Joined: Jan. 2006
|Quote (Thought Provoker @ Feb. 14 2010,12:50)|
|Quote (qetzal @ Feb. 14 2010,13:47)|
| † |
|Quote (Thought Provoker @ Feb. 12 2010,19:47)|
|It was my intent to suggest the first statement (purpose requires living consciousness) would lead to a presumption living consciousness is something special.|
It would be a logical default position, IMO.
Special? I wouldn't say that. All it means is that living consciousness is essential for purpose. (And from my perspective, that's really just a matter of definition anyway.)
It wouldn't imply that living consciousness is somehow 'special' as far as the universe or a hypothetical god is concerned, if that's what you're suggesting.
It probably comes down to semantics and stating the obvious. †If consciousness is required for intent then consciousness is a special quality because it is required for something to have intent.
I did not mean in-the-image-of-God type special.
To reiterate, I believe many living things are conscious.
Monkeys, cat, dogs, etc demonstrate an ability to have intent, IMO.
I would suggest most people would agree rust does not have intent whereas humans do.
Where is the threshold between the two extremes?
Or is the ability to have intent reserved exclusively for humans and, maybe, close relatives e.g. monkeys?
Hello. was on a bit of a rampag over the weekend. Apologies if I made no sense. I really hardly ever do so I shouldn't let myself be embarassed when the degree fluctuates some, but nonetheless, if it seemed like I was making dada poetry that is not the case. I've been on (and still am for half of this week) a ridiculous deadline schedule and my sleep has suffered. I am also away from home till thursday so I require a certain level of inebriation to dull the ache of missing my wife and our offspring (when they are around which some of them were this weekend).
That is unashamedly an excuse btw. It's for me as much as for you. Also, it may continue until thursday or so between the hours of 5pm pst and an hour or two after I wake up in the morning, usually that is around 7 am pst by the time I can find the shift key and use capital letters etc. so perhaps it's a heads up too.
Anyway, now that I've apologized in advance and am pre-forgiven for the sins that will follow, these links are all related to consciousness/awareness. I personally use the word 'awareness' to denote anything that can make a choice within it's environment. That leaves viruses in a dicey position but that's their problem and they don't seem to mind. I use the word 'consciousness to specifically refer to the role the brain plays in the decision process. That means things with brains are conscious by that definition. Then I use the word 'self-symbol' or self-aware' to refer to a sliding scale measuring computational power of the brain with the final piece, the "I" being reached when a conscious entity manages to model enough of its world to see the functioning of the group as a unit and also manages to model the success of the group after the failure of the individual. the I stands (to me) for the third letter in the second word of the phrase, "Holy shit! We're all gonna die!"
I just find it's easier to break up the elements a bit so we can better recognize the roles each play in the crazy thing we call self-awareness.Do you know that you actually don't see the world around with your eyes in an area much bigger than a single card from a deck at any one time? It's true and I can prove it to you. But before I do, the reason you feel like you have a wide field of vision is twofold. First, strangely enough, we expect it to be there and every time we look it is. Seems too simple but experiment continually verifies this astonishing fact. I could give you references, but I think once you try the card trick, you won't need to read about it so much. Second, did you know that we reorder events in our brains, no matter how hard we think we are paying attention, into the most logical (easiest to fit to known symbols) sequence of cause and effect despite the events actually happening in a different sequence as measured by instruments? What's more, in many cases we are simply incapable of doing otherwise? Human brains, for example, are incapable of coordinating with the visual systems well enough to resolve a barber's pole without actually walking around it? And if we look away for some amount of time, we have to do it again?
Forward modeling is what neuroscientists call it. And it is some strange business. I think I posted the link yesterday to the optical illusions article? If not, here it is again:
Reading through these threads, I see that you have louis, Reciprocating Bill, Doc Bill, Albitrossity and others (apologies were already given above to those I forgot) helping you out. I don't think I've ever come across a more well rounded individual than these guys put together. It is good fortune to have them to discuss a topic with. I hope you know that you are very lucky for the chance.
Ok, so there's a whole bunch of links I posted up there. The point I hope they make as a group is that the real question first and foremost involves the modeling of time, remembering patterns and beneficial pro/re-actions when they occur. Whether they store memories of patterns and beneficial counter patterns quickly, as a brain does, or very slowly through the evolution of the genome and the expression of instinct, it is quite our-resolution-centric to say that intelligence or awareness needs a mind like ours. Do you know very much about the field of heuristics? Think, "change in allele frequency over time."
Many many systems are able to record states and to repeat them when the conditions are right. However, if we want human self aware style AI, the electronic brain will likely be a bit player in the system. Brooks' subsumption architecture turns out to work.
Penrose raises some brilliant questions about recursive levels which are basically unimportant to the mechanical operation of the syste, While QM, QFT, QCD and probably OCD all obviously contribute to the behavior of atoms. Atoms behave like atoms. Have you ever seen a high opower tunneling microscope's picture of a pentacene molecule? Here it is:
This is an extraordinarily recent technical development to be able to take that picture. Before we ever took the picture, we had to deduce it's shape and properties from a system that louis explains better than I. So, would you expect the atom's structure to be close to what we expected or not close? That question relates to how deep we go into a system to find building blocks. I dare you to try to use quarks and leptons, twistors, misters Feynman's diagrams, and shrodinger's dogs, or equations Spandrels or spaniels and try to arrive at that structure.
Actually, it may be easy. I know I can't do it. Louis again, might be able to share some insight. But if you use those smaller structures and equations to model their behavior, you will start to fail as you try to add them together. If, however, you begin with the periodic table*
* BTW, next summer support me in my covert and devious scheme to pressure a friend of mine** at the ~federal dept of education*** to help us put together a plan and get periodic tables in every classroom in america., Displayed creatively in floor insets table top laminates, posters, Small 11x17 poster with rock stars printed on them and places to stash weed on the back so kids will take them home and hang them up.**** I am quite serious about that. I have been doing a little doodling for ideas to get it done in portland and Barb is director of science something or other now. It's a chance to hit up nice people to join me in a zany escapade and it is critical for education. If kids got out of middle school understanding only the logic of the table and of reactivity and the structure and functioning of cells, organisms and ecosystems with nearly no details at all, they'd sail through the high school courses and never know that barbie says science is hard.
Anyway, all that and I forgot my point and I need to go back to work. Perhaps it's in that wall of text. Fortunately, my apologies have already been made.
See you this evening who manage to stay with it till the sun goes down-or up. Depends where you are I guess. Bye.
**and probably some of yours too
I'll tell you more over the summer. I
*** I always forget her agency and title but she is in the right spot to help.
****Special apology to all the parents with teenagers out there.
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far
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