What is "Mind?"

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jogill

climber
Colorado
Jan 16, 2018 - 01:37pm PT
Well, I was playing with an integral representation of an infinite product I devised, and look what popped up:



Does this angry face remind you of anyone on these threads?

Or on the forum?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 03:11pm PT
Does this remind you of anyone on these threads?

Perhaps that anonymous coward who's entirely not credible because he/it has presented no evidence he/it actually climbs?


lol


...

eeyonkee, it's been awhile. Any chance you're now more a reconcilist when it comes to free will? Having had a week or so to sleep on it? :)

Remember, all it takes to becoming a reconcilist is (1) recognizing that the answer to the "free from what?" question changes as one moves from one area, frame, field or discipline (e.g., physics) to another (e.g., law, legal); and (2) "reconciling" these different answers from a higher, more encompassing, meta perspective.

...

In a courtroom what do the lawyers call a will that was free from any identifiable pathology? If not a free will?

In a courtroom what do the lawyers call a will that was free from the coercive influence of any outside agent? If not a free will?
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jan 16, 2018 - 03:51pm PT
^^^ Nope. Think of someone who likes to ridicule paunchy scientists.

;>)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 05:12pm PT
Ah, here's a close parallelism. Apparently just out today. By Michael Shermer

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-actions-dont-matter-in-a-cosmic-sense-mdash-but-that-doesnt-mean-they-dont-matter/

A free will? At what level?
A morality that counts? At what level?

Don't make the dreaded "categorical error" (aka "categorical mistake").

So I guess this makes me a reconcilist when it comes to morals too. (At one level, no. At another level, yes.)

I think we can add Michael Shermer to the reconcilist camp (aka compatibilist camp).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_mistake
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 16, 2018 - 05:22pm PT
HFCS wrote
Remember, all it takes to becoming a reconcilist is (1) recognizing that the answer to the "free from what?" question changes as one moves from one area, frame, field or discipline (e.g., physics) to another (e.g., law, legal); and (2) "reconciling" these different answers from a higher, more encompassing, meta perspective.
In a courtroom what do the lawyers call a will that was free from any identifiable pathology? If not a free will?

In a courtroom what do the lawyers call a will that was free from the coercive influence of any outside agent? If not a free will?


Free from your parents, your teachers, your childhood friends, where you grew up, in what time in history that you live, not to mention your genetic makeup. I have a very narrow definition of free will. I mean it in the sense that, just before the decision is required, that you can somehow do something about it that is other than determined by all of the preceding events and mental states.

I see the higher levels that you speak of as societal levels (of emergence). Yes, we need to enforce laws against individuals for the benefit of society. I'm just not going to blame the individual for his or her personal history and genetic makeup. That court of law can only judge based on some fluid standards against a population exhibiting normal distributions for almost every type of behavior that you can think of.

I'm re-reading Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works again. Sheesh, what a thinker and polymath. I gotta say, I feel like Paul Simon going against Kareem Abdul Jabbar in a one-on-one basketball game when betting against Pinker on the free will problem, but that's how I roll.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 05:36pm PT
eeyonkee, based on your last post, I think you're almost to the reconcilist stance. lol

Read the Shermer piece. See if you don't see the parallelism between morality (y/n?) and free will (y/n?).

The category is not physics, the category is the social game!

The reconcilist says: It's not one category or the other. It is both. Both! Each category gives a different answer. Hence the contradiction but also the opportunity to reconcile the contradiction!

Pinker's book? That's got to be 30 hours! This guy: Anil Seth (neuroscientist, AI researcher, etc) was just on Harris last week. Only three hours. They covered a lot! Including the predictive brain and "controlled hallucinations".

Here he is at TED where he also discusses "controlled hallucination." I think it's got merit.

https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality

I'm just not going to blame the individual for his or her personal history and genetic makeup.


Yes, neither am I. Not from the physicalist level/frame.

But people will at the level of the social game (incl law), even if they have reconciled that at base we're all autobes (automata). Remember a couple weeks ago Moose paid his ticket even though we all agree as an autobe (autobic creature) his behavior that day was fated.

That court of law can only judge based on some fluid standards against a population exhibiting normal distributions for almost every type of behavior that you can think of.

Yes.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 05:58pm PT
In a courtroom what do the lawyers call a will that was free from the coercive influence of any outside agent? If not a free will?

I wish you'd take a stab at this question.

If you're choosing (lol) to limit yourself to that narrow physicalist definition of free will (and thus denying it), then what term or terms (what language) will you use to indicate you signed the contract freely (assuming this was in fact the case) without coercion from any outside agent?

After all, it's got to be communicated somehow. If not via "free will" then via what?

I really think if you were in a court before a judge (with me standing next to you, lol) you'd have no problem affirming that you signed the contract under your own free will. And we, all parties present, would all grok the meaning. That's what counts.

Change the category, change the meaning.

A reconcilist is willing and able to do this. He sees it all, in particular the nuanced thinking at each categorical level, from a higher meta perspective.

...

Last week, we were on the cusp of discussing (1) choosing, the power to choose, (2) branching, the power to branch (amongst options, an options list) as a stepping stone to can-do power (competence) as an agent as means to a fuller accounting of free will when we got side-tracked by a discussion of emergence.

As a reconcilist, also as a biological determinist, I definitely accept the claim that we anthropes - though we are automata - have the power the choose (among options). It's how we are evolved, designed. It's what sets us apart from other creatures with smaller brains and less can-do power.

From a past post or two, I think you said you also deny power to choose. So you deny free will, period; and you deny power to choose, period. You do not see how these things might exist at other categorical levels or insofar as you do, they are just not legitimate considerations. Do I have that right?

...

I've always disagreed with Harris on his consideration of the zombie, which is to say, a human with all the competence of a human but without consciousness in particular sentience. It was nice to hear these guys discuss the zombie notion and it was nice to discover Anil Seth not only superbly articulate but also favor exactly my position/stance on the subject.

Also, Harris is way more sanguine than I about AI acquiring consciousness or sentience. My thinking is much more in-line with Anil's - that sentience has less to do with intelligence and way more to do with us being biological creatures evolved over millions of generations.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 16, 2018 - 06:25pm PT
So, let me give you an example of what I am thinking. I believe that Fox News has been the single most polarizing entity in our politics over the last several years. Fox News has poisoned people's minds by constantly disseminating highly biased and often false information. The people watching can't help but imprint these memes, I'm convinced of that. The only thing they can do is quit watching and most of them don't. I've seen it in my own brothers.

I would say that the ability of Fox News to have the effect that it does over such a large proportion of Americans speaks both to the fluidity of the morals and beliefs in society, and how constant broadcasting of memes, whether true or not, can affect your beliefs and decisions.

I see this as entirely consistent with hard determinism. In general, your most recent and powerful memories are going to have an outsized effect on your future behavior and beliefs.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 06:34pm PT
So I can agree with all that.

But I don't see how - outside the physicalist determinist frame - any of that precludes either (a) power to choose or (b) other categorical forms of free will.

It must be my reconcilist bias. :)

...

"Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter." - Feynman
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jan 16, 2018 - 07:21pm PT
Does this remind you of anyone on these threads?

I see the face as being between owl and frog.

The previous image was elegant.
zBrown

Ice climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 09:18pm PT
One might ask,

what happens when light does not interact with matter
or
what the subordinate action is when light interacts with matter
or
why the dominant action is not a shaking from side to side.

When light interacts with matter, the dominant action is often a “shaking” up and down of electrons in response to the electric field. This interaction is typically 10,000 times larger than the “swirling” action from a light wave’s magnetic field. The case is different in metamaterials, which contain small components like metal rings that are often tailored to have an enhanced response to magnetic fields. Thanks to this sensitivity, light traveling through a metamaterial can bend in unusual ways, making feasible such devices as super-lenses and invisibility cloaks.

Previously, researchers could measure the magnetic interaction between light and some form of matter only by subtracting the dominant electric interaction from the total effect of the light. Now two experimental groups have managed to directly isolate the magnetic field effect. They worked with a type of 2-dimensional device called a photonic crystal microcavity. The crystal is fabricated by perforating a thin layer of semiconductor with a pattern of tiny holes, like a micron-sized punch card. The cavity is made by leaving a small region “un-punched” and letting the surrounding lattice of holes act like mirrored walls that keep infrared light bouncing around in the cavity as standing waves.
WBraun

climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 10:24pm PT
It used to be the "Mind" thread.

It's now morphed into the "mental speculator" thread.

It's now about people who only write about the tiny bubbles surfacing from their dualistic materially infected minds .....
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jan 17, 2018 - 08:02am PT
It's now morphed into the "mental speculator" thread.


Sounds right though I'm having trouble imagining other kinds of speculation. Investments?
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2018 - 08:44am PT
When it only comes from the mind itself it is only mental speculation.

When it comes from the heart it is not.

The heart is what can drive the mind straight.

The mind by itself will only wander aimlessly like a boat without a rudder .....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jan 17, 2018 - 10:59am PT
Computer models designed by tech giants Alibaba and Microsoft this month surpassed humans for the first time in a reading-comprehension test.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ais-ability-to-read-hailed-as-historical-milestone-but-computers-arent-quite-there/2018/01/16/04638f2e-faf6-11e7-a46b-a3614530bd87_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.a7bbd9d51a6a

But...

"the accomplishment highlights not just how far the technology has progressed, but also how far it still has to go."

"The test involved Stanford University’s Question Answering Dataset, a collection of more than 100,000 questions that has become one of the AI world’s top battlegrounds for testing how machines read and comprehend."
zBrown

Ice climber
Jan 17, 2018 - 06:59pm PT
Nothing new to report sir, but I'll read it I guess



“These systems are brittle, in that small changes to paragraphs result in very bad behavior” and misunderstandings, Etzioni said. And when it comes to, say, drawing conclusions from two sentences or understanding implied ideas, the models lag even further behind. “These kind of implications that we do naturally, without even thinking about it, these systems don’t do,” he said.

Ok it's a rap - nothing new here after nearly 50 years

But AI experts say the test is far too limited to compare with real reading. The answers aren’t generated from understanding the text, but from the system finding patterns and matching terms in the same short passage.
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2018 - 07:55pm PT
St00pid gross materialists never get it.

A1 has no soul, no sentience, no life.

That's why it's called, robot.

Yet life, sentience, and soul are all already there.

Yet these fools want all want to devolve into robots and die.

They think (mental speculate) they will enjoy but these fools will only suffer even more and cause (effect) even more suffering than they already have.

The gross materialists are the slaughterhouses of their own souls .....
zBrown

Ice climber
Jan 17, 2018 - 08:18pm PT
Time better spent would be developing a touchscreen {maybe using one of those invisibility cloaks} that doesn't collect, or hides, fingerprints.

MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jan 18, 2018 - 10:00am PT
nothing new here after nearly 50 years




Your head is in the clouds. Olympus?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 18, 2018 - 06:08pm PT
I never had watched the Steven Pinker presentation in the debate between Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pinker that HFCS posted up-thread (sorry HFCS). I recently began re-reading Pinker's How the Mind Works, which is an amazing book, which led me to watch his presentation. I had earlier watched Greene's (the incompatibilist) Dennett's (the compatibilist) presentations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YYr8311yY0

I always get lost when following Dennett, but something in Pinker's presentation really clicked with me. It occurred to me that his whole Responsibility = Deterrence angle on free will is entirely appropriate for looking forward. It is appropriate for looking forward from a societal standpoint. Individuals feeling responsible for their moral decisions, overall, is likely good for the well-being of society. It's probably why it evolved, it occurs to me.

If we look backward, on the other hand, we still see that the individual was at the mercy of genes and circumstances. This is the free will angle that I have been focusing on. After watching Pinker's presentation, I believe he and I are on the same page when looking backward. I’m not so sure about Dennett and other compatibilists. I believe that they really do believe in this degree of freedom that does not exist. Pinker, as always, is one step ahead. Here are three of Pinker’s slides that capture his position.

From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pin...
From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pinker
Credit: eeyonkee
From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pin...
From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pinker
Credit: eeyonkee
From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pin...
From "A Battle of Wills", Daniel Dennett, Joshua Greene and Steven Pinker
Credit: eeyonkee

In that last slide, I would quibble with Pinker. I would pose it as should I be responsible for my choices.
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