Re: computer pain

From: James N Rose <>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 09:24:42 -0800

Just to throw a point of perspective into this
conversation about mimicking qualia.

I posed a thematic question in my 1992 opus
"Understanding the Integral Universe".

 "What of a single celled animus like an amoeba or paramecium?
 Does it 'feel' itself? Does it sense the subtle variations
 in its shape as it bumps around in its liquid world? Does it
 somehow note changes in water pressure around it? Is it
 always "hungry"? What drives a single celled creature to eat?
 What "need", if any is fulfilled? Is it due to an internal
 pressure gradient in it's chemical metabolism? Is there a
 resilience to its boundary that not only determines its
 particular shape, whether amoebic or firm, but that variations
 in that boundary re-distribute pressures through its form to
 create a range of responsive actions? And, because it is
 coherent for that life form, is "this" primal consciousness?
 How far down into the structure of existence can we reasonably
 extrapolate this? An atom's electron cloud responds and interacts
 with its level of environment, but is this consciousness? We
 cannot personify, and therefore mystify, all kinetic functions
 as different degrees of consciousness; at least not at this point.
 Neither, can we specify with any certainty a level where
 consciousness suddenly appears, where there was none before."
                 "UIU"(c)ROSE 1992 ; 02)Intro section.


"Pain" is a net-collective qualia, an 'other-tier' cybernetic
emerged phenomenon. But it is -not unrelated- to phenomena
like basic EM field changes and 'system's experiences' in those
precursive tiers.

Also, "pain" (an aspect of -consciousness-), has to be understood
in regard to the panorama of 'kinds-of-sentience' that any given
system/organism has, embodies, utilizes or enacts.

In other words, it would be wrong to dismiss the presence of
'pain' in autonomic nervous systems, simply because the
cognitive nervous system is 'unaware' of the signals or
the distress situation generating them.

If one wants to 'define' pain sentience as a closed marker,
and build contrived systems that match the defined conditions
and criteria, that is one thing - and acceptable for what it
is. But if the 'pain' is a coordination of generalized
engagements and reactions, then a different set of
design standards needs to be considered/met.

Vis a vis -this- reasoning:


Jamie Rose
Ceptual Institute
cognating on a sunday morning

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Received on Sun Dec 17 2006 - 12:25:03 PST

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