On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 9:34 PM, John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Telmo:
> I would not draw nth conclusions on a plain assumption.
> Particles (IMO) are explanatory presumptions upon (mostly math-phys)
> temporary explanatory 'understanding' of some phenomena we got. So are the
> reasons for 'dacay' taken from the limited access we have so far.
> - The rest of it goes into the term  RANDOM.
> 1000 years ago there was more 'random' than today. So was 'emergent' and
> 'unexplainable (not that all our today's explanations are 'perfect' (I do
> not use "true").

"Emergent" is undoubtably an abused term. I do not equate it with
unexplainable or random, though. I see it as a shortcut to allow us to
reason with phenomena that would otherwise be computationally
intractable for our monkey brains. Why are some people rich and other
poor? This is caused by a quadrillion socio-economic interactions that
we cannot possible hold in our minds at the same time. But we can
understand the mechanism of preferential attachement and a picture
emerges. It's not perfect, it's not the whole story, but it's a step
towards explanation.

> My agnostic view includes future explanations for - what we call -
> particulate decay (random in today's usage).
> If we suppose 'order' in the world - nothing is random.

Ok, I am equally suspicious of "random".

Telmo.

> John M
>
> On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Brent,
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 1:48 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>> > On 4/29/2013 2:18 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> On Mon, Apr 22, 2013  Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>>>> I also believe that some isolated tribes assume everything is
>> >>>>> conscious.
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> If they're right then that certainly solves the consciousness problem
>> >>> and
>> >>> we
>> >>> can move on to solving the REALLY hard problem, figuring out why some
>> >>> things
>> >>> behave intelligently.
>> >>
>> >> I don't really understand why you insist that intelligence is a harder
>> >> problem than consciousness.
>> >
>> >
>> > I think John's point is that it's easy to theorize about the "hard
>> > problem"
>> > of consciousness because the problem isn't even well defined and there's
>> > no
>> > way to test the theories because consciousness is taken to be a
>> > first-person-only phenomenon by definition.  On the other hand it is
>> > pretty
>> > easy to test intelligence - we do it all the time.  But creating
>> > intelligence is a "hard" problem.
>>
>> I understand the point, I just find that there's something rather
>> puritanical about this view. Tweaking a computer program to perform a
>> task well is "hard" and "real work", laying in an isolation tank
>> trying to observe yourself from inside is silly. I enjoy both kinds of
>> activities, by the way :) I think both are hard and rewarding in a
>> sense.
>>
>> >
>> >> I think we have very solid hypothesis on
>> >> why some things behave intelligently, you explained it yourself. The
>> >> problem becomes easier if we reject meaning, and accept that evolution
>> >> is just a mindless process of complexification.
>> >>
>> >> In any case, through a modern combination of computer science,
>> >> neuroscience and biology, we know a lot about intelligence. We know
>> >> nothing about consciousness (scientifically, that is -- I know a lot
>> >> about my own consciousness).
>> >
>> >
>> > Maybe because (scientifically) there's nothing to know.
>>
>> Yes. But there are other forms of inquiry. They just won't get you a
>> Nobel prize or a fat research grant.
>>
>> > What would
>> > constitute a solution to the "hard problem" that could be tested?  I
>> > think
>> > the best we will be able to do is to understand human brains to the
>> > point
>> > that we can manipulate thoughts and emotions as reported by subjects and
>> > we
>> > can make AI robots that behave like humans and whose "character" we can
>> > design as desired.  When we've done that we'll "bet" (as Bruno would
>> > say)
>> > that we've solved the problem.
>>
>> This last step is the one that I revolt against. I am all for AI
>> robots that behave like humans -- or better yet, do all of the nasty
>> work for us. Or that appear emotional enough to provide companionship
>> to lonely people. All of this is great. But why bet that we solved the
>> consciousness problem then? I don't see how the two things are
>> related. The reason this is forced down our throats is that it is now
>> blasphemy to suggest that Science is not the be-all and end-all of
>> intelectual inquiry. It is possible to love and practice Science and
>> reject this sort of dogma at the same time.
>>
>> Telmo.
>>
>> > Brent
>> >
>> >
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