What is "Mind?"

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Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Dec 1, 2017 - 07:03pm PT
Largo you still didn't answer the question. You only write what it is not.

Why can't you just say you don't know, if you don't know?

But you come across as if you know....

DMT
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Dec 1, 2017 - 08:12pm PT
I clearly stated that awareness is ungraspable as an object or thing or phenomenon we can observe from the outside, from a "view from nowhere," Nagle's imaginary 3rd person perspective. And yet it is through awareness that all things are known


OK. Finally clarity. Awareness is the Holy Ghost.

Thanks
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 1, 2017 - 08:19pm PT
here's an interesting obituary
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/obituaries/jerry-a-fodor-dead-philosopher-of-the-mind.html

"... he argued that the human mind, rather than being a unitary system as was often supposed, comprises a set of inborn, compartmentalized, purpose-built subsystems: a faculty for language, another for musical ability, still another for mathematics, and so on. These faculties, Dr. Fodor explained, operate by means of abstract algorithms, much as computers do."


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 1, 2017 - 08:58pm PT
the Artificial Intelligence Index


good thing that jgill is retired...

The TPTP Problem Library for Automated Theorem Proving



Dermatologist-level classification of skin cancer with deep neural networks

Andre Esteva, Brett Kuprel, Roberto A. Novoa, Justin Ko, Susan M. Swetter, Helen M. Blau & Sebastian Thrun
Nature 542, 115–118 (02 February 2017)
doi:10.1038/nature21056

Abstract
Skin cancer, the most common human malignancy1,2,3, is primarily diagnosed visually, beginning with an initial clinical screening and followed potentially by dermoscopic analysis, a biopsy and histopathological examination. Automated classification of skin lesions using images is a challenging task owing to the fine-grained variability in the appearance of skin lesions. Deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs)4,5 show potential for general and highly variable tasks across many fine-grained object categories6,7,8,9,10,11. Here we demonstrate classification of skin lesions using a single CNN, trained end-to-end from images directly, using only pixels and disease labels as inputs. We train a CNN using a dataset of 129,450 clinical images—two orders of magnitude larger than previous datasets12—consisting of 2,032 different diseases. We test its performance against 21 board-certified dermatologists on biopsy-proven clinical images with two critical binary classification use cases: keratinocyte carcinomas versus benign seborrheic keratoses; and malignant melanomas versus benign nevi. The first case represents the identification of the most common cancers, the second represents the identification of the deadliest skin cancer. The CNN achieves performance on par with all tested experts across both tasks, demonstrating an artificial intelligence capable of classifying skin cancer with a level of competence comparable to dermatologists. Outfitted with deep neural networks, mobile devices can potentially extend the reach of dermatologists outside of the clinic. It is projected that 6.3 billion smartphone subscriptions will exist by the year 2021 (ref. 13) and can therefore potentially provide low-cost universal access to vital diagnostic care.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Dec 1, 2017 - 10:03pm PT
Hey, I'm still proving theorems for free. Don't expect a donation from me for machine registration. Move over Wizard. I'll acknowledge open awareness if you'll support my math experiential adventures.


;>(

Dingus McGee

Social climber
Where Safety trumps Leaving No Trace
Dec 2, 2017 - 04:58am PT
We can experience awareness without content but we cannot have an awareness of no-thing. A subtle difference? Hardly! Awareness as all of us experience it is the most known feeling of all for adults -- maybe? Both Largo and MikeL talk of it as, ...this is all of what we have etc, and etc . The feeling of awareness can be attenuated seemingly to infinitesimal magnitudes as in meditation and calm.

Per Damasio all thoughts are bonded with feeling modules -- the feeling of knowing a feeling. Meditate all you like, the awareness feeling will be the only experience left if you are very calm. When the awareness feeling vanishes you are sleeping or very much attuned to some major feeling -- fear, etc. It is the subconscious that runs the theatre to add content to the awareness feeling.

I do not see anyway to argue 1st person around this scheme "philosophically" or experientially. And yes Largo I have meditated for qualifiers -- but likely I am not hung up in the 5th jhana? I suppose with science we could locate the region in the Largo brain where the awareness feeling was generated and then anesthetize that region only locally? and then get a 1st person account? Maybe just an admittance of dreaming?

And Largo if it is possible to understand this idea? I am only the messenger of Damasio here on your grand show. I can entertain other ideas of conscious awareness generation than Damasio. Your 1st person view is merely an interpretation and not in itself any test or evidence to prove [scientifically] what is actually happening.

And MikeL I have told you again and again how Damasio thinks feelings are enhanced from emotions -- the body/brain loop. Can you think and feel this idea through? It is system enhancement.

And yes jgil we are back to the question of 1st person validity. We do grant that Largo reports are his experience but not that they are all of what is actually happening or have any veracity to a scientific account.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Dec 2, 2017 - 05:04am PT
good thing that jgill is retired

jgill's results are in the list of problems for ATP systems?
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Dec 2, 2017 - 05:29am PT
Interestingly enough, from the ATP page that Ed cited, it seems "automatic" is a bit of a misnomer, even if the particular problem is conducive to ATP:


ATP systems are enormously powerful computer programs, capable of solving immensely difficult problems. Because of this extreme capability, their application and operation sometimes needs to be guided by an expert in the domain of application, in order to solve problems in a reasonable amount of time. Thus ATP systems, despite the name, are often used by domain experts in an interactive way. The interaction may be at a very detailed level, where the user guides the inferences made by the system, or at a much higher level where the user determines intermediate lemmas to be proved on the way to the proof of a conjecture. There is often a synergetic relationship between ATP system users and the systems themselves:

The system needs a precise description of the problem written in some logical form, the user is forced to think carefully about the problem in order to produce an appropriate formulation and hence acquires a deeper understanding of the problem, the system attempts to solve the problem, if successful the proof is a useful output, if unsuccessful the user can provide guidance, or try to prove some intermediate result, or examine the formulae to ensure that the problem is correctly described, and so the process iterates.





MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Dec 2, 2017 - 08:15am PT
MH2: Do you need a full accurate complete concept? Why would that be necessary?

Nothing’s necessary. You complained about incomprehensible prose. I’m trying to show that happens *ALL* the time, no matter what’s being talked about by anyone. Words and concepts are simply placeholders, pointers, metaphors, and abstractions. The difference between poetry and prose is only one of degree--not of classification.

DMT: Why can't you just say you don't know, if you don't know?

Consult polymath Polyani on this one. Two of Polyani’s students got Nobels, as well as his son. Polyani made some interesting insights about awareness and one’s ability to articulate it (1940s-1960s).

Here from Wiki (cf: “Michael Polyani”)
—————————
ALL KNOWING IS PERSONAL
In his book Science, Faith and Society (1946), Polanyi set out his opposition to a positivist account of science, noting that it ignores the role personal commitments play in the practice of science. Polanyi was invited to give the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1951–52 at Aberdeen. A revised version of his lectures were later published as Personal Knowledge (1958). In this book Polanyi claims that all knowledge claims (including those that derive from rules) rely on personal judgements.[7] He denies that a scientific method can yield truth mechanically. All knowing, no matter how formalised, relies upon commitments. Polanyi argued that the assumptions that underlie critical philosophy are not only false, they undermine the commitments that motivate our highest achievements. He advocates a fiduciary post-critical approach, in which we recognise that we believe more than we can prove, and know more than we can say.

A knower does not stand apart from the universe, but participates personally within it. Our intellectual skills are driven by passionate commitments that motivate discovery and validation. According to Polanyi, a great scientist not only identifies patterns, but also chooses significant questions likely to lead to a successful resolution. Innovators risk their reputation by committing to a hypothesis. Polanyi cites the example of Copernicus, who declared that the Earth revolves around the Sun. He claims that Copernicus arrived at the Earth's true relation to the Sun not as a consequence of following a method, but via "the greater intellectual satisfaction he derived from the celestial panorama as seen from the Sun instead of the Earth."[8] His writings on the practice of science influenced Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend.

Polanyi rejected the claim by British Empiricists that experience can be reduced into sense data, but he also rejects the notion that "indwelling" within (sometimes incompatible) interpretative frameworks traps us within them. Our tacit awareness connects us, albeit fallibly, with reality. It supplies us with the context within which our articulations have meaning. Contrary to the views of his colleague and friend Alan Turing, whose work at the Victoria University of Manchester prepared the way for the first modern computer, he denied that minds are reducible to collections of rules. His work influenced the critique by Hubert Dreyfus of "First Generation" artificial intelligence.

It was while writing Personal Knowledge that he identified the "structure of tacit knowing". He viewed it as his most important discovery. He claimed that we experience the world by integrating our subsidiary awareness into a focal awareness. In his later work, for example his Terry Lectures, later published as The Tacit Dimension (1966) he distinguishes between the phenomenological, instrumental, semantic, and ontological aspects of tacit knowing, as discussed (but not necessarily identified as such) in his previous writing.
———————

Be well.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Dec 2, 2017 - 08:17am PT
What happens when you boil down to awareness itself, rather than vanish for the lack of content (inputs, processing, etc.), awareness becomes ALL, and you know it in the same sense and with the same confidence that you know you are aware, and when you are not. 






"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."

—Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
clarifying exactly what type of proof
Canada needs;
Sept. 5, 2002



DMT is right, Largo. It would be better to just say you don't know what awareness is. If you are sure you do know, you clearly can't say, and should simply say that.

For some reason the human mind is susceptible to illusion. What we experience may be illusory. Going to a David Copperfield show should convince anyone of that.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2017 - 09:22am PT
We can experience awareness without content but we cannot have an awareness of no-thing. A subtle difference? Hardly! Awareness as all of us experience it is the most known feeling of all for adults -- maybe? Both Largo and MikeL talk of it as, ...this is all of what we have etc, and etc . The feeling of awareness can be attenuated seemingly to infinitesimal magnitudes as in meditation and calm.

Per Damasio all thoughts are bonded with feeling modules -- the feeling of knowing a feeling. Meditate all you like, the awareness feeling will be the only experience left if you are very calm.


As I have said, Dingus, parroting Demasio only confuses things because his basic premise about awareness being a feeling is flat wrong. This is the fatal error of trying to anchor awareness IN content, in the case, a compound feeling, which IS awareness.

Of course awareness is postulated by the mere arising of any feeling. Look at it this way: do you perceive the feeling of a feeling? the way you have it, the feeling of a feeling IS perception. In this way you can keep the whole process anchored directly to content - you're not the first to try, and not the first to flub it.

Consider this Dingus statement: we cannot have an awareness of no-thing.

This is a common dead end once you start letting content fall away.

No one can have an awareness of no-thing from a "view from nowhere" (3rd person) because at bottom you ARE no thing. You can't get OUT of no thing to see it "out there." Once your attachments to things start falling away, or when you get an insight about impermanence, the work shifts to BEING no thing and coming from that perspective.

It's interesting to see the first assumptions that people drag into this investigation, and how staunch they defend them.

For example, Dingus (NOT McGee) is certain that awareness IS some phenomenon that can be rendered in classical terms, and if I truly knew what classical awareness was, I could give him an honest classical answer/description. So from this vantage, I am merely dancing around an honest answer because I really don't know what awareness is. It apparently never occurred to Dingus that awareness might not be a classical phenomenon, ergo there IS NO definition of the kind he insists we don't know.

And Dingus McGee has swallowed Damasio's principal falacy: That awareness IS content (a compound feeling). That is, information (emotional vectoring) either IS, or creates our sense of awareness.

But anything, any quality (including feeling and sensation tones), any distinguishing character you can mention is not awareness itself. But this is an ontological truth and you have to go after it with a vengeance to discover it for yourself.

Again, Dingus McGee brings up a good point: We can't have an awareness of no thing. It's true because having an awareness of some thing else is a dualistic relationship that does not exist between the no-thing of awareness and itself. The very notion is ill-conceived. We can't have an awareness OF awareness as something else. It is indivisible.

What we have here seems to be a cadre of people holing onto the philosophical belief that awareness MUST be a phenomenon that lends itself to a classical causal definition, and that if you can't furnish one, you simply don't know. That is, you go into the investigation with assumptions that have to be met.

The starting point for all honest investigations or questions is to let go of the "answers" you already have in your head in the hopes that your investigation will confirm your right answer. For Dingus and Dingus McGee and perhaps others, the first assumptions are that awareness is a classical phenomenon, and/or awareness itself is actually something else - a feeling of a feeling.

Drop the assumptions, THEN start investigating.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 3, 2017 - 11:48am PT
DM said "Per Damasio all thoughts are bonded with feeling modules -- the feeling of knowing a feeling. Meditate all you like, the awareness feeling will be the only experience left if you are very calm. When the awareness feeling vanishes you are sleeping or very much attuned to some major feeling -- fear, etc. It is the subconscious that runs the theatre to add content to the awareness feeling.
"

Buddhism explores "feelings" as part of the practice/work . Remember Buddhism is interested in looking for the root of your own suffering. So feelings are looked at from that POV. Typically a way to look at them is what is my relationship with my feelings?

When you do a lot of meditation say at a retreat the internal narrative (thinking) will eventually slow way down so you can step back from it and watch it and watch when it is not operating. you don't try to control it (thinking) you just observe it. At this stage you end up observing stretches of no thinking; IME this is when feelings emerge and IME very intensely. At first they are too intense to just observe and they control you; there is no stepping back from them. Buddhism calls this being attached to feelings. But if you persist and make an effort to just observe the feelings as they move through you in waves you end up stepping back and watching the feelings as they emerge and subside. These feelings usually are either feelings you like or don't like and are classified in Buddhism as that. As you step back from the feelings you arrive at a place where your POV is not attached to the thinking or feelings. You are independent of them; they fully exist but have very little control of your actions. IMO this what buddhism calls a clear view. It is also the place where feelings are there; but, are not pleasurable or not displeasurable as MikeL says they are textures in the experience.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Dec 3, 2017 - 03:41pm PT
I pulled up a few of those ATP programs in analysis. Talk about taking the poetry out of mathematics. But I do know from my own experience there can be a kind of poetry of efficiency in computer programs, so perhaps it's replacing one kind for another. The literary types here may not understand, lacking the necessary education.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 3, 2017 - 04:33pm PT
According to Polanyi, a great scientist ... who happens to have produced some work that MikeL agrees with and therefore can be considered a reputable expert, as opposed to those who have produced work that MikeL does not agree with...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 3, 2017 - 04:34pm PT
This is the fatal error of trying to anchor awareness IN content...

I know you've been over this before, Largo, but would you remind me why this is a "fatal error"? That is aside from the argument that you don't agree with it.

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Dec 3, 2017 - 06:13pm PT
When Cozmo gets together with his robot buddies and they invent a religion to give meaning to their place in the universe, then I'll have to agree that robot minds and human minds are not so far apart.



Their behavior already looks close to human.






No doubt they still have distance to travel.


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 3, 2017 - 07:56pm PT
It apparently never occurred to Dingus that awareness might not be a classical phenomenon, ergo there IS NO definition of the kind he insists we don't know.

of course, it might be...

What we have here seems to be a cadre of people holing onto the philosophical belief that awareness MUST be a phenomenon that lends itself to a classical causal definition, and that if you can't furnish one, you simply don't know. That is, you go into the investigation with assumptions that have to be met.

interesting rhetorical flourish to turn a "might be" into a cadre of people stating that it "MUST be a phenomenon that lends itself to a classical causal definition..."

The point being that you haven't anything to bring to the table that addresses this issue, and more over, you cannot bring anything to the table, you just don't know.

And this is your point, which is as valid a criticism of your position as it is to that cadre's... whoever they may be.
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Dec 4, 2017 - 01:14am PT
Ed: According to Polanyi, a great scientist ... who happens to have produced some work that MikeL agrees with and therefore can be considered a reputable expert, as opposed to those who have produced work that MikeL does not agree with... 

1. I simply reported he was a polymath. He was recognized in different fields by peers. The Nobels of his students and son indicate something.

2. Your characterization can reasonably be applied to any recognized work and to any reference of any recognized work.

3. I never said Polyani was “a great scientist.” However, he seems to have been a seminal thinker who suggested that we know more than we can say. THAT might answer DMT’s complaint and claim that since Largo cannot say what awareness is in terms that satisfy DMT, then he must not know it.

4. What is YOUR contribution to this conversation about awareness other than a snarky criticism of my chosen reference?
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Dec 4, 2017 - 04:59am PT
Their behavior already looks close to human.

Cozmo said "uh-oh" when it got tipped over. That was cute.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Dec 4, 2017 - 06:48am PT
For Dingus and Dingus McGee and perhaps others, the first assumptions are that awareness is a classical phenomenon, and/or awareness itself is actually something else - a feeling of a feeling.

My assumption is I don't know what awareness is.

You, on the other hand, keep hinting you have your metaphorical finger on the pulse of it all. And yet, when asked, you dance around the subject and never answer the question, not even indirectly.

Classical schmassical.... just answer the question.

DMT
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