On Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:58:29 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>
>  On 3/7/2013 4:57 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>  
>
>
> On Thursday, March 7, 2013 7:33:46 PM UTC-5, Brent 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?
>>  
>
> My reasoning is that in constructing thin client architectures we find 
> that we save processing overhead by treating the i/o as a simple bitstream 
> applied to extend just the keyboard, mouse, and video data.  We understand 
> that there is a great deal less processing than if we actually tried to 
> network a computer at the application level, or use the resources of the 
> server as a mapped remote drive. What accounts for this lower overhead is 
> that the simulation of a GUI is only a thin shadow of what is required to 
> actually share resources. If qualia were inherent, then the thin client 
> would save us nothing, since the keystrokes and screenshots would have to 
> contain all of the same processing 'qualia'. 
>
>
> I can't even make sense of that assertion.  "If qualia were inherent" in 
> what? 
>

In digital data processing.
 

> If they were inherent in the keystrokes and screenshots then they would 
> take no more processing than screenshots and keystrokes.
>

and no less than disk I/O, processor threading, etc plus screenshots and 
keystrokes. You would not be able to separate out one from the other. As 
long as the Thin Client looks like a Server, then, your logic says, by 
golly it must be a server unless proven otherwise. The fact that it takes 
less data to run the thin client proves otherwise.


>  The view from the thin client, resembling the server OS that we expect, 
> would be all the evidence that you would need to announce that I can't 
> prove that there is a thin client.
>  
>
> What does "the view from the thin client" mean?
>

What you see when you log into your account with your RDP client.
 

>  
> What is your counter argument though? Why do you keep putting my view on 
> the offensive with no substantial criticism?
>  
>
> If qualia are generated by information processing then they exist where 
> information is processed.  In your example, there is little processing by 
> the keyboard and the monitor.  But in any case "qualia" are no more 
> localized in hardware than is computation.
>

There is little processing by the keyboard and monitor but there is 100% of 
the user qualia. The server doesn't need a thin client logging into it or a 
computer monitor sitting on to be a server.
 

>
>   
>  
>>  
>>  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.
>>  
>
> Why does the system include just those and not the programming, 
> programmers, and the whole history of computing that has the qualia?
>  
>
> Because those are far away and long ago.  
>

That's arbitrary. The mini-Rover could be even farther away and much longer 
and you would still consider it part of the 'autonomous system' - because 
that's how you want to consider it. There's no physical understanding to 
back that up, it's just that whatever you need to make it seem like it 
makes sense, you draw a circle around it and call it autonomous.
 

> Whatever effects they have are via the local hardware - which is why we 
> call a Mars rover autonomous.
>

Then when it sends the thin client out and connects only by radio, the 
eyeball on wheels will be autonomous. The programs on the Rover are to 
human programmers what the i/o transfers are to the mini-Rover.
 

>
>   
>  
>>  
>>   
>>  
>>> 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?
>>  
>
> More unsupported criticism?
>  
>  
>>  
>>   
>>  
>>>   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.  
>>
>
> So if a broken piece of tape that you put on a door tells you that there's 
> been an intruder, is it intelligent tape? Or an intelligent tear in the 
> tape?
>  
>
> No, I use intelligent to mean capable of processing information and 
> learning so as to act toward goals.  You could define it just as 
> information processing, in which case the tape processes one bit and 
> halts.  So equating the two is just a kind of word play of your part to 
> obfuscate the point.
>

A post-it could be made into a re-usable tape. With sufficient technology 
you might be able to tell how many times the door had been opened by 
analyzing the patterns in the adhesive. Has the tape become more 
intelligent now with this technology? Isn't it we who are using both the 
dumb technology and the dumb tape more intelligently?
 

>
>   
>
>> 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.
>>  
>
> I have already addressed this. The empirical evidence is simple. Create an 
> artificial brain. Walk someone off of their natural brain onto the 
> artificial brain one hemisphere at a time. Let them live in the artificial 
> brain for a few months, then walk them back over. If they say that they 
> were indeed awake and felt normally conscious while in the digital brain, 
> then I would take their word for it, for sure.
>  
>
> Why would that make any difference to you.  Maybe they just had false 
> memories implanted. 
>

I assume honesty in the example, and I would IRL as well. I'm willing to 
bet that the technology to implant false memories would be at least as 
difficult as making a digital brain.
 

>
>  
> What is your empirical evidence that will convince you that my view is 
> right?
>  
>
> While watching brain with whatever instrumentation is necessary, observe a 
> physical change not consistent with known physics.  
>

Then you don't understand my view. That is a straw man of my view which I 
have explained at least a dozen times on this list. Thanks though, 
actually, it give me an idea that I need to add a page on my site 
specifically addressing all of these wrong-headed criticisms.
 

> And even more convincing if the change is repeatable and correlates with a 
> reported or acted choice.
>

You really have heard nothing that I have said.

Craig
 

>
> Brent
>
>  
> Craig
>  
>  
>>  
>> Brent
>>
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