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
the like (and that's what I have been doing professionally every
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
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
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.
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
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.
Excellent post! You have nailed computational immaterialism
really hurts. Computations cannot see, per the Turing
hardward at all. This is their view of computational universality.
here in the thing, it is the reason why they have a 'body problem'.
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
is immaterial. You have an immaterial experience fo being in a
But the analogy of the thin client is thin indeed. In the example
Mars rover it corresponds to looking a computer bus and saying,
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
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
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
what is required to actually share resources. If qualia were inherent, then
thin client would save us nothing, since the keystrokes and screenshots
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,
all the evidence that you would need to announce that I can't prove that
there is a
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
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
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,
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
- 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
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
same kind you would associate with qualia if exhibted by a human
even by a dog.
That shouldn't be surprising. Mannequins resemble human bodies standing
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
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
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,
case the tape processes one bit and halts. So equating the two is just a
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
If you have any other critereon, any conceivable empirical evidence,
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
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,
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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