The Secret (Inner) Life of Bees?

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sciborg2

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« on: December 03, 2018, 09:03:26 pm »
Bee Brained

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But perhaps the problem is not that insects lack an inner life, but that they don’t have a way to communicate it in terms we can understand. It is hard for us to prise open a window into their minds. So maybe we misdiagnose animal brains as having machine-like properties simply because we understand how machines work – whereas, to date, we have only a fragmentary and imperfect insight into how even the simplest brains process, store and retrieve information.

However, there are now many signs that consciousness-like phenomena might exist not just among humans or even great apes – but that insects might have them, too. Not all of these lines of evidence are from experiments specifically designed to explore consciousness; in fact, some have lain buried in the literature for decades, even centuries, without anyone recognising their hidden significance.

Based on such evidence, several biologists (notably Eva Jablonka in Tel Aviv and Andrew Barron in Sydney), and philosophers (Peter Godfrey-Smith in Sydney and Colin Klein in Canberra) now suggest that consciousness-like phenomena might not have evolved late in our history, as we previously thought. Rather, they could be evolutionarily ancient and have arisen in the Cambrian era, around 500 million years ago.

At its evolutionary roots, we think that consciousness is an adaptation that helped to solve the problem of how moving organisms can extract meaningful information from their sense organs. In an ever-changing and only semi-predictable environment, consciousness can solve this problem more efficiently than unconscious mechanisms possibly could. It involves manifold features, but some include: a grasp of time and space; the capacity for self-recognition; foresight; emotions; and top-down processing. As the American zoologist Donald Griffin wrote in Animal Minds (1992): ‘Environmental conditions vary so much that for an animal’s brain to have programmed specifications for optimal behaviour in all situations would require an impossibly lengthy instruction book.’
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 09:12:16 pm »
You know an article is going to be good when it references p-zombies in the third paragraph.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 09:52:36 pm »
You know an article is going to be good when it references p-zombies in the third paragraph.

I recall Raymond Tallis making an interesting point about the p-zombie thing (or at least this is what I took away from his writing) ->

If p-zombies don't feel pain wouldn't their nervous system be different from ours?

And would this also affect even insects? Or can we say there's an equivalence between a robot's reaction to the environment and animal own nervous system? Which is fine...but does this really explain the structural differences between a nervous system and our robotic designs?

To bring in something said by The Bakker Himself: "Why would consciousness be more Frogger than Frog?"
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 02:33:28 pm »
I recall Raymond Tallis making an interesting point about the p-zombie thing (or at least this is what I took away from his writing) ->

If p-zombies don't feel pain wouldn't their nervous system be different from ours?

And would this also affect even insects? Or can we say there's an equivalence between a robot's reaction to the environment and animal own nervous system? Which is fine...but does this really explain the structural differences between a nervous system and our robotic designs?

To bring in something said by The Bakker Himself: "Why would consciousness be more Frogger than Frog?"

Well, I must admit I barely understand the concept of p-zombie as it is.

But, I guess one could answer it as "maybe?"  As in, it would depend on what makes them a zombie.  In other words, what if it's just the fact that pain exists, only it is simply not part of consciousness?  In other words, it exists, but is simply not something that can be accessed?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 10:11:21 pm »
I recall Raymond Tallis making an interesting point about the p-zombie thing (or at least this is what I took away from his writing) ->

If p-zombies don't feel pain wouldn't their nervous system be different from ours?

And would this also affect even insects? Or can we say there's an equivalence between a robot's reaction to the environment and animal own nervous system? Which is fine...but does this really explain the structural differences between a nervous system and our robotic designs?

To bring in something said by The Bakker Himself: "Why would consciousness be more Frogger than Frog?"

Well, I must admit I barely understand the concept of p-zombie as it is.

But, I guess one could answer it as "maybe?"  As in, it would depend on what makes them a zombie.  In other words, what if it's just the fact that pain exists, only it is simply not part of consciousness?  In other words, it exists, but is simply not something that can be accessed?

Sure, but then shouldn't our nervous systems be configured to work in that way? We already have tech that detects, say, "dangerous" levels of heat (in quotes b/c dangerous is contextual).

Ignoring any metaphysical claim, that the feeling [of] pain exists is exploited by natural selection. The problems that arise in our consciousness interface w/ the world are supposed to be the trade-offs that were necessary at some earlier time to ensure we weren't among the least fit in our niche.

So structurally there is something about the configuration of our bodies that is tied into consciousness. Even a Cartersian Dualist has to agree with this. Yet this seems to invite problems for the believers in mind-uploading, b/c the underlying structure in the real world (as opposed to the virtual Valhalla) is not (barring some major shifts in computer architecture) going to resemble the structure.

One more nail in the coffin of mind-uploading. Ah well, as EM Forester would say, "Death destroys a man but the idea of it saves him."
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:41:31 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 11:08:37 pm »
So structurally there is something about the configuration of our bodies that is tied into consciousness. Even a Cartersian Dualist has to agree with this. Yet this seems to invite problems for the believers in mind-uploading, b/c the underlying structure in the real world (as opposed to the virtual Valhalla) is not (barring some major shifts in computer architecture) going to resemble the structure.

One more nail in the coffin of mind-uploading. Ah well, as EM Forester would say, "Death destroys a man but the idea of it saves him."

Well, I guess then my question would be, can the structure be "simulated" or perhaps "imitated" in a manner that does preserve it?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 11:44:27 pm »
Well, I guess then my question would be, can the structure be "simulated" or perhaps "imitated" in a manner that does preserve it?

I think the answer to this question goes back to the koan provided by our Lord Bakker, namely how is consciousness more Frogger than Frog?

Why would consciousness, that at the least is mediated through the evolved structure of our biological nervous system, be preserved by some useful machines we made to do our taxes and play video games with?

I can see Computationalists making a Platonist argument, though this would get them into a variety of problems...there might however be a way for the camel to pass through the needle's eye depending on whatever "Information" is...
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 01:25:49 pm »
I think the answer to this question goes back to the koan provided by our Lord Bakker, namely how is consciousness more Frogger than Frog?

Why would consciousness, that at the least is mediated through the evolved structure of our biological nervous system, be preserved by some useful machines we made to do our taxes and play video games with?

I can see Computationalists making a Platonist argument, though this would get them into a variety of problems...there might however be a way for the camel to pass through the needle's eye depending on whatever "Information" is...

Well, I think that quote goes over my head...as in, I don't see what distinction he is trying to make?  That a simulation of consciousness is not consciousness?

But I agree in principle, I don't think that "uploading consciousness" would it even be possible, would be possible with just a run of the mill, "desktop" computer, for exactly why you specify.  Conscious is likely built-to and built-of the sensory-perceptive system.  I just don't see why that precludes the possibility that if you built a machine that could simulate the sensory-perceptive system, consciousness could still not be possibly "uploaded" to this.  Of course, it might just be the case that a machine that can approximate our sensory-perceptive system is just not feasible, but that is a different story.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 03:45:19 pm »
I think the answer to this question goes back to the koan provided by our Lord Bakker, namely how is consciousness more Frogger than Frog?

Why would consciousness, that at the least is mediated through the evolved structure of our biological nervous system, be preserved by some useful machines we made to do our taxes and play video games with?

I can see Computationalists making a Platonist argument, though this would get them into a variety of problems...there might however be a way for the camel to pass through the needle's eye depending on whatever "Information" is...

Well, I think that quote goes over my head...as in, I don't see what distinction he is trying to make?  That a simulation of consciousness is not consciousness?

But I agree in principle, I don't think that "uploading consciousness" would it even be possible, would be possible with just a run of the mill, "desktop" computer, for exactly why you specify.  Conscious is likely built-to and built-of the sensory-perceptive system.  I just don't see why that precludes the possibility that if you built a machine that could simulate the sensory-perceptive system, consciousness could still not be possibly "uploaded" to this.  Of course, it might just be the case that a machine that can approximate our sensory-perceptive system is just not feasible, but that is a different story.

I think if we don't have a soul, that sense of identify can be relocated/moved. If we do, then the soul would have to move with it.
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 04:52:06 pm »
I think if we don't have a soul, that sense of identify can be relocated/moved. If we do, then the soul would have to move with it.

Well, if the Soul, then what "carries" the Soul?  Is it resident in the body or in the mind?  Or have some other method of conveyance?  Does the brain constitute the mind and therefor mind is both a constituent of body and something "more."  Not "easy" questions to answer.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 05:01:24 pm »
I think if we don't have a soul, that sense of identify can be relocated/moved. If we do, then the soul would have to move with it.

Well, if the Soul, then what "carries" the Soul?  Is it resident in the body or in the mind?  Or have some other method of conveyance?  Does the brain constitute the mind and therefor mind is both a constituent of body and something "more."  Not "easy" questions to answer.

Well, I don't know, but I can tell you what I think  ;) ... warning, it's bizarre with no evidence, so if you're interested in my likely inane "theory", I'll be happy to share it with you. Don't want to derail this thread, it's a good one.
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 05:14:58 pm »
Well, I don't know, but I can tell you what I think  ;) ... warning, it's bizarre with no evidence, so if you're interested in my likely inane "theory", I'll be happy to share it with you. Don't want to derail this thread, it's a good one.

It's philosophy, not science in all likelihood, so what you think is as valid as anything else.  Make a new thread in this section if you want to share it and we can discuss from there.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 06:50:45 pm »
Well if we have a soul I figure most (all?) chances on answering questions like "can you upload your self" would be off. But we could ask again why the structure of nervous system (or even entire body) is the way it is, and what makes us think a different structure would "catch" consciousness?

But computationalists who support mind uploading, from what I understand, believe all facts are physical facts. [Their disbelief in souls is the motivation for uploading] But they uplift the position of structure, or matter's "Form" as Aristotle would say. Or rather it might be better to say they privilege processes, and claim that a complete enough simulation will provide then necessary duplication of said processes.

But the processes in the physical world would be the workings of the Turing Machine, the stuff of Frogger - CPUs, Registers, etc...hardly the stuff of cells aka the stuff of Frog.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 06:58:33 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 07:10:28 pm »
Well if we have a soul I figure most (all?) chances on answering questions like "can you upload your self" would be off. But we could ask again why the structure of nervous system (or even entire body) is the way it is, and what makes us think we a different structure would "catch" consciousness?

But computationalists who support mind uploading, from what I understand, believe all facts are physical facts. [Their disbelief in souls is the motivation for uploading] But they uplift the position of structure, or matter's "Form" as Aristotle would say. Or rather it might be better to say they privilege processes, and claim that a complete enough simulation will provide then necessary duplication of said processes.

But the processes in the physical world would be the workings of the Turing Machine, the stuff of Frogger - CPUs, Registers, etc...hardly the stuff of cells aka the stuff of Frog.

But, "Soul" aside, without knowing what consciousness actually is, the issue of conveyance would seem to be missing the fundamental point, though, right?

I mean, it's very hard to say whether or not, if you built something with all the same biological systems with "equivalent" mechanical ones, would that mechanical thing be capable of consciousness?  I can't see a manner to devise a plausible answer for no and yet I still, at some level, doubt if it could be done.  Yet, I'm not really advocating for a soul, per se.  So, I don't really know what I am saying, really.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 07:46:11 pm »
  So, I don't really know what I am saying, really.
To me its like asking 'can we build a lightbulb' by looking at a picture ... but without knowing what electricity is. Sure, you can construct the vacuum chamber and the magnesium(?) filament, but if you have no concept of how the lightbulb actually makes light, its going to be real unlikely that it'll light up when you're 'done'.

Could we make all the biological equivalent structures... lets assume yes. But if we don't know the source of consciousness, it seems rather unlikely that it'll just happen spontaneously once we're done building the box.
One of the other conditions of possibility.