Is the Brain a Digital Computer?

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sciborg2

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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2013, 04:21:15 pm »
I think you're misinterpreting the argument being made.

They are simply saying you can't think of consciousness as a program you can code and then run on any hardware/wetware/etc.

To think of consciousness as a program is to confer upon it the status of information, which is where Searle's accusation of dualism comes from.

The possibility that the brain uses systems akin to a computer to make consciousness works is a separate concern.

Callan S.

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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2013, 12:56:52 am »
'Information' is a dualist word now?

But when they say 'detailed physical constitution', they aren't using dualist words?

Yes, this is Searles thing - he tricks some folk into saying there are 0's and 1's inside the computer, then bases an argument around that.

Here it's the same - trick someone into saying there's 'information' in the computer, do not seek from them qualifiers on what they refered to when they said 'information', then provide your own qualifiers to argue against.

It's advanced strawman methods.

I was talking with Benjamin Cain on the TPB about that - I specifically asked him how, in intentless terms, he would describe how rain in the mountains comes together and forms rivers and streams.

The thing is, he may have absolutely no intentless vocabulary whatsoever.

With such a person, any time you bring up an intentless word, they simply reference their intentful version of the word.

What you have with Searle is either he is resisting pulling out his intentless vocab, or he has no intentless words.

And because were not all that aware of how much we adopt other peoples assumptions (particularly when they are said with a straight face), he's projecting the 'oh ho, these 1's and 0's, this word 'information' and all rich with intent!'

The best he's got is where someone doesn't notice themselves adopting his assumption and then are baffled as they look at their own ideas, but now with the assumption invisibly overlaid upon it.

Instead of hacking the other persons words into intentful words, it might be better to ask what they refer to. To be specific, to how little they refer to.

sciborg2

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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2014, 05:08:51 am »
Consciousness & the Brain: John Searle at TEDxCERN

Searle is interesting, rejecting both the computational consciousness argument and the immaterial possibility.

So consciousness is biological and irreducible....curious.

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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 01:45:59 pm »
Aren't emergent property theories both biological and irreducible?
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sciborg2

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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 02:56:21 am »
Aren't emergent property theories both biological and irreducible?

Yeah, I've been told to check out Wolfram's Computational Irreducibility. So far I've found this power point on going from Computational Irreducibility to Functional Irreducibility.

There's a feeling of promissory materialism in there. I guess it once again comes down to whether people think there is or is not something special about qualia.

Callan S.

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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2014, 05:33:15 am »
My lazy sense is tingling - sensing walls of text that will obsfucate how he rejects both and it wont be that rewarding once discovered (kind of like those websites that say you'll earn lots of money, but they have a waaaaay long text at the start as a way of invoking a sunk cost fallacy where you'll keep with them since you already read so much already)

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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2014, 11:16:30 am »
That powerpoint cites Wolfram so I don't think that's his specific work but... a cursory search:

- computational irreducibility - Wolfram|Alpha
- A New Kind of Science: this seems to be where I get directed for citations to computational irreducibility[/url]
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sciborg2

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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 03:27:52 pm »
@Callan:

I think it might be the other way around - that Searle is making an intuitive guess based on his acknowledging the Hard Problem as hard and simultaneously demanding it's all biological. (Maybe he'd allow for some field effects.)

Oh, as an aside he lists some articles here, perhaps most relevant to past conversation is his refutation that he's a dualist.

That powerpoint cites Wolfram so I don't think that's his specific work but... a cursory search:

- computational irreducibility - Wolfram|Alpha
- A New Kind of Science: this seems to be where I get directed for citations to computational irreducibility[/url]

Sorry, I wasn't trying to say the power point was Wolfram's work, only that it relied on his idea of computational irreducibility.

As for emergence of consciousness, I don't know if it's automatically irreducible. I mean mention is made of liquidity arising from water molecules placed near each other so if the idea of emergence is correct one would think consciousness would have a similar starting point when you have enough of the brain's elementary pieces put together.

sciborg2

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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2014, 07:58:46 am »
Jaron Lanier, computer scientist & artist, author of You are Not a Gadget, argues against consciousness being reducible to computation.

He also has an essay, Death: The Skeleton Key of Consciousness Studies?

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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2014, 08:05:03 am »
Wish I was paid for making guesses.

Jaron Lanier, computer scientist & artist, author of You are Not a Gadget, argues against consciousness being reducible to computation.
I don't understand why he says 'you can't say conciousness is in the hail storm'? I'm not sure why it appears to him or anyone it did, except some reflexive rejection of hailstorms. A sort of 'ugh!' moment? No doubt somewhat like the one that came with the phrase 'a monkeys uncle' not long ago.

Why I'll be a hailstorms uncle!

sciborg2

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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2014, 05:11:48 pm »
You Can't Argue with a Zombie:

http://www.davidchess.com/words/poc/lanier_zombie.html

Quote
I started with the usual sort of brain-replacement yarn. Your neurons are replaced one-by-one with silicon devices. That sort of thing. Young zombies-in-training assume that nothing fundamental will have changed if they are turned to silicon.

We then transferred our brains into software. Each neuron was now replaced by a software expression and they all connected together functionally in the same way as they did when they were mushy.

The zombies still felt at one with this proposed zombie-on-a-disk. It is worth pausing for a moment and noting that accepting one's ontological equivalence to some data on a disk does not necessarily banish the demons of vitalism. Zombies might still imagine their data interacting with biological humans (as we see in the Star Trek character "Data"). They might still turn to the natural world for confirmation, relying on that old ritual of vitalism, the Turing Test.

Harder core zombies are ready to leave all that behind and imagine living on a disk in which they only interact with other minds and environmental elements that also exist solely as software. It is here that we must ask a question that seems obvious to me, but seems to shock zombies: What makes this software exist? What makes the computer that it runs on exist?

There can be only one proper basis to judge the existence of computers and software. We should be able to confirm their existence empirically, using the same scientific method we use to study the rest of the natural world. As it turns out, we cannot do that, for reasons that I will make clear later in this paper. We are the only measure of the existence of computers. So the assertion that computers and software exist is a stealthy conveyor of rampant vitalism and mystical dualism.