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.
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
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.
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.
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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