RE: UDA revisited

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 17:12:23 +1100

Colin Hales writes:
> The very fact that the laws of physics, derived and validated using
> phenomenality, cannot predict or explain how appearances are generated is
> proof that the appearance generator is made of something else and that
> something else else is the reality involved, which is NOT
> appearances, but independent of them.
> I know that will sound weird...
> >
> >> The only science you can do is "I hypothesise that when I activate this
> >> nerve, that sense nerve and this one do <this>"
> >
> > And I call regularities in my perceptions the "external world", which
> > becomes so
> > familiar to me that I forget it is a hypothesis.
> Except that in time, as people realise what I just said above, the
> hypothesis has some emprical support: If the universe were made of
> appearances when we opened up a cranium we'd see them. We don't. We see
> something generating/delivering them - a brain. That difference is the
> proof.
I don't really understand this. We see that chemical reactions in the brain generate
consciousness, so why not stop at that? In Gilbert Ryle's words, "the mind is what
the brain does". It's mysterious, and it's not well understood, but it's still just chemistry.
> >> If I am to do more I must have a 'learning rule'. Who tells me the
> >> learning rule? This is a rule of interpretation. That requires context.
> >> Where does the context come from? There is none. That is the situation
> >> of
> >> the zombie.
> >
> > I do need some rules or knowledge to begin with if I am to get anywhere
> > with interpreting sense data.
> You do NOT interpret sense data! In consciuous activity you interpret the
> phenomenal scene generated using the sense data. Habituated/unconscious
> reflex behaviour with fixed rules uses sense data directly.
You could equally well argue that my computer does not interpret keystrokes, nor the
electrical impulses that travel to it from the keyboard, but rather it creates a phenomenal
scene in RAM based on those keystrokes.
> Think about driving home on a well travelled route. You don't even know
> how you got home. Yet if something unusual happened on the drive - ZAP -
> phenomenality kicks in and phenomenal consciousness handles the novelty.
If something unusual happens I'll try to match it as closely as I can to something I have
already encountered and act accordingly. If it's like nothing I've ever encountered before
I guess I'll do something random, and on the basis of the effect this has decide what I
will do next time I encounter the same situation.
> > With living organisms, evolution provides this
> > knowledge
> Evolution provided
> a) a learning tool(brain) that knows how to learn from phenomenal
> consciousness, which is an adaptive presentation of real
> external world a-priori knowledge.
> b) Certain simple reflex behaviours.
> > while with machines the designers provide it.
> Machine providers do not provide (a)
> They only provide (b), which includes any adaptivity rules, which are just
> more rules.
> >
> > Incidentally, you have stated in your paper that novel technology as the
> > end
> > product of scientific endeavour is evidence that other people are not
> > zombies, but
> > how would you explain the very elaborate technology in living organisms,
> > created
> > by zombie evolutionary processes?
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> Amazing but true. Trial and error. Hypothesis/Test in a brutal live or die
> laboratory called The Earth.... Notice that the process selected for
> phenomenal consciousness early on....which I predict will eventually be
> proven to exist in nearly all animal cellular life (vertebrate and
> invertebrate and even single celled organisms) to some extent. Maybe even
> in some plant life.
> 'Technology' is a loaded word...I suppose I mean 'human made' technology.
> Notice that chairs and digital watches did not evolve independently of
> humans. Nor did science. Novel technology could be re-termed 'non-DNA
> based technology, I suppose. A bird flies. So do planes. One is DNA based.
> The other not DNA based, but created by a DNA based creature called the
> human. Eventually conscious machines will create novel technology too -
> including new versions of themselves. It doesn't change any part of the
> propositions I make - just contextualises them inside a fascinating story.
The point is a process that is definitely non-conscious, i.e. evolution, produces
novel machines, some of which are themselves conscious at that.
Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Mon Nov 27 2006 - 01:12:57 PST

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