On 3/7/2013 6:40 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

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 
            handset and the earpiece ends could squeal to each other. In this 
            you could, with nothing but a keyboard and a printer, use your 
            to allow you access to a mainframe computer at some university.

            The relevance here is that the client end is thin computationally. 
            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 
            had hollow plastic tubes as connectors - a system like that 
            sound from the start, and the headphones are simply funnels for our
            ears. That's a different thing from an electronic device which 
            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 
            from some mobile device and use it like a glove, but that doesn't 
            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. 
            get communicated. The Thin Client exposes Comp as misguided because 
            shows that instructions can indeed exist as purely instrumental 
            and require none of the semantic experiences which we enjoy. No 
            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. 
            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. 
            why do I have the persistent illusion that I am in a body and 
            with another computation via its body?

                The physical delusion is the thin client, to use your words and

            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 

            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 
            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 
        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 
    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 
    level, or use the resources of the server as a mapped remote drive. What 
    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 
    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 

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 
    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

There is little processing by the keyboard and monitor but there is 100% of the user qualia.

The user qualia are in the keyboard and monitor?? So now you have switched from "computers can't have qualia" to "keyboards and monitors have qualia"?

The server doesn't need a thin client logging into it or a computer monitor sitting on to be a server.

It needs *something* to serve in order to be a server.

        The thin client metaphor is exactly why. All that are being transmitted 
        the sets of data that the software is trained to recognize. The rover 
        spit out a thin client mini-rover that is just a camera on wheels and 
        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'

No, if has to make decisions faster than the roundtrip EM signal then it has to be autonomous. That's why a Mars rover isn't just controlled by a guy with a joy stick in Pasadena.

- 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.

I guess you don't know that Mars is 4 to 20 light-minutes from Earth.

            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 
        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 
        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?

Sure. I are you claiming that because tape is dumb that nothing can be smart? You're point is...?

        If you have any other critereon, any conceivable empirical evidence, 
that would
        convince you that an intelligent acting entity made of hardware in 
        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 
    then walk them back over. If they say that they were indeed awake and felt 
    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 

I assume honesty in the example, and I would IRL as well.

It would be dishonest to report false memories.

I'm willing to bet that the technology to implant false memories would be at least as difficult as making a digital brain.

But not as hard as shifting a human mind to a partially synthetic brain.

    What is your empirical evidence that will convince you that my view is 

    While watching brain with whatever instrumentation is necessary, observe a 
    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 
    or acted choice.

You really have heard nothing that I have said.

I haven't heard any that makes sense.


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