On Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:21:48 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King wrote:
> On 3/7/2013 12:04 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
> > If you have ever worked with Terminal Servers, RDP, Citrix Metaframe, 
> > or the like (and that's what I have been doing professionally every 
> > day for the last 14 years), you will understand the idea of a Thin 
> > Client architecture. Thin clients are as old as computing, and some of 
> > you remember as I do, devices like acoustic couplers where you can 
> > attach a telephone handset to a telephone cradle, so that the mouth 
> > ends of the handset and the earpiece ends could squeal to each other. 
> > In this way, you could, with nothing but a keyboard and a printer, use 
> > your telephone to allow you access to a mainframe computer at some 
> > university. 
> > 
> > The relevance here is that the client end is thin computationally. It 
> > passes nothing but keystrokes and printer instructions back and forth 
> > as acoustic codes. 
> > 
> > This is what an mp3 file does as well. It passes nothing but binary 
> > instructions that can be used by an audio device to vibrate. Without a 
> > person's ear there to be vibrated, this entire event is described by 
> > linear processes where one physical record is converted into another 
> > physical record. Nothing is encoded or decoded, experienced or 
> > appreciated. There is no sound. 
> > 
> > Think about those old plastic headphones in elementary school that 
> > just had hollow plastic tubes as connectors - a system like that 
> > generates sound from the start, and the headphones are simply funnels 
> > for our ears. That's a different thing from an electronic device which 
> > produces sound only in the earbuds. 
> > 
> > All of these discussions about semiotics, free will, consciousness, 
> > AI...all come down to understanding the Thin Client. The Thin Client 
> > is Searle's Chinese Room in actual fact. You can log into a massive 
> > server from some mobile device and use it like a glove, but that 
> > doesn't mean that the glove is intelligent. We know that we can 
> > transmit only mouseclicks and keystrokes across the pipe and that it 
> > works without having to have some sophisticated computing environment 
> > (i.e. qualia) get communicated. The Thin Client exposes Comp as 
> > misguided because it shows that instructions can indeed exist as 
> > purely instrumental forms and require none of the semantic experiences 
> > which we enjoy. No matter how much you use the thin client, it never 
> > needs to get any thicker. It's just a glove and a window. 
> > 
> > -- 
> Hi Craig, 
>      Excellent post! You have nailed computational immaterialism where 
> it really hurts. Computations cannot see, per the Turing neo-Platonists, 
> any hardward at all. This is their view of computational universality. 
> But here in the thing, it is the reason why they have a 'body problem'. 
> For a Platonistic Machine, there is no hardware or physical world at 
> all. So, why do I have the persistent illusion that I am in a body and 
> interacting with another computation via its body? 
>      The physical delusion is the thin client, to use your words and 
> discussion. 

Thanks Stephen!

Right, if we were just logging into accounts in Platonia, where does a body 
illusion come in handy?


> -- 
> Onward! 
> Stephen 

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