Bruno: No problem, Richard. But then UDA shows that our bodies are not
machines. You better have to say "no" to the doctor.

Richard: Indeed I would. But I wonder how UDA shows that our bodies are not
machines. What else could they be?

Bruno: Then, "physics first", or its idealist counterpart "sense or
consciousness first" take what I want to understand for granted.

Richard: A "physics first" theory implies an infinite regress as the Indra
net of numbers implies the need for a higher order net for its implication,
whereas a "numbers first" theory appears to have a starting point in
arithmetic and logic that could be called God, not that God is pejorative.

My primary concern is also to understand consciousness.

Bruno: Also, your own theory seems to take the number for granted. So ..

Richard: Not sure what you mean by that. I say that comp takes arithmetic
and logic for granted.

I suggest that the real difference between us, other than the fact that you
have developed a theory whereas my model is entirely conjecture, is that I
conjecture a Metaverse (or Megaverse) that is sufficiently "complete" to
compute physical matter along with a Universe (for which comp seems to
apply) that computes a MWI dream-world that is conscious and interacts
(rather than coheres) with the pre-existing SWI matter-world in a
mind-matter dualism.

Thank you for your continuing interest.

On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 4:03 AM, Pierz <> wrote:

> Come on Craig, admit you wrote that. It's the last paragraph that is the
> dead give-away.
> On Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:07:59 PM UTC+11, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> A Quora answer to the following question. Nothing new for me here
>> probably, but It's maybe organized in a more concise way.
>>> Philosophy: If human beings are nothing more than matter, why are you
>>> conscious as 
>>> yourself?<>
>>> The implication of materialism is that we are in essence wet robots,
>>> without free will, just chemical reactions. But if this is true and we are
>>> conscious, then does it logically follow that all chemical reactions have
>>> "consciousness" to some degree? If the human mind is just an extremely
>>> advanced computer, then at what point does "consciousness" occur?
>> We don’t know that chemical reactions are unconscious, but if they were,
>> then it makes sense that the entire universe would also be unconscious. It
>> is very tricky to examine the issue of consciousness and to draw parallels
>> within common experience without unintentionally smuggling in our own
>> expectations from consciousness itself. This is the Petito principii or
>> circular reasoning which derails most fair considerations of consciousness
>> before they even begin in earnest.
>> Unlike a clock which is made up of gears, or a particular sized pile of
>> hay, the addition of consciousness has no conceivable consequence to the
>> physical function of a body. While we can observe a haystack burst into
>> flames because it has grown too hot, we cannot look at the behavior of a
>> human body see any special difference from the behavior of any other
>> physical body. There is complexity, but complexity alone need not point to
>> anything beyond an adjacency of simple parts and isolated chains of effects.
>> Just as no degree of complication within a clock’s mechanism would
>> suddenly turn into a Shakespearean sonnet, the assumption of universal
>> substitution is not necessarily appropriate for all phenomena, and for
>> consciousness in particular. To get a color image, for instance, we need to
>> print in colored dots, not black and white. Color TV programs cannot be
>> broadcast over a monochrome display without losing their color.
>> Unlike chemical or mechanical transformation, the nature of awareness is
>> not implicated in the shuffling of material particles from one place or
>> another. Any natural force can be used to do that. We have no scientific
>> reason to insist that conscious participation and aesthetic appreciation is
>> derived from some simpler functioning of complex systems. To the contrary,
>> ‘complexity’, and ‘system’ can only make sense in the context of a window
>> of perception and attention. Without some teleological intent to see one
>> part as part of a whole, and to compare remembered events with current
>> perceptions, there is no such thing as ‘function’ at all.
>> There are several important points wrapped up in this question, which I
>> will try to sum up.
>> *1. The failure to consider consciousness metaphysically.*
>> This is the most important and most intractable issue, for three reasons:
>>    - because it is difficult for anyone to try to put their mind outside
>>    of mind. It’s annoying, and winds up feeling foolish and disoriented.
>>    - because it is difficult in particular for the very people who need
>>    most to get past the difficulty. I have found that most people who are 
>> good
>>    with logic and scientific reasoning are not necessarily capable of doing
>>    what others can. The skillset appears to be neurological, like handedness
>>    or gender orientation.
>>    - because those who do have difficulty with thinking this way are
>>    often not used to intellectual challenges that escape their grasp, their
>>    reaction is so defensive that they react with intolerance. It’s not their
>>    fault, but it cannot be cured it seems. Some people cannot see 3-D Magic
>>    Eye art. Some cannot program their way out of a paper bag. In this case it
>>    is the ability to consider consciousness from a prospective rather than a
>>    retrospective view which can prove so inaccessible to so many people, that
>>    frothing at the mouth and babbling about unicorns, magic, and the
>>    supernatural is considered a reasonable and scientific, skeptical 
>> response.
>>    Of course, it is none of those things, but it takes a lot of patience and
>>    courage to be able to recognize one’s own prejudices, especially when we
>>    are used to being the ones telling others about their biases.
>> *2. The taboo against metaphysics, panpsychism, and transrationality*
>> Long after Einstein, Gödel, and Heisenberg shattered the Humpty Dumpty
>> certainties of classical math and physics, we are still trying to piece him
>> back together. Regardless of how much we learn about the strange properties
>> of matter, time, energy, biology, and neurology, there are a huge number of
>> very intelligent people who are convinced that we will only know the truth
>> about the universe when it all looks like a vast deterministic mechanism.
>> The compulsion to reduce awareness to passive mathematical or physical
>> states is ironic, given that the defense of automaticity is often
>> accompanied by very hands on personal intention. Even when it is pointed
>> out that arguing against free will is futile (since someone without free
>> will could not change their own opinion about it even if they wanted to,
>> let alone someone else’s opinion), the mind of the determined determinist
>> will always find a way of insist upon being in the right, even when they
>> are ultimately sawing of the limb that they are sitting on.
>> When it comes to anything that suggests the possibility of non-human
>> awareness, many people not only become personally uncomfortable, but they
>> become socially uncomfortable as well. The taboo against unconventional
>> views on science (even when backed by anthropological universality) is so
>> pervasive and xenophobic that it is career suicide for a working scientist
>> to publicly acknowledge them in any but the most condescending tones.
>> *3. The pathetic fallacy*
>> The pathetic fallacy is to take a metaphor in which some inanimate object
>> is given a human quality (“The camera loves you”), and take it literally.
>> While I count myself among those who once saw computation and pattern as
>> being the only ingredient necessary for awareness or life, my understanding
>> now is that no pattern can exist without a capacity for pattern
>> recognition. The ability to receive and make sense of the real world is not
>> a matter of generic relations of disembodied bits of “information”, but is
>> in fact the concrete reality of the cosmos. The universe does not exist for
>> us humans, but it cannot exist as silent, unconscious, intangible physics
>> for billions of years and then suddenly invent the whole of sensation,
>> emotion, intuition, cognition, etc, just for some hominids on this
>> backwater planet. It now strikes me as profoundly anthropocentric to
>> imagine that the entire universe could be devoid of perceptual content
>> until life evolved.
>> In my view, the universe itself is nothing but a continuum of qualities
>> of consciousness. These qualities, however, relate to experienced contexts.
>> We cannot take the human-ness out of a human and put it into a machine.
>> Biology has mechanisms and performs computation, but if that’s it was doing
>> then the inside of the brain would look like logic, not like sex and
>> violence and musical theater.
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