Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 7, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Dial up the attention and back off on the interpretations, and little pops and sparkles and infinities start to show up in everything.



.....ummmmm


good one.

Gotta wonder if these guys will come up with the same profound insights:

FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 7, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Billions down the toilet.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
I consider Henry Markham of the Human Brain Project to be one of the most fantastic confidence men in recent times. One journalist wrote:

"Henry Markram is tall and slim. He wears jeans and tailored shirts. He has an aquiline nose and a lustrous mop of dirty blond hair that he likes to run his hands through when contemplating a difficult problem. He has a talent for speaking in eloquent soundbites, so that the most grandiose conjectures (“In ten years, this computer will be talking to us.”) are tossed off with a casual air. If it weren’t for his bloodshot, blue eyes—“I don’t sleep much,” he admits—Markram could pass for a European playboy."

That is, according to Markham, a fully "conscious" machine, that can "do everything" human, will be hitting the streets in less than a decade.

The fact that any sane person would believe this can only be attributed to the ease by which we believe a machanical model of the brain "creates" consciousness. Build the machine correctly, and viola - that dude talks, dances, and has his way with that shiny UBS port.

Maybe there really is a sucker born every second . . .

JL
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 7, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
The fact that any sane person would believe this can only be attributed to the ease by which we believe a machanical model of the brain "creates" consciousness. Build the machine correctly, and viola - that dude talks, dances, and has his way with that shiny UBS port.

...and when it passes the Turing test? You'll dismiss it...

because the Turing test is not valid...
because it's a machine...
Because humans built it...
Because you're afraid...
Because you can't understand...
Because you won't understand...

Your fear is palpable. Better untie.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
...and when it passes the Turing test? You'll dismiss it...

because the Turing test is not valid...
because it's a machine...
Because humans built it...
Because you're afraid...
Because you can't understand...
Because you won't understand...

Your fear is palpable. Better untie.
--

The Turing test is only relevant here should you make the fatal mistake of confusing objective with subjective, and insisting they are selfsame.

Markham makes the claim that his machine will mechanically generate it's own subjective reality and will relate to us from that perspective and "electrical experience." The Turing machine never made such claims, nor did said machine ever output more than mechanical responses limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen, never having to render its answer into audible words.

The Turing experiment simply showed a machine's ability to output objective information, not to generate subjective experience. But some consider objective experience to be more "real" than their own lives. Perhaps you are one of those unfortunates?

My sense is that you've been watching too many sci-fi movies, Fort, and have apparently come to believe talking robots have an inner life full of electric sheep and reostat love. But this is Tooth Fairy kind of stuff, I'm sad to report.

Perhaps you might think about backing off on the acid and malt. Those Sci-Fi shows were NOT real. People just wrote that stuff, and actors played the parts and tricks were done with the photography.

Did you ever see Mr. Ed? "A horse is a horse," and all that. That wasn't real, either, Fort. I swear it wasn't.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 7, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 7, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
This is rich drama.

Because you're afraid...
Because you can't understand...
Because you won't understand...

This of Largo? :-D


FM, is it your contention that Turing's test certifies consciousness . . . your consciousness, as you experience it?

Turing's test is a test of its owner. It is a test of a person's speculation of what consciousness is.

Consciousness grasping itself in its totality would make any test pitiful by comparison.
Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
Please!!!

Carry on..
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
FM, is it your contention that Turing's test certifies consciousness . . . your consciousness, as you experience it?

Turing's test is a test of its owner. It is a test of a person's speculation of what consciousness is.

Consciousness grasping itself in its totality would make any test pitiful by comparison.


Mike, perhaps this is what happens when people come to believe that info and data outputs are proof of consciousness, that objectified reality "out there," in some quantifiable form, is the real stuff of the world. This all issues from the mechanical model insisting that matter "gives rise" to experience, that subjectivity is something that emerges from matter, leaving the Markhams of the world talking all that bullshit and fobbing it off as neuroscience.

I'll bet anyone on this list, and give 100 to 1 odds, that the Human Brain Project will not have a self-conscious machine by 2022, as claimed.

JL
sullly

Trad climber
Nov 7, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
Just heard one of my favorite essayists on NPR. Some of you've read his noteworthy Hunger of Memory. Here's his new book and a Krasny interview link.

Darling
A Spiritual Autobiography
by RICHARD RODRIGUEZ


Author of Days of Obligation considers international religious violence, growing public atheism in the West, religious rejection for his homosexuality, and explores subjects ranging from Jerusalem and Silicon Valley to Lance Armstrong and Mother Teresa.
http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201311051000






MH2

climber
Nov 7, 2013 - 09:46pm PT


They were not looking at any subjective inferences, but only how our focus and awareness and attention respond when we are scanning the environment and our focus variously fixes on this or that, as it does most every second of every day. They were investigating the actual mechanics of this process, and it was Les Fehmi who discovered the narrow/open focus dynamics that occur in everyone, without exception, whenever our attention settles and fixes on a feather or sound or feeling or idea, as is needed to evaluate said thing - an essential tool for our survival. When the cave man saw the lion approach, his awareness isolated out the lion at the exclusion of all else in order to increase his chance of surviving. Our focus and awareness function much the same way (minus the terror and hyperfocus when encountering the lion) when we are looking at a bug or the moon.



I do not have a lion on my desk. A lion, a real live hungry lion, might focus my attention as you wish it to.

"The narrow/open focus dynamics that occur in everyone, without exception, whenever our attention settles and fixes on a feather or sound or feeling or idea"

Really? EVERYONE? WITHOUT EXCEPTION?

Les Fehmi has an appealing mug but I wasn't able to find a paper by him. It seems his tool was EEG. There are likely to be several assumptions between any EEG changes and fixing attention on a feather, let alone an idea. I would be interested in any peer-reviewed publications of his you are aware of.

It would be notable if everyone without exception responded the same way. That would put the link between EEG and attention right up there with death and taxes.



But again, maybe we could all learn something if you described to us what happens to YOU when you focus on something, in terms of isolating that one thing our from the rest of reality.

But I am certainly open to have you describe to us what DOES happen, in terms of the actual cognitive mechanics (awareness, focus, attention) when, say, you look at your computer screen.



It goes roughly like this

No sooner did I look at the item on my desk than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And 6 seconds later a new wave curled over and the process unfolded again...

I see the world in a grain of sand, or a grain of sand as a world.

Kaleidoscopically

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
"The narrow/open focus dynamics that occur in everyone, without exception, whenever our attention settles and fixes on a feather or sound or feeling or idea"

Really? EVERYONE? WITHOUT EXCEPTION?
---


No exception. Simple test. Try and concentrate on something, anything, and start evaluating it with words, while at the same time thinking about the moon. No one, without exception, can do this.

What happens, without exception, is that our minds narrow focus on the thing at hand, our attention gloms onto it and we start evaluating and generating interpretations, always at the exclusion of the whole. This is the way our biomechanism works. Everyone's lungs function basically the same. And everyone's feet and nose and hearing.

Fehmi and Steerman both worked with EEG and qEEgs but their principal mode of exploration was self observation, and seeing what the machines told them from there. Ultimately Fehmi realized he could accomplish more with self observation so he developed Open Focus training.

JL
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 8, 2013 - 12:03am PT
MH2:

Proust's writing (In Search of Lost Time) is not a report of cognition. It is the rendition of an imagination, which might or might not be related to a subjective event.

Description IS fiction by contemporary standards.

With regards to whether the passage provides us with any accuracy of cognition and awareness, I'll copy what a reader said in a review:

Proust is unlike any other novelist, somehow looking at life with both incredible analytical detachment and, at the same time, a neurotic coloring that is all his own. But, to fully appreciate this work, you have to take it at the right time. That time, for me at least, is middle age, when you begin to accept your own neuroses, when your own life consists of 50% memories, and when you can appreciate the relentless dissecting of the immortal "types" who inhabit every society. (Amazon)

Wouldn't Proust's writing in MH2's post above suit Turing's test, FM?

I think the experience of reading a novel is not quite the same as direct experience that one has . . . but in fairness who could say? (And therein lies the rub. No one can say what it is or isn't. Experience is not something that can be said or described.)
clinker

Trad climber
California
Nov 8, 2013 - 12:27am PT
Thank God I'm stupid.

and cannot write well.

its gonna be ok.

Shrek is the answer. I like him too.

This is a smart persons thread...bye bye.

FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 8, 2013 - 12:46am PT
Markham makes the claim that his machine will mechanically generate it's own subjective reality and will relate to us from that perspective and "electrical experience." The Turing machine never made such claims, nor did said machine ever output more than mechanical responses limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen, never having to render its answer into audible words.

The Turing experiment simply showed a machine's ability to output objective information, not to generate subjective experience. But some consider objective experience to be more "real" than their own lives. Perhaps you are one of those unfortunates?

My sense is that you've been watching too many sci-fi movies, Fort, and have apparently come to believe talking robots have an inner life full of electric sheep and reostat love. But this is Tooth Fairy kind of stuff, I'm sad to report.

Perhaps you might think about backing off on the acid and malt. Those Sci-Fi shows were NOT real. People just wrote that stuff, and actors played the parts and tricks were done with the photography.

Did you ever see Mr. Ed? "A horse is a horse," and all that. That wasn't real, either, Fort. I swear it wasn't.

Your definition of "machine" is pitifully inadequate. To you, a "machine" might as well be a blender in someones closet, perhaps due to profoundly limited understanding of what constitutes "parts" of a "working whole". Importantly, your inability to consider the idea of brain as machine, sometimes simple, as in the case of a tapeworm, sometimes complex, as in the case of humans, makes you a species-ist of the first order. At some point, though, soul, and "subjective experience" enters the fray....care to state where, precisely, in your tiny world of living things?. Additionally, your inability to even consider your own interaction with "machine" is astonishing; you are not a tenth as perceptive as you pretend to be.

Mr Ed wasn't real? Tell me more! (Dammit....Where the post-modern deconstructivist analysis of Mr. Ed when you need it.) Note that there's less than a dozen miles of dirt that separate me from a whole population of people that KNOW that taking their photo robs them of their soul. That's no different than people who believe that you can find shiht only when you turn off the lights.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Nov 8, 2013 - 01:06am PT
(I think I need a translator.)
manemachen

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2013 - 02:41am PT
that was a great end to the day- FUNNY!! loved it!!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Nov 8, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 8, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
At some point, though, soul, and "subjective experience" enters the fray....care to state where, precisely, in your tiny world of living things?
---


Maybe more better still is for you to tell us when "subjective experience" is NOT in the fray of human experience.

Again, when you're stuck with a mechanical reductionistic bottom-up view of consciousness, you focus will be welded to objective processing, and mind will be viewed as nothing more than a fantastically elaborate mechanism.

You and Markham deserve each other - but this is all talk. My wager was for real. So Fort, if your hero, one of the biggest phonies in the history of modern times, manages to produce a self-aware machine that can "do everything" human, by 2022, as promised (he's mustered 1 billion Swiss Euros on that and other claims), then I will pay you 100 bucks to your one dollar?

Bet?

If you're so certain about the hegemony of your machines, worshiping them like totems on a cargo-cult runway, then put up some cash.

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 8, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
in some quantifiable form, is the real stuff of the world

OK. Settle down.

I recently watched Inherit The Wind, the old Spencer Tracy movie about the Scopes Monkey Trial...where a town tried a teacher for teaching evolution.

Clarence Darrow represented Scopes and William Jennings Bryan represented the prosecution. Scopes was found guilty and fined 100 bucks for just teaching the "real stuff of the world."

The Jennings Bryan character shouts out a line to Mr. Scopes early in the movie accusing him of "scientism," which was the first time I heard that word outside of this thread.

Quantifiable form runs the world and the Universe. I see no reason, in principle, that a machine could not be self aware at some point in the future. It is all well and good to play around with what is going on inside your own head, but if you denounce matter, you are just being foolish. You live in your brain. If you don't believe me, I can introduce you to two stroke victims. One was 7 years ago and he still has aphasia but can now speak fairly well. The second friend had one about two weeks ago and is paralyzed on one side as well as full aphasia. I don't know if he will ever speak again. Strokes are a bummer.

That is what happens when you blow a vein in your head. It will impact you. We are all made of matter.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
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