On Friday, October 18, 2013 3:22:08 PM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
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> On 18 Oct 2013, at 18:03, Craig Weinberg wrote:
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> On Friday, October 18, 2013 10:34:14 AM UTC-4, Bruno Marchal wrote:
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>> On 18 Oct 2013, at 15:23, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: 
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>> > On 18 October 2013 12:24, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>   
>> > wrote: 
>> > 
>> >>> The decision to go to the store, A, is associated with certain brain 
>> >>> processes, and the getting in the car and driving to the store, B,   
>> >>> is 
>> >>> associated with different brain processes. The brain processes 
>> >>> associated with A *cause* the brain processes associated with B.   
>> >>> That 
>> >>> is to say, a scientist anywhere in the universe could observe the 
>> >>> physical processes A and the physical processes B and see how the 
>> >>> former lead to the latter without necessarily having any idea about 
>> >>> the supervenient consciousness. 
>> >> 
>> >> 
>> >> Ok, I can work with this. First let me say that, given your   
>> >> assumptions, 
>> >> your reasoning is absolutely correct. The assumptions themselves,   
>> >> although I 
>> >> don't think they are even conscious, are also completely   
>> >> reasonable. That is 
>> >> a perfectly reasonable expectation about nature, and it is one that   
>> >> I myself 
>> >> shared until fairly recently. 
>> >> 
>> >> Starting with the first assumption: >"The decision to go to the   
>> >> store, A, is 
>> >> associated with certain brain processes" 
>> >> 
>> >> To that I say, lets slow down a moment. What do we know about about   
>> >> the 
>> >> association? As far as I know, what we know is that 
>> >> 
>> >> 1) measurable changes in brain activity occur in synchronization to 
>> >> self-reported or experimentally inferred changes in subjective   
>> >> states. 
>> >> 2) the regions of the brain affected have been mapped with a high   
>> >> degree of 
>> >> consistency and specificity (although the anomalies, such as with   
>> >> people who 
>> >> live seemingly normal lives with large parts of their brain   
>> >> 'missing' makes 
>> >> that kind of morphological approach potentially naive) 
>> >> 3) that externally induced brain changes will induce changes in   
>> >> subjective 
>> >> experience (so that brain changes cannot be epiphenomenal). 
>> >> 
>> >> What we do not know is that 
>> >> 
>> >> 4) the entirety of our experiences are literally contained within the 
>> >> tissues of the brain, or its activities. 
>> >> 5) that the brain activity which we can observe with our contemporary 
>> >> instruments is the only causal agent of subjective experience. 
>> > 
>> > OK up to here. 
>> > 
>> >> 6) that subjective experiences cannot cause observable brain   
>> >> changes (to the 
>> >> contrary, we count on subjects being able to voluntarily and   
>> >> spontaneously 
>> >> change their own brain activity). 
>> > 
>> > We don't know this for sure, but it goes against every scientific 
>> > observation. If a subjective experience is supervenient on the 
>> > underlying physical process then the observable brain changes can all 
>> > be attributed to this underlying physical process. 
>>
>> The subjective experience cannot be supervenient on the underlying   
>> physical process *only*. It can only be supervenient with some   
>> abstract type that the underlying physical process can incarnate   
>> locally. This made eventually the "underlying process" itself   
>> supervenient on infinities of computations (or perhaps more general   
>> abstract processes in case comp is false). 
>>
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> If comp is false, then it might not be general abstract processes, but the 
> opposite: proprietary diffractions of a single concrete "pre-longing" 
> (sense, experience). A pro-cess is a going forward, or discarding of the 
> past, but what I suggests prefigures spacetime entirely. There is no 
> underlying process, there is a fundamental eternal now/here from which all 
> 'theres' and 'thens' appear in contradistinction. Like a subroutine or a 
> circuit, it is the fundamental pull to return to the higher level which 
> allows coherence to the function. Functions which do not return data to the 
> originating inquiry, or representations which fail to ground themselves in 
> aesthetic presentations, are, like a computer with no i/o ports, completely 
> useless.
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> Interpreting your term very favorably, the ideally correct machine might 
> relate.
>

It seems to me that not needing aesthetic presentations or i/o is one of 
the defining features of a machine. We can see it: a computer works just as 
well whether it is connected to a screen or not.
 

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>> Of course we can see only one process, as we cannot feel the   
>> differentiation of the computations supporting us.
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> Neither can computations feel us.
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> Sure. Computations are not of the same type as person. A computation 
> cannot no more think than a brain or a neuron. Those are category errors. 
> Only a person can think and live. 
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> Comp is not the statement than computation can think, but that thinking 
> person can be emulated by (Turing) universal machines.
>

What are the universal machines doing to emulate a thinking person other 
than compute?
 

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> If computations could feel anything, then feelings would be redundant. 
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> ?
> If neurons could think then brain would be redundant ?
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The brain is just a different name for a collective of neurons. I agree, if 
they could think in the same way that we do, then our thoughts would be 
redundant.
 

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> Feelings need computation to persist publicly, 
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> OK. And comp says that it is enough.
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It's enough to explain computation in terms of feelings, but not to explain 
feelings. 


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> but computations, were they able to make sense in and of themselves, would 
> have no plausible need for even geometry, much less flavors or colors.
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> It is not the computations which makes sense of themselves, it is the 
> believers, the knowers, the feeler, the observers, which appears naturally 
> when a universal machine look inward and outward.
>

This 'appearing naturally part' is the problem. Why would they, and how 
could they? It seems more likely that what appears naturally is the 
computations - as habits which mark the seams and joints across the many 
believers, feelers, knowers, etc.. I would not even count on them being 
feelers so much as feelings - experiences which are only in some cases 
condensed into experiencers.
 

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> There is a large variety of nameable and also non nameable behavior in the 
> spectrum of the universal machines, and her consciousness surf and 
> differentiate on the arithmetical neighborhood of the infinite. I mean, by 
> the invariance of consciousness from delays of computations, or length of 
> the computations, we (our souls) are in touch with the infinite; without 
> other magic than arithmetic (which is no so astonishing, after Gödel we 
> know that the arithmetical reality escapes all effective theories.
>

I think that flavors and colors are well beyond the infinite, and beyond 
arithmetic. Arithmetic is the what you get when you put a lot of different 
experiences in a pot, boil it, strain it, boil it again, freeze dry it, and 
chop it up into powder. It's an amazing powder, but even though it is a 
common ingredient of so many experiences, by itself, I see nothing that 
persuades me that it is enough to create even a single experience. Instead, 
I see lots of hints that such an appearance of thingness from the 
conceptual theoryness of arithmetic is obviously impossible.

Craig
 

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