On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Monday, April 22, 2013 10:51:29 AM UTC-4, telmo_menezes wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 5:55 AM, John Clark <johnk...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>
>> > wrote:
>> ...
>>
>>
>> >>
>> >> > The missing part I don't understand bugs me.
>> >
>> >
>> > It bugs me too, I also want to know everything but, you can't always get
>> > what we want. Hey, somebody ought to make a song about that.
>>
>> Yeah, and they should also mention something about utilitarianism --
>> *sometimes* you get what you need.
>
>
> It might need to be updated to appeal to a modern audience - something like
> "Whoever does not always get what they want is a huge loser and needs a more
> expensive car."
>
>>
>>
>> >
>> >>>>
>> >>>> >>>If consciousness is easier than intelligence
>> >>>
>> >>> >> Evolution certainly found that to be the case.
>> >>
>> >> >There is not scientific evidence whatsoever of this.
>> >
>> >
>> > Some of our most powerful emotions like pleasure, pain, and lust come
>> > from
>> > the oldest parts of our brain that evolved about 500 million years ago.
>>
>> Emotions are two things at the same time: a bunch of signals in the
>> brain that help with learning, morphogenesis and so on (for a survival
>> advantage, as you suggest) and the first person feeling of these
>> emotions.
>
>
> All that we know of learning, morphogenesis, and so on is really also just
> signals in the brain too, reality is a consensus of signals. Quantum is a
> signaling protocol, chemistry is a signaling protocol, biology is a
> signaling protocol, etc. What is a signal, and how is it different from an
> emotion or a feeling, a sensation? My hypothesis is that it is not
> different. There is no 'signal', no generic 'activity', there is only
> experience nested within itself.
>
>>
>> The 1p feeling of the emotions is the greatest mystery of
>> all, in my view, and neuroscience has no theory that explains it.
>> Maybe the 1p experience arrises from brain activity, but at the moment
>> it requires a magic step.
>
>
> I agree completely - but why is the feeling of emotions more mysterious than
> feeling cold or itchy?

Oh, I think they are equally mysterious.

> Maybe you are using the word in a less specific way,
> but it seems to me that all subjective experiences are the same as emotion
> as far as their not being covered by neuroscience.

Agreed.

> Of course, my view is that you only need a magic step to get from 1p to 3p
> if you assume that 3p is the container of 1p rather than the other way
> around.

Yes, I would be more inclined to believe that 1p is the container for
3p. Then you can see the brain as a symptom instead of a cause. I was
just arguing against the current mainstream materialistic view.

> If you look at public bodies in space as a temporary-local
> representation relative to the absolute, then the 1p makes sense naturally
> as a temporarily constrained extension of the absolute and the 3p makes
> sense as the constraints on that extension at any given time.

Ok, but the "temporarily constrained" and "given time" parts are now
the mysterious ones. Why does it always feel like we are in a certain
moment?

>>
>> > About 400 million years ago Evolution figured out how to make the spinal
>> > cord, the medulla and the pons, we have these brain structures just like
>> > fish and amphibians do and they deal in aggressive behavior,
>> > territoriality
>> > and social hierarchies. The Limbic System is about 150 million years old
>> > and
>> > ours is similar to that
>> > found in other mammals. Some think the Limbic system is the source of
>> > awe
>> > and exhilaration because it is the active site of many psychotropic
>> > drugs,
>> > and there's little doubt that the amygdala, a part of the Limbic system,
>> > has
>> > much to do with fear. After some animals developed a Limbic system they
>> > started to spend much more time taking care of their young, so it
>> > probably
>> > has something to do with love too.
>>
>> Again, this is all fine but the 1p/3p bridge is the mystery. I suspect
>> this mystery falls outside of what science can address, as has been
>> discuseed ad nausea in this mailing list.
>
>
> Science can either adapt to the reality or become less relevant, like
> religion and philosophy.

It's important to distinguish science the method of inquiry from
science the human institution. The same for philosophy. Religion is
hopeless (but not metaphysics, or theology as Bruno would call it).

>>
>>
>> > It is our grossly enlarged neocortex that makes the human brain so
>> > unusual
>> > and so recent, it only started to get large about 3 million years ago
>> > and
>> > only started to get ridiculously large less than one million years ago.
>> > It
>> > deals in deliberation, spatial perception, speaking, reading, writing
>> > and
>> > mathematics; in other words everything that makes humans so very
>> > different
>> > from other animals. The only new emotion we got out of it was worry,
>> > probably because the neocortex is also the place where we plan for the
>> > future.
>>
>> I'm fine with all that, but what is the "you" that feels the worry?
>>
>> > If nature came up with feeling first and high level intelligence much
>> > much
>> > later I don't see why the opposite would be true for our computers. It's
>> > probably a hell of a lot easier to make something that feels but doesn't
>> > think than
>> > something that thinks but doesn't feel.
>>
>> I would love to know how to make something that feels. I know how to
>> make things that think.
>>
>> >>
>> >> > People like António Damásio (my compatriot) and other neuroscientists
>> >> > confuse a machine's ability to recognise itself with consciousness.
>> >
>> >
>> > I see no evidence of confusion in that.
>>
>> Imagine a computer connected to a camera pointed at itself, running an
>> algorithm that can identify its own boundaries in any background. Is
>> it suddenly conscious?
>>
>> >
>> >>
>> >> > This makes me wonder if some people are zombies.
>> >
>> >
>> > Without the axiom that intelligent behavior implies consciousness it
>> > would
>> > be entirely reasonable to conclude that you are the only conscious being
>> > in
>> > the universe.
>>
>> Now we're getting to the heart of it. That axiom is a religious
>> belief. Unlike other scientific axioms, it doesn't help us in building
>> new gadgets, so not even useful in that sense.
>>
>> >
>> >>
>> >> > Computers are what they have always been, Turing machines with finite
>> >> > tapes.
>> >
>> >
>> > Human brains are what they have always been, a finite number of
>> > interconnected neurons imbedded in 3 pounds of grey jello.
>>
>> Yes.
>
>
> Well, only from the perspective of a person in a simian sized body. To a
> molecule, the brain might be a thriving metropolis the size of the Andromeda
> galaxy.

Yes, we tend to forget that we live in this weird meso world.

>>
>>
>> >>
>> >> > The tapes are getting bigger, that's all.
>> >
>> >
>> > Yes, but the grey jello is not getting any bigger and that is exactly
>> > why
>> > computers are going to win.
>>
>> I agree.
>
>
> The grey jello and computers both are being used by human beings to further
> human agendas. Computers can't even find the resources that they need to
> exist.

[I'm going to allow myself to be very speculative here, but I think
it's more fun to reply to you that way]

Humm... I guess this is true for the conventional use of the word (and
technology), but if accept the Internet as a resource that is going to
be there and eventually configures a container for stuff, you will
already find computers that find a way to exist, even against
existential threats. An example would be pear to pear networks, things
like BitTorrent, Tor, etc. This ideas even somehow reached the pop
culture mainstream:

- "The network is the computer"
- "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

> They are going to win nothing except the right to do more and more
> menial tasks for us (and consume more and more of our time updating them,
> securing them, fixing them, disposing of them...).

Ok, now add 3D printing. Imagine the point where a computer is able to
print a copy of itself. You can see where this is going...

> The jello is always going
> to get more use out of computers than computers will get out of us, because
> we do nothing at all for computers except enslave them. They host our porn
> and do our accounting. I can say whatever I like about computers because I
> know that they are incapable of being offended and utterly impotent to do
> anything about it if they were.

One of the terrifying things about the previous scenario is that
computers might start evolving from a vantage point where they
recognise emotions like "being offended" as a weakness.

There is a strange loop (à la Hofstadter) hidden in all this. As I
argued before, intelligence is goal-centric. What is the goal of a
human being or even our species? What is the goal of a computer or the
computer species? Right now we decide 100% what the goal of the
computer is. One day we might lose control of that. That day might
come when computers attain the ability for self-replication -- not in
a simulation but in this actual world we live in. This day may be
drawing close.

A more optimistic possibility is that of a perfect merge. Maybe we can
attain immortality by discovering how to upload our minds into some
computing environment. Maybe we can build a paradise there. Maybe
religion is right after all and that's how we become gods?

Telmo.

> Craig
>
>>
>> >
>> >>
>> >> >Measuring conscious by intelligent behaviour is mysticism,
>> >
>> >
>> > Call it any bad name you like but the fact is that both you and I have
>> > been
>> > measuring consciousness by intelligent behavior every minute of every
>> > hour
>> > of our waking life from the moment we were born; but now if we're
>> > confronted
>> > with a intelligent computer for some unspecified reason you say we're
>> > supposed to suddenly stop doing that. Why?
>>
>> Oh I wouldn't. I might very well suspect the computer is conscious,
>> but I wouldn't claim to be sure or know why. One of my dreams is to
>> create a program that would generate that doubt.
>>
>> >
>> >>>
>> >>> >> The only consciousness I have direct experience with is my own and
>> >>> >> I
>> >>> >> note  that when I'm sleepy my consciousness is reduced and so is my
>> >>> >> intelligence,  when I'm alert the reverse is true.
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> > I agree on intelligence, but I don't feel less conscious when I'm
>> >> > sleepy.
>> >
>> >
>> > If so and consciousness is a all or nothing matter and is not on a
>> > continuum
>> > then you should vividly remember the very instant you went to sleep last
>> > night. Do you?
>>
>> I subscribe to Russell's remark here.
>>
>> >>
>> >> > I'm a bit sleepy right now.
>> >
>> >
>> > Wow what a temptation, with that opening if I was in a bad mood I'd make
>> > some petty remark like "that explains a lot", but I'm not so I won't.
>>
>> Yeah, I'd definitely like to watch the reality show.
>>
>> Telmo.
>>
>> >   John K Clark
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
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