On Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:30:02 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 5:45 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> > 
> > 
> > On Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:03:24 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote: 
> >> 
> >> On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> 
> >> wrote: 
> >> 
> >> >> It comes down to whether the computer has desires and feelings. We 
> >> >> can't be sure whether it does or not. 
> >> > 
> >> > 
> >> > Why would we even entertain the possibility that it does though? If 
> >> > computers had feelings wouldn't at least some of them complain about 
> >> > something or express some mood once in a while? 
> >> 
> >> Does a water molecule? Does a protein? 
> > 
> > 
> > A computer made of protein or water wouldn't have feelings either. Rich 
> > subjective content, in my view, arises through experience over billions 
> of 
> > years, which cannot be skipped or condensed. It has nothing to do with 
> the 
> > materials as materials, but it has to do with the materials as they 
> reflect 
> > a history going back indefinitely. 
> You keep asserting that two physically identical objects with 
> different histories have different qualities.

No, I assert that there is no such thing as identical anything, and I 
assert that different histories of experience can be represented by similar 
looking 'objects' to an undiscerning observer.

> If you were genuine 
> about making this case you would propose an experimental test. For 
> example, have two different people make the same device through 
> different processes, show that the two devices are identical in 
> structure and materials, then show that nevertheless they behave 
> differently due to their different history. Or, if you don't like that 
> one, come up with another one that could possibly be done. Philosophy 
> is well and good but your ideas have empirical implications which you 
> should pursue. 

When we look carefully enough at fingerprints and retina patterns, we find 
unique patterns. These are relatively easy to access, but really, any part 
of our body can be boiled down to some unique patterns - not just one, but 
many, on many different levels. The universe is finely balanced, such that 
it appears to make perfect sense from several different perspectives, which 
helps experiences develop their potential fully. Because of perceptual 
relativity, the generic view in which objects are interchangeable, is going 
to tend to be more useful locally and empirically, but it doesn't make as 
much sense when we try to apply it to the absolute totality. Tests can only 
test the testers and the testing instruments. They can test one mappers 
ability to map some part of some territory. If I am right and the universe 
can only be fundamentally aesthetic, then it would make sense that there 
would not necessarily be any way to access that in non-aesthetic terms. You 
are asking to prove a circle is possible using only straight lines.

> >> Humans and bacteria are similar in some ways and different in others. 
> >> The differences could be as great as the differences between a modern 
> >> supercomputer and an AI of the future. 
> > 
> > 
> >  Sure, or like the differences between a brick wall and the Taj Mahal. 
> > Complexity does not equal life or consciousness. Corpses are complex. 
> Corpses are structurally different from the living animal, even though 
> they are made of the same matter and have the same history up to the 
> point of death. 

Nothing has the same history as anything else. If it did, it would be the 
same thing. An animal can be dead, or near-dead momentarily, and then be 
revived.  The structural changes associated with that are rather 
mysterious...causes of death can be multiple or decoherent. What can be 
established more easily is the time of death. Time is the key to life and 
consciousness, not space. Space cannot be experienced without time, but 
time can be hypothetically experienced without space.

> >> > Why would we have any idea about 'choice' or 'freedom', or 
> >> > 'responsibility'? 
> >> 
> >> Are you implying a general principle that if we can conceive of it it 
> >> must be so?? 
> > 
> > 
> > I am implying that nothing can exist in a foreground if it cannot be 
> > contrasted against a background. If there is only determinism in the 
> > universe, there is no background, so it cannot possibly be 
> conceptualized in 
> > any way. Determinism as opposed to what? How is determinism 'deciding' 
> > whether or not it determines itself to exist? 
> You make up these rules ad hoc. Why does something need to be 
> contrasted with something else in order to be conceptualised?

Because you can't define white if there is no color other than absolute 
whiteness. You can't define pain if there is no experience other than 
absolute pain all the time. All identity supervenes on contrast and 
modulation. This isn't some rule I made up, this is well understood for 
thousands of years. This is basic Taoism. This is what the binary code is 
based on.

> And even 
> if it does why does it need to be contrasted with something actual? 

Because fictional absence doesn't allow us to conceive of its presence. You 
have to really forget that we can see other colors besides white and 
imagine that there is only one color and one shade of that color. We would 
not be able to detect any such thing as color. Vision would be a non-sense. 
Instead, we should see that just because all of our instruments can only 
detect one shade of color does not mean that the other colors we think we 
see are not valid phenomena in the universe, even if they are not 'actual' 
in exactly the same measures...who is to say that they are not far more 
actual in other ways. I think you grossly underestimate the blind spot that 
we create when we focus on the public world and how that informs our entire 
cosmology with an anamorphic distortion.

> And what implications has this for choice, freedom and responsibility 
> anyway: you can either say they are valid concepts and compatible with 
> determinism or that they are invalid concepts and under determinism we 
> continue as usual with quasi-choice, quasi-freedom and 
> quasi-responsibility. 

What I am saying though is that even if we have 
quasi-pseudo-fictional-whiff-of-choice then determinism fails to explain 
the universe, by definition.

> >> > Why would those things be conceivable without any way to step back 
> from 
> >> > determinism voluntarily? Do you think a typewriter thinks about 
> choice 
> >> > or 
> >> > freedom? Does a machine gun think about responsibility? 
> >> 
> >> Those machines don't, but neither does a water molecule or a protein. 
> > 
> > 
> > If you are a person, you have the luxury of looking at cells and 
> molecules, 
> > but molecules and cells can't look back at a person. The person does not 
> > exist on that level, even though the effects of what a person does can 
> > impact them. Your view doesn't account for the aesthetic differences so 
> that 
> > from the start you define a person as generic states of 
> quantum/molecules - 
> > but those are meaningless to us except to provide basic resources of 
> > locality. Your view assumes a metaphysical property leaps out of a 
> machine's 
> > function which feels, and can be exported to anything irrespective of 
> its 
> > nature, but the reality we experience is that the difference between 
> life 
> > and death, edible and inedible, natural and synthetic are among the most 
> > significant differences which we care about as human beings. 
> Whatever metaphysics you posit for a human can also be posited for a 
> machine. 

I don't posit any metaphysics, ever. A machine is a language written in 
functions. Humans are not only a language but also a user of languages. 
Humans have developed naturally through their own participation in their 
own experiences. Machines have been developed by humans as assembled parts 
which have no natural history together. Again, life is an enrichment of 
time, and while it is reflected in forms and functions, nothing binds them 
together coherently without common interior purpose.

> >> >> Unless simulated beings can have experiences. 
> >> > 
> >> > 
> >> > Like Bugs Bunny. Maybe he really enjoys the taste of carrots? 
> >> 
> >> Again, you use facile counterarguments, like a race of electronic 
> >> beings claiming humans can't be conscious because water molecules and 
> >> proteins obviously aren't. 
> > 
> > 
> > There is a huge difference. Water and protein molecules are not 
> obviously 
> > unconscious - they respond to their environment in countless ways. Bugs 
> > Bunny is a representation. Whatever medium he is drawn, printed, or 
> painted 
> > on, there is no possibility of it reacting as Bugs Bunny. No 
> representation 
> > has any presence of its own - they rely on the physical nature of the 
> medium 
> > and the experiential nature of the beholder of the medium completely. 
> Water 
> > and protein are not shadows or figures, they are natural presences which 
> are 
> > their own medium and I think, their own beholder as well. 
> A simulation is also a process, and a simulation of a human which 
> actually behaves like a human is an extremely complex process, of a 
> similar order of complexity as an actual human. A human does not rely 
> on his beholder to be conscious, he is conscious in himself. Why could 
> not a computer simulation of a human, which is as complex as a human, 
> behaves like a human, has as much mass as a human and is made up of 
> the same fundamental particles as a human if that is important to you, 
> also be conscious? What is it that the computer fundamentally lacks? 

Why can't I make this sentence turn blue? I can certainly use words to 
describe everything about blue, and that would be very complex. I can 
create a list of everything in history which has ever been described as 
being blue so that I can search the list and correctly identify anything as 
being blue or not blue...why isn't that the same thing as blue? What does 
it lack? Experience. Consciousness. Aesthetic appreciation. Sensory-motor 
participation. These are not metaphysical additions to physics, these are 
physics themselves. It is the machine which is metaphysical representation, 
empty, automatic, undead, and artificial. Everyone knows this, but it is 
very popular to be excited about computers right now so we have turned the 
universe upside down.

> >> > I don't know it, but I understand why consciousness cannot be 
> simulated 
> >> > by 
> >> > something which is not inherently conscious (because of the 
> Presentation 
> >> > problem...hard problems, explanatory gap, binding problem, symbol 
> >> > grounding 
> >> > problem, mind-body symmetry problem) 
> >> 
> >> These problems, such as they are, do not preclude consciousness from 
> >> being simulated. 
> > 
> > 
> > Why not? If consciousness cannot be tied in any way to forms and 
> functions 
> > then how can you think that it might not mean that consciousness cannot 
> be 
> > generated from forms and functions? 
> The hard problem, binding problem, symbol grounding problem and 
> mind-body symmetry problem do not imply that consciousness cannot be 
> generated from form and function. 

A problem implies that we don't have the solution yet. If you can think of 
a way that it makes sense for forms and functions to generate aesthetic 
appreciation of themselves, then you will have solved the hard problem in a 
different way than I have, which I welcome.

> >> If we could explain why one type of thing could not 
> >> possibly be conscious that would be a major step towards solving the 
> >> Hard Problem. 
> > 
> > 
> > Representations cannot possibly be conscious. These letters you are 
> reading 
> > *cannot possibly ever become conscious*. If you have a psychotic 
> episode, 
> > then you may have an experience where letters reflect your own 
> > overly-animated psyche back to you in a way which convinces you they are 
> > conscious, but that is an over-stepping of the bounds of subjectivity, 
> i.e. 
> > a form of the Pathetic fallacy. From an absolute perspective, no 
> > representation can have any experiential content. No map is a territory. 
> Again you are making this up. It is like claiming that subatomic 
> particles could never become conscious. Look at them, they are 
> completely stupid and unfeeling, it's ridiculous to even contemplate 
> that they could be participants in consciousness! 

That would be true if we ourselves were not made of subatomic particles, 
but we are, so there is no reason to assume they are incapable of 
experience, and there is no way to conceive of any kind of particle other 
than modeled through a visual or tactile experience.

> >> > and I understand why assembled bodies 
> >> > in space do not necessarily equal continuous experiences through 
> time, 
> >> > and 
> >> > why, in general, maps are not territories. The only counter-argument 
> I 
> >> > see 
> >> > is wishes, promises, and threats based on presumptions about 
> >> > consciousness 
> >> > defined from a 3p behaviorist perspective. 
> >> 
> >> The map is not the same as the territory but this does does not 
> >> preclude the map from having properties of the territory. 
> > 
> > 
> > Yes it does. A territory allows for unlimited inspection and 
> interaction, 
> > where a map is only a facade that holds up to limited and proscribed 
> > interaction. A map is intentionally produced to serve a given class of 
> > participants in a particular range of sense modalities. A territory is 
> not 
> > limited in that way and is potentially discoverable by any participant. 
> > Deeper than that however, all presentations (territories) are 
> intrinsically 
> > genuine - they are part of a history of the universe in which they 
> directly 
> > participate. Representations are not. Bugs Bunny has no family tree, no 
> > country of origin, etc. It's a human symbol which has no life outside of 
> > human experiences. 
> You're missing the point. The mind itself is a representation of the 
> world, realised in substance that is not identical with the world. 

No, the mind is a presentation of your time. The world is a representation 
of all time, presented as STFF (Spatio-Temporal Form-Funcitons). Within 
that nested experience, you infer your mind as representation of the brain, 
but it is no more than than the Tonight Show is a representation of TV 

Your argument is like saying we cannot possibly have visual perception 
> because the map is not the territory. 

Our visual perception is a territory. It maps other territories also, but 
it is not itself a map of anything. It is visual feeling.

> Whatever you make up to support 
> your position has an ad hoc counterpart that could be used to support 
> the impossibility of human consciousness. 

Consciousness is impossible, that is why it must be made fundamental. That 
which cannot be explained is plain already, and consciousness is plainly 
that which makes plain.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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