On 3/7/2013 7:33 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 3/7/2013 3:01 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:45:14 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:

    On 3/7/2013 2:21 PM, Stephen P. 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.

    I'm fairly sure Bruno will point out that a delusion is a thought
    and so is immaterial.  You have an immaterial experience fo being
    in a body.

    But the analogy of the thin client is thin indeed.  In the
    example of the Mars rover it corresponds to looking a computer
    bus and saying, "See there are just bits being transmitted over
    this wire, therefore this Mars rover can't have qualia."  It's
    nothing-buttery spread thin.

Why? What's your argument other than you don't like it? Of course the Mars rover has no qualia.

That's your careful reasoning?

The thin client metaphor is exactly why. All that are being transmitted are the sets of data that the software is trained to recognize. The rover could spit out a thin client mini-rover that is just a camera on wheels and the rover could steer it remotely. Would the mini-rover have qualia now too, as an eyeball on a wheel?

No, it's the autonomous system rover+minirover that would have qualia.

    Meantime the Mars rover and Watson continue to exhibit
    intelligence of the same kind you would associate with qualia if
    exhibted by a human being, or even by a dog.

That shouldn't be surprising. Mannequins resemble human bodies standing still remarkably well.

More reasoning?

      You have no argument, just wetware racism.

I'm the one laying out a carefully reasoned example. You are the one responding with empty accusations. It doesn't seem like my position is the one closer to racism.

No you're the one with the double standard. If it acts intelligent and it's wetware, it is intelligent. If it acts intelligent and its hardware it can't be intelligent. If you have any other critereon, any conceivable empirical evidence, that would convince you that an intelligent acting entity made of hardware in intelligent I'd like to hear it. It there is none, then it's mere prejudice.

Hey Brent,

You are making a good point here, regardless of your motives. ;-) The physical stuff does not matter so long as it can fulfil the required functions of the immaterial stuff. This is implication of the Stone duality, BTW... No ghosts or zombies can exist!



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