On Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:54:17 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 10 Apr 2013, at 22:55, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote: 
> > On 10.04.2013 22:52 Telmo Menezes said the following: 
> > 
> > ... 
> > 
> >> I suspect life is just meaningless from the outside. I'd say that 
> >> pain and pleasure are fine-tunned by evolution to maximise the 
> >> survivability of species in an environment that is largely also 
> >> generated by evolution. It's a strange loop. 
> >> 
> > 
> > What difference do you see when one changes evolution in your   
> > sentence by god? 
> The difference is that evolution assumes some mechanism. 
> With comp you can define pain by the qualia associated to anything   
> contradicting some universal goal. 
> The most typical universal goal is "protect yourself". 

Why isn't the condition of "satisfying universal goal = false" sufficient?

> I imagine we send robots on a far planet where there are some acid   
> rains which might demolish their circuits. We will provide mechanism   
> so that when such rain occurs the robots find quickly some shelter. No   
> need of pain at this stage, but if the machine is Löbian, she will be   
> able to rationalize her behavior, so that when we ask her why she   
> protect herself, she will will talk about her non communicable qualia   
> she got when  the rain is coming, and she might well call it pain. 

What does it mean to "talk about" that which is non-communicable? What she 
calls it is irrelevant, but do her reports describe the qualia as "sharp" 
or "dull"? Excruciating or irritating? Does it make her want to rip her 
eyes out of her skull or simply believe that it is time to escalate the 
priority of a search for protection? Is there any indication at all that a 
Löbian machine experiences any specific aesthetic qualities at all, or do 
you assume that every time we ask a machine a question and it fails to 
communicate an answer that it means that they must have a human-like 
conscious experience which they cannot express?

> Such a theory predicted that if someone burn alive through suicide,   
> that person would not necessarily feel pain. As sad as it is, this has   
> been confirmed by some testimony of people doing just that. They   
> describe being burn even as pleasurable, until they are brought to   
> some hospital and then the pain becomes quite acute. (Hmm... I don't   
> find the interview of women who burns themselves in Afghanistan when   
> their husband cheat them, I will search when I have more times). 
> This can also be related with some ZEN technic to diminish pain by   
> "accepting it", and used in Japan to survive Chinese interrogations). 

Sure, pain is relative. Like all sense, it is defined by contrast, previous 
experience, and expectation. 

> Pain can be the qualia brought by a frustration in a situation   
> contradicting instinctive universal goals. 
> The qualia itself can be explained by the combination self-reference +   
> truth, that is the relatively correct self-reference, which lead the   
> machine to acknowledge non justifiable truth. The negative aspect of   
> the affect is brought by the contradiction with respect to universal   
> goal, and is usually more intense when the goal is instinctive or   
> hidden. 
> Note that this needs a notion of truth, so the Platonist God is not   
> far away, making your point, after all. 

Self-reference + truth is no substitute for aesthetic presence. The notion 
of self-reference you are using is a superficial one rooted in symbol 
manipulation rather than proprietary influence. Selfness defined this way 
is a silhouette with no content. In reality, authentic selfhood arises from 
aesthetic qualities experienced, not from logical conditions or 
non-communicable residues of arithmetic.


> Bruno 
> > 
> > Evgenii 
> > 
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> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ 

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