Hey Craig,

What is the origin of the quote? Also, what privileges the process of 
'introspection' to reveal anything contrary to the hypothesis that we are 
machines? Isn't introspection a bit of a dubious test for finding out a 
thing's machinehood? 

Finally, I'm not so sure that it is 'consciousness' (yet another word that 
is frequently thrown around as a symbol with no proper referent) that is 
responsible for uniqueness and unrepeatability as it is the infinitesimally 
small chance that all of the quantum correlations that exist in a current 
observer moment could ever be repeated... and if they could, that would 
nevertheless include no information about whether the entire state had been 
repeated or not. 

I dunno, seems like a lot of hand waving to me... I do feel rather 
convinced of precisely the sentiment that the quotation you led off with 
expresses, namely that we are machines made of machines made of machines 
made of... information eventually. And the information is processed by some 
set of very fundamental rules. I do get your rejoinder, however.... which I 
think is something like: If everything is information fundamentally 
operating according to computational principles, why on earth would there 
"be something" that it is like to be that computation? Whence the "inner 
life" and rich inner experiences we have access to in introspection? Whence 
the qualia? And honestly, I don't have an answer for that. I take it your 
answer (sorry to rehash some of this, but I find it helpful to deepen my 
understanding) is that everything is endowed with primitive "sense making" 
faculties, kind of like a panpsychism. I'm wondering, why can't this axiom 
simply be added on to the idea that we are machines made of information? 
i.e. we are machines made of information and information itself has an 
inner life?  

It's beginning to sound a lot like woo, so I'd better stop there. 

Best regards,


On Saturday, December 28, 2013 9:40:32 AM UTC-5, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> "humans are machines unable to recognize the fact that they are machines,"
> I would re-word it as 'Humans are not machines but when they introspect on 
> their most mechanical aspects mechanistically, they are able to imagine 
> that they could be machines who are unable recognize the fact."
> I agree that there is an intrinsic limit to Strong AI, but I think that 
> the limit is at the starting gate. Since consciousness is the embodiment of 
> uniqueness and unrepeatability, there is no "almost" conscious. It doesn't 
> matter how much the artist in the painting looks like he is really painting 
> himself in the mirror, or how realistic Escher makes the staircase look, 
> those realities are forever sculpted in theory, not in the multisense 
> realism.

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