thinking more of the absence of some counterfactual such as 
>> someone emulating a computer which runs faster than the physical host
> It would be easy to make a (electronic) computer animation of a Turing 
> Machine that runs faster than anything you could make with a real paper 
> tape. And in just a few days of running time computers can tell astronomers 
> what the Galaxy will look like in a billion years, but it will take the 
> Galaxy a billion years to figure out what it should look like in a billion 
> years.

But you can't make an electronic computer animation of anything faster than 
the clock of the computer actually running it.

>> >> Even today a computer could generate a high resolution 3D image of 
>>> Bryce Canyon where you couldn't be sure if you were looking at a video 
>>> screen or looking through a window.
>> > Not talking about windows - I'm talking about full embodied presence. 
>> If you talk about windows and images, then you are only talking about 
>> visual sense, which is only one aspect of reality. Making something that is 
>> visually similar to something is easy if you take a photo and digitize it. 
>> It's not much of a simulation either, since the computer isn't generating 
>> the image, just copying it.
> Almost 20 years ago I had a program on my home computer (coincidentally I 
> think it was even called "Bryce" after the Canyon), it used fractals to 
> randomly generate landscapes of beautiful lakes and towering mountains; it 
> wasn't quite of photographic quality but it was very good, like a fine 
> painting, and each time you hit the redraw button it would make a new one 
> and you could be sure you were the first human being to see that particular 
> image. I don't have a modern landscape program but I have no doubt they are 
> astronomically better.  

You can still tell the difference (just Google 3D Rendering) and you can 
certainly tell the difference when you try to walk inside your computer 

> >> And if events prove you wrong will that change your worldview? No of 
>>> course it will not because a belief not based on logic can not be destroyed 
>>> by it nor will contradictory evidence change it in any way.
>> > Why is that a question? 
> Because I'm interested if there is any possibility that new evidence would 
> change your views or are they set in concrete with a vow never to change 
> them one iota no matter what.  

Haha, who would vow never to change their views? I welcome the chance to 
change my views, all it requires is that I can see some new counterfactual 
to my existing views or a new view that makes more sense.

> >> And thus using Weinbergian logic if changing X always changes Y and 
>>> changing Y always changes X that proves that X and Y have nothing to do 
>>> with each other. 
>> > It proves that we can infer they are correlated. If Rush Hour always 
>> happens around sunset, does that mean that we can make the Sun go down by 
>> causing a traffic jam?
> By simple logic the answer has to be yes if the following conditions are 
> met. If whenever a traffic jam happens the sun goes down and whenever the 
> sun goes down a traffic jam happens and there has never been a single 
> recorded instance of this not happening then the sun going down and traffic 
> jams are inextricably linked together.  

But you can see that's a fallacy just by understanding that obviously we 
cannot cause the Sun to go down by making a traffic jam. Your logic is 
wrong by any measure. It doesn't matter if every traffic jam and every 
sunset are one to one correlates as far as we have seen - maybe that only 
has been happening for a few thousand years but now, like the cicadas, it 
is in a new cycle that we have not seen.

Have you ever heard that old job interview puzzle about the guy whose car 
won't start every time he eats vanilla ice cream?

It's the middle of a hot summer and the guy goes every day to the ice cream 
store and if he gets the peanut butter crunch flavor, then his car starts 
fine, but if he gets the vanilla, his car won't start. It happens every 

The solution is that the peanut butter flavor is on the far end of the 
counter, and it takes the scooper longer to scoop the ice cream so the car 
engine has time to cool down longer and alleviate whatever over-heated 
condition is locking the starter. The vanilla is right in front of the 
scooper, so he gets back to the car a minute earlier and the car fails to 
start because its still too hot and repeated attempts to start it only make 
it hotter.

False correlations are easy to make.

> And we know that whenever there is a change in brain chemistry there is 
> ALWAYS a change in consciousness and whenever there is a change in 
> consciousness there is ALWAYS a change in brain chemistry, so consciousness 
> and chemistry are also inextricably linked together. 

No. They are inextricably linked to the same common denominator - which is 
timespace. Otherwise they are opposite in every way - because they are 
literally the opposite side of each other. They do not cause each other any 
more than a 'glass of water' is caused by the glass part or the water part.

> > I am saying that chemicals and molecules already are consciousness
> Saying that everything is conscious is equivalent to saying nothing is 
> conscious and the word becomes useless. Meaning needs contrast.

Chemicals and molecules are conscious, but not as conscious as cells. Just 
adjust your notion of what 'exist' means, so that it is understood that 
what you are talking about is sensory-motor participation (aka, perception, 
sensation, awareness, consciousness).

>>  > and that the effects that they cause and the causes which sometimes 
>> effect them, are human qualities of consciousness. 
> Computers are made of atoms and molecules just like humans are, 

No, they are made of different molecules entirely. Which is why we plug 
them into electric current rather than feeding them cheeseburgers.

> > You are only able to see your assumption that chemicals and molecules 
>> cause an effect which seems like consciousness. 
> So now I'm not conscious I just have something " which seems like 
> consciousness". 

Ok, then I'll say 'an effect which is consciousness'.

>>  > if I change what I decide then my brain will change.
> If you change your mind, that is to say if your brain changes what it is 
> doing, 

bzzt. wrong. If my brain changed my mind, then it would be an involuntary 
change. It's like if I move my hand, then I voluntarily change my brain and 
my hand moves - or I change my body and my brain and hand changes represent 
that. If it's my brain moving my hand, then it's a spasm, and I observe 
that I can't control it at all.

> then your brain chemistry changes. And if your brain chemistry changes 
> then you change your mind. Get it?  

Ahhh, so your brain changes its own chemistry, and creates a superfluous, 
impotent spectator to witness the change, but divides the quality of those 
changes into two meaningless partitions - those which seem to be as 
impotent as they are and those which seem somehow - different... Somehow 
these different feelings make the superfluous impotent spectator feel 
powerful and important, so that when they go on contributing nothing to the 
automatic function of some brain, that empty contribution will somehow be a 
deciding evolutionary factor. No, I get it completely, but you *still don't 
at all*.

>> > The brain doesn't always lead the mind - the mind can also lead and the 
>> brain will follow - they aren't different things. 
> The mind and the brain are very different things, one is a noun and the 
> other is what that noun does.

No. The mind is what a person does, not what a brain does. The mind knows 
nothing about the brain and the brain knows nothing about the mind. The 
mind experiences the world through the body, and the brain is part of the 
body. The body and brain are part of our experience, and of the experiences 
of other things in the world.

> The brain and the mind are as different as "racing car" is different from 
> "fast".  

I don't disagree. The purpose of a racing car is to drive fast. The purpose 
of the brain is to serve the person using it.

> >> How do you explain that physics can control "I" ?
>> > Easily. Physics is sense. Sub-personal, impersonal, personal, and 
>> super-personal. The personal range is the "I" territory and it is 
>> influenced by the other ranges, which are usually more influential. 
> I have no idea what any of that means. 

It doesn't seem that hard to figure out. You are familiar with the prefixes 
'Sub-' and 'Super-'. As persons, not all of who we are is visible to us at 
all times. We have sub-personal, or sub-conscious, instinctual, 
physiological drives and we have super-personal, intuitive, or lucky 
influences. Sometimes we override our conscience, sometimes our conscience 
has no opinion... we have the ability to change the mix of how much we want 
to exert our personal, ego-level will and how much we let the other ranges 
fill the gap. Sometimes we don't have much choice, like when a mother pulls 
a car off of their baby or something. 

> > There are a lot of things which will be controlled by impersonal forces 
>> unless we choose to exert our personal influence.
> Please give me experimental evidence of one chemical reaction in the brain 
> that is not controlled by a impersonal law of physics.     

Any chemical reaction which is involved in my deciding to hold in a sneeze.

>  > A drug which affects the limbic system exposes you to different 
>> feelings, like tuning a radio exposes you to different stations. 
> But there are drugs that change the chemistry in your brain in such a way 
> that causes you to not only form tears in your eyes but to  actually feel 
> sad, so it makes no sense to say emotion doesn't  come from the brain. And 
> I don't understand what the hell the radio transmitter is in this loopy 
> analogy of yours.

People have been using the radio transmitter analogy for 50 years. 
Non-local theories or Receiver theories of consciousness are not my 
invention, and have been around longer than Newtonian physics. I can only 
think that you don't understand it because you refuse to. It's not very 
difficult. Music doesn't come from your radio - there are no musicians in 
your radio. It comes through your radio.

> > If you put a bank of guitar pedals between your radio and speaker, you 
>> can put in whatever distortion and chorus effects that you want. It doesn't 
>> effect the signal from the radio station though.
> But in this analogy what comes out of the speaker is what counts because 
> that's your experience, and I still don't know what this mystical magical 
> radio station with the call letters KRAP is all about.   

What's coming out of your speakers is a reflection of an event that is not 
in your speakers.

> > you favor the social Darwinist for of validation in all areas.
> BULLSHIT! I am NOT a social Darwinist and neither was Darwin, the idea 
> that we should look to Evolution to figure out how we should treat others 
> is imbecilic. Evolution has made some beautiful things but the process 
> itself is not beautiful, in fact its cruelty is astronomical, for every 
> tiny advance millions die horrible deaths. The religious correctly conclude 
> that if Evolution is true and God exists then He's a sadistic monster. They 
> only abandon logic when they pick the answer that is most comforting, 
> Evolution is wrong, rather than the correct conclusion that God is 
> nonexistent or evil.

Agreed. I only say you are a social Darwinist because you seem fixated on 
the power of computers and technology to WIN at things puny humans pride 
themselves on.

> > The Chinese Room will probably be considered one of the most famous 
>> encapsulations of a position in the history of Philosophy.
> Yes, it superbly illustrates how cosmically stupid philosophers can be.  

So you say. I see that you are obviously wrong.

>> > You have never looked as someone and felt some of what they were 
>> feeling? Do you recognize facial expressions or do you use a book to look 
>> them up?
> As I said Evolution has determined that the ability to predict the 
> behavior of our fellow human beings is very important in getting our genes 
> into the next generation, so it made us good at determining the mood of 
> people from facial expressions, and for the same reason Evolution also made 
> some people (like scam artistes) good at projecting phony facial 
> expressions indicating emotions like friendliness when they don't feel 
> friendly at all.     

Just because our senses can be fooled doesn't mean we don't have them.

>> > As an adult have you ever reexamined your worldview?
> Yes. I once was religious but now I'm not. I was a liberal but now I'm a 
> libertarian. I once thought ET probably existed I now think he probably 
> does not. I once thought a computer that behaved exactly like me would not 
> be me but I now think it would. I once thought the Iraq war was a good idea 
> I now think it was not. I have always love to debate but I have no loyalty 
> to ideas; over the years it has been my practice that if I find that in a 
> debate my opponent's position is more easily defended than mine is then I 
> abandon my position and take my opponents as my own. Over time this tactic 
> makes debating much easier.  


>> > Jeopardy is not general reasoning. 
> Alex Trebek: This tool can unclog a toilet.
> Watson: What is a plunger? 

Alex Trebek: Is it better to put the plunger in the toilet first or to crap 
in it first and plunge the crap?
Watson: What is a plunger?

> > Can Watson figure out how to unclog a toilet?
>  Watson can't unclog a toilet and neither can Stephen Hawking because both 
> lack usable hands.

But SH can figure out how he would do it if he could.

>  >>> you could reverse the microphone and webcam inputs and it will not 
>>>> figure it out.
>>> >> Then why does the computer display a "unrecognized format" error 
>>> message when they are plugged in wrong but not when they are connected 
>>> correctly?  
>> > Because software is written to protect the interests of software 
>> producers, not consumers.
> You have given a reason why you could reverse the microphone and webcam 
> input and a computer can tell the difference, and there is a reason you can 
> tell the difference too. Explaining why something is true does not make it 
> untrue.

You are strawmanning me and putting words in my mouth. A computer can be 
programmed to detect what it is programmed to detect. It has no idea if 
your microphone is providing it with audio input - input is input. It knows 
which jack and what voltage fluctuations are present there - that's all it 
knows. I can tell whether a file looks like a picture or noise by looking 
at it, but a computer has no opinion as to which looks more like a picture 
or which looks like noise. They are both just data to the computer.


>   John K Clark

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