On Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:10:08 PM UTC-5, freqflyer07281972 wrote:
> Hey Craig,
> What is the origin of the quote?

It was just something that someone said on Facebook, but I feel like it 
represents the thinking of a lot of people.

> 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? 

Through introspection we can find out what we mean by machine. When we do, 
I think that we find that we mean automatic, unconscious, unfeeling, 
superficial, etc. The fact that we can introspect at all is, by that sense 
of machine, diametrically opposed to mechanism.

> 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 don't think that any state can be literally repeated, as the totality is 
present in all states.

> 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.
> What are "rules" and how can anything 'follow' them?
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?

Not inner fire or rich experience, but *any* experience at all.

> Whence the qualia? And honestly, I don't have an answer for that.

But I think that I do, and it seems to make more sense than "information".

> 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,

Close, but I'm actually proposing that there is no everything other than 
sense making faculties. Sense experience is all there can ever be.

> kind of like a panpsychism. 

I say Primordial Identity Pansensitivity

> 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?  

Because information has no plausible reason to have or want an inner life. 
With the sense primitive, it is perfectly plausible to imagine that the 
invention of a common structure would serve to organize and enhance 
aesthetic values. With the information primitive, both sense and physics 
are incoherent and absurd.

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

Seems ok to me?


> Best regards,
> Dan
> 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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