Re: Reality, the bogus nature of the Turing test

From: Colin Geoffrey Hales <>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 09:33:32 +1000 (EST)

In-Reply-To: <>

>> Yes. Causal chains, no matter how improbable, executed at the tiniest
>> scales the same ones that make LUCY our literal ancestor..... connect

> It depends what you , mean by "connect". I am connected to these things,
but they can manage without me. It is a one-way
> kind of connection.

We are touching on the unidirectionality of time, here. Specifically the
2nd law of thermodynamics. Myriad infinitesimal entropy transactions
resulting in overall increases in disorder but localised increases in
order (& complexity , russel's playground) where net energy inflow exists
- such as where we are in the beam of the floodlight called sol.

If you mean the current state is the sum of the transactions of the entire
history of the transactions comprising you... then yes, your present state
is connected to all this causal history. The thing is that you literally
_are_ it. You are not like some bulldozed pile of independent stuff. So
the idea that you and the causality that got you to your current state are
separate is meaningless. You literally are causality - intrinsically made
of change, but change that results in persistent structure that is you.

So. yes. The model I am working with is untrinsically unidirectional, I
suppose - one way in a flow sense and one way in a causal sense that the
present (current state) did not 'cause' the past (previous states), nor
can the future cause the present state.

The easiest way to imagine it is to think of it as computation. Go through
the sequence of operations 2+5=7. The 'present' is the state of the
computation as is progresses (load, 2, load 5 add, display result, for
example). The 7 did not cause a 2 and 5 to be added. Similarly 7's
participation in a future computation cannot be said to have caused the 7.

I know we can _imagine_ realms where bidirectional causality may be so.
These are best represented in our formal mathemtical depictions of our
world that have t in them, t for time). What I am saying is that the realm
we are in is not like them. This is the one _we_ inhabit, with particular
instances of particular kinds of things going on. Or perhaps a little more
generally - the one we inhabit is currently in a state where
unidirectional causality (albeit intrinsically randomised in selecttion of
particular outcomes) rules. A really good book on this is 'The end of
certainty' by Prigogine.

>> identical to other sorts of neuron cohorts nearby. One set delivers
qualia. The others do not.

> How do you know ?

Human verbal reports in a very detailed experimental regime. This was done
by imaging humans and controlling for various physiological circumstances
to eliminate the cohorts involved in things like (in the case of thirst)
the 'mouth-dryness' factor and micturition state. When you control
everything you end up being able to isolate one specific, unique region
that is correlated only with the experienced emotion of 'thirst'
(reasulting in an 'imperious desire' for drinking behaviour). The imaging
results are in the book.

The interesting thing in the case of these low level emotions is that they
are all separate cohorts (thirst, hunger, sex drive etc). It's not one
cohort that changes in subjective quality. There must be an evolutionary
reason for this... maybe in DNA or maybe the emotions compete for
behavioural dominance (micturition thwarting, for example, may stop you
being afraid of something or vice versa)

>> So there are 2 parts to an explanation:
>> a) single neuron properties
>> b) cohort organisation
>> Unless thesre is a property of single neurons to use for a cohort to do
something with, you are attributing 'magical emergence' to a cohort. This
>> is a logical inevitability.

> y-e-e-s. But where are you without emergence? Qualia would
> then be properties of quarks. Wihich brings on a Grain problem with a

There are no gaines to have a problem with. See below.

>> Magical emergence means attributing some sort of property inherent in
organisation itself.

> The point of emergence is rather that the property is *not* inherent in
the lower-level parts and relations.

Yes, but these properties cannot exist without colligative actions of
_something_. Like I said:

LAKE is to H20
REDness is to 'what?'.

That is, what elemental property is dragged along with matter (atoms,
molecules) that can result in it being 'like something' to be those
atoms/molecules? Yes, you can say they are behaving in a specific way neural cells doing the "qualia dance".... but you are still stuck
with not knowing the 'what?' shown above. This is only
correlation/description , not causation/explanation. The real question is
to ask yourself what are the innate circumstances in the universe that
would mean doing the neural qualia dance be 'like something'? This
fundamentally questions your view of the universe.

That view is, in my model, that qualia are not about what is you, but what
'is not' you. In a spatial sense. You are manipulating the space you
inhabit. Space is stuff. It has a permeability and permittivity for
example. To an accuracy of several orders of magnitude more then 1 part in
10^20 you - all of us are space - in essence, we are kind of not there.
Space is the dominant feature of being a human. Our relationship with
space is, in my model, easily seen - our structural components (entropy
transactions) derive from a common parent structure. In other words the
organisational structure of the space and the matter within it come
literally from one set of common parent structures down deep. They are
identical at this level. Hence when any matter does anything, the space it
in habits cooperates in a very intimate way. There is no 'granularity'
issue. There is no need to have an 'ultimate building block'.

When you stare at a human - or any 'stuff' at all, you are not staring at
organs or cells or molecules or atoms ot protons or electrons or photons
.... what you are looking at is an organised collection of X with a really
good qualia paint job.

An analogy: stare at a building made purely of bricks. You can say - and
be right - that you are staring at a building. But you are not. You are
staring at organised only bricks. Extend that to humans - and
ask what is the brick? What it is _not_ is any of the 'things' we isolate
with appearances - like atoms, cells, etc (these are 'buildings' in the
analogy). The statement "X has an appearance" is meaningless - appearance
is something we add to large accretions of it.

My solution to this 'what?' = X (=brick) question is to say that whatever
X is, space and all matter are made of it. A common parent in a very deep
organisational hierarchy which we have only just begun to unpack. The only
property you need to assign to X is the property of change. i.e. that X
goes cyclically through a series of states (lossless, in an entropy/energy
sense). When you do that you can observe a relationship between one
organisation (space) and another (matter) and qualia are easily seen to
result from the cellular qualia dance.

Another way of looking at the model is to imagine a waterfall. Imagine,
lost in the struture of change that is a waterfall (H20 passing through a
region of space), in one particular place in the waterfall, the shape of a
human outlined in the flow. This is, at the most fundamental level, a
metaphor for the reality of a universe in which qualia make sense. It also
predicts what looks like what we describe with maths - gravity and quantum
mechanics and other stuff, but that's a different issue (Cahill can do
that)... I'm only interested in qualia and the AI I can make with it.

This is kind of interesting - you are forcing me to voice things in ways I
would not have otherwise. :-)

Colin Hales

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Received on Fri Sep 29 2006 - 19:34:36 PDT

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