On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 2:38 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:17:04 AM UTC-4, telmo_menezes wrote:
>> Hi Craig (and all),
>> Now that I have a better understanding of your ideas, I would like to
>> confront you with a thought experiment. Some of the stuff you say
>> looks completely esoteric to me, so I imagine there are three
>> possibilities: either you are significantly more intelligent than me
>> or you're a bit crazy, or both. I'm not joking, I don't know.
>> But I would like to focus on sensory participation as the fundamental
>> stuff of reality and your claim that strong AI is impossible because
>> the machines we build are just Frankensteins, in a sense. If I
>> understand correctly, you still believe these machines have sensory
>> participation just because they exist, but not in the sense that they
>> could emulate our human experiences. They have the sensory
>> participation level of the stuff they're made of and nothing else.
> Not exactly. My view is that there is only sensory participation on the
> level of what has naturally evolved.
This sounds a bit like vitalism. What's so special about natural
evolution that can't be captured otherwise?
> Since the machine did not organize
> itself, there is no 'machine' any more than a book of Shakespeare's quotes
> is a machine that is gradually turning into Shakespeare.
But the books are not machines. Shakespeare possibly was. If he was,
why can't he be emulated by another machine?
> What we see as
> machines are assemblies of parts which we use to automate functions
> according to our own human sense and motives - like a puppet.
> There is sensation going on two levels: 1) the very local level, and 2) at
> the absolute level. On the 1) local level, all machines depend on local
> physical events. Whether they are driven by springs and gears, boiling water
> in pipes, or subatomic collisions, Turing emulation rides on the back of
> specific conditions which lock and unlock small parts of the machine. Those
> smallest of those parts would be associated with some sensory-motive
> interaction - the coherence of molecular surfaces, thermodynamics,
> electrodynamics, etc, have a very local, instantaneous, and presumably
> primitive sensory involvement. That could be very alien to us, as it is both
> very short term and very long term - maybe there is only a flash of feeling
> at the moment of change, who knows?
This part I can somewhat agree with. I do tend to believe that 1p
experience is possibly not limited to living organisms. I think about
it like you describe: "flashes of feeling" and "who knows" :)
> On the 2) absolute level, there is the logical sensibility which all 1)
> local events share - the least common denominator of body interactions. This
> is the universal machine that Bruno champions. It's not sense which is
> necessarily experienced directly, rather all local sense touches on this
> universal measuring system *when it measures* something else.
> The problem with machines is that there is no sense in between the
> momentary, memoryless, sensation of lock/unlock and the timeless, placeless
> sensibility of read/write or +/*. In a human experience, the 1) has evolved
> over billions of years to occupy the continuum in between 1) and 2), with
> implicit memories of feelings and experiences anchored in unique local
> contexts. Machines have no geography or ethnicity, no aesthetic presence.
Why do you believe we have evolved like that? What's the evolutionary
pressure for that? Whatever evolution did, why can't we recreate it?
Or do you. by evolution, mean something else/more than conventional
>> So let's talk about seeds.
>> We now know how a human being grows from a seed that we pretty much
>> understand. We might not be able to model all the complexity involved
>> in networks of gene expression, protein folding and so on, but we
>> understand the building blocks. We understand them to a point where we
>> can actually engineer the outcome to a degree. It is now 2013 and we
>> are, in a sense, living in the future.
>> So we can now take a fertilised egg and tweak it somehow. When done
>> successfully, a human being will grow out of it. Doing this with human
>> eggs is considered unethical, but I believe it is technically
>> possible. So a human being grows out of this egg. Is he/she normal?
> I don't know that there is normal. All that we can do is see whether people
> who have had various procedures done to their cell-bodies seem healthy to
> themselves and others.
So it appears you're open to the possibility that this is fine, and
that a human being like you and me was produced.
>> What if someone actually designs the entire DNA string and grows a
>> human being out of it? Still normal?
> Same thing. Probably, but it depends on how the mother's body responds to it
> as it develops.
So you don't believe this is possible:
If not, why?
>> What if we simulate the growth of the organism from a string of
>> virtual DNA and then just assemble the outcome at some stage? Still
> Virtual DNA is a cartoon, with a recording of our expectations attached to
> it. Is a digital picture of a person 'normal'? If we photoshop it a little
> bit, is it still normal? The problem is the expectation that virtual
> anything is the same as real simply because it reminds us of something real.
> Of course it reminds us of what is real, we have designed it specifically to
> fool us in every way that we care about.
Wait a moment. What I suggest here is that we simulate DNA and then
morphogenesis as precisely as we can. Then, through some sci-fi-ish
device we actually 3D print the resulting organism with the normal
molecules that a human being is made of. The cartoon generated the
real thing. No?
>> What if now we do away with DNA altogether and use some other Turing
>> complete self-modifying system?
> Then we have a cool cartoon that reminds us of biology. That's if we have it
> rendered to a graphic display. If not then we have a warm box full of tiny
> switches that we can imagine are doing something other than switching on and
Alright, so what is the property that DNA has that other mediums can't
capture? Do you accept that DNA describes a Turing emulable program?
Or do you believe there is something inherently non-computational in
DNA? If you agree that DNA is Turing emulable, I don't see how you
cannot be prepared to accept the equivalent phenomena happening on
some other medium.
>> What if we never build the outcome but just let it live inside a
>> simulation? We can even visit this simulation with appropriate
>> hardware: http://www.oculusvr.com/. What now?
> We're entertaining ourselves is all.
Ok, the bump was before this one so let's leave it aside for now.
> We'll know when we have created
> artificial biology when it tries to escape and exterminate us.
I actually am inclined to agree here, but possibly for different reasons.
>> In your view, at what point does this break? And why?
> It's broken from the start.
No, you're contradicting yourself. Read what you wrote. I believe you
were ok with DNA manipulation and possibly ok with DNA synthesis. Our
divergence appears to really start with virtual DNA.
> The trash can that says THANK YOU on the lid
> whenever you put the tray in doesn't get smarter if you had a second lid
> that said NO THANK YOU if a sensor detected too large of an object. There is
> nothing there which is present on the human level to share our awareness of
> the situation. Adding billions of tiny lids doesn't improve the capacity of
> them to feel or experience. We are mistaking the effect of what we are (the
> brain) for the cause of what we are (nested experiences, some of which seem
> like the brain). By taking the public end of the thing (forms and functions)
> and assuming that Santa Claus will provide the private end of the thing
> (aesthetic appreciation and participation...sense and motive), we are
> approaching it the wrong way around. It is like trying to build Shakespeare
> out of rules for grammar and spelling. You might be able to give yourself a
> feeling of Shakespeare, but there is no 16th century playwright there.
Ok, ok. One step at a time :) Please explain to me what's wrong with
virtual DNA first.
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