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Old 20th February 2019, 06:03 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The good old HPC, I used to joke I was a p-zombie as I couldn't understand this idea of "experience of red". Turns out I am actually a p-zombie, as I don't ever have an "experience of red" apart from when there are photons hitting my retina and the following cascade of measurable changes in the chemicals in my brain and other tissues as I have no "mind's eye".
Do you dream? What's that like?

If you've gotten this far in life without a "mind's eye," then apparently you're doing pretty well. The so-called mind's eye is unreliable, sometimes convincing people that something they vividly "see" never happened.

Many multiple personality stories are widely thought to have arisen when therapists work with suggestible patients. False memories were also an issue in cases of alleged satanic abuse.

ETA: ninja'd

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Old 20th February 2019, 07:07 PM   #202
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Having criticized my consciousness guru ex-friend, I need to make it clear that I am not talking about either Roger Penrose or David Chalmers.
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Old 20th February 2019, 07:44 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I'm not really sure how you'd program a robot to have an agent model of itself, or how to program it to pursue it's "own" goals. If you program a drone to fly forward 3 feet and then hover, is that it's "own" goal?

I'm reminded of a really primitive robot I saw on some forward looking program when I was a kid. It wandered around a room seeking out electrical outlets to charge it's battery. Apparently if you give a robot enough of those algorithms it becomes conscious. I happen to actually believe that myself, that if AI becomes complex or intelligent enough it will become conscious. Probably the closest thing I have to a religious belief.
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:00 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I'm reminded of a really primitive robot I saw on some forward looking program when I was a kid. It wandered around a room seeking out electrical outlets to charge it's battery. Apparently if you give a robot enough of those algorithms it becomes conscious. I happen to actually believe that myself, that if AI becomes complex or intelligent enough it will become conscious. Probably the closest thing I have to a religious belief.
Serious question: how do you know some of them aren't already conscious?
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:01 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Serious question: how do you know some of them aren't already conscious?
I don't.
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:24 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I don't.
Fair enough. I really have no idea how we'll ever know. Sam Harris said for him it will boil down to waiting for an AI to make a compelling case (that it wasn't pre-programmed to make) that it really is conscious/sentient. Seems about right.
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:33 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It would be pretty easy to get AI to identify a human, chair, getting on chair, "retrieving something" (vs changing a lightbulb), etc. It could even be easily programmed to see "falling" in a kitchen and identify it as "accident" and as something like a 4 on a one to five scale of "accident severity/relevance".

If this would be pretty easy, you should do it straight away. A program that could run on a typical processor, and could monitor a video feed of a room and reliably detect when a person falls, would be worth hundreds of millions to the nursing home and home health care industries. (Reliability doesn't have to be perfect. A certain rate of false positives is tolerable. Think smoke detectors.) I'd invest in your start-up. It would be like free money.

Heck, if you demonstrated an AI that could monitor a video feed from a swimming pool, and reliably tell the difference between someone jumping or diving in on purpose, and someone falling in, within a year every insurance company in the world would be requiring every pool owner in the world to install one.

Now, just maybe, we're at the point where these AIs would be possible, they just wouldn't be practical for general use because they'd require a supercomputer to run on. (And yes, for some military applications of comparable difficulty that limitation might not matter.) That practical problem becomes a fundamental conceptual problem for the idea of reproducing the human brain's ability to compress raw sensory observations into narrative, as I'll show.

The problem here is, you're looking at the difficulty of a specific case, such as "detect falling in an indoor space and estimate its severity," as if it were representative of the difficulty of the problem in general. Sure you could probably configure IBM's Watson to recognize "cooking in a kitchen" and "move a chair" and "get on chair" and "retrieve something" and "read from a book" and "put down a small object" and "fall off something" in a video stream. And perhaps one might not notice at first that the narrative thus created, of a string of detected events lacking any sense of the causal connections between them or inferences therefrom (that the book is a cookbook; that the object reached for was a cooking ingredient) or any editing of the unimportant details (moving the chair), is a terribly poor one compared with what a young child could manage. But then you input a different video, say of a young child in a snowsuit climbing a snowbank with a snow saucer, sitting down in it, and then being pushed to slide down the slope by a large friendly dog, and your AI wouldn't be able to make any sense of it. You've solved zero percent of the general problem of turning a stream of sensory data into summary narrative. What you have instead is known in the business as a rigged demo.

What practical present-day AIs do to overcome such problems is to exhaust all possibilities, by taking advantage of the incredible speed of present-day processors and by constraining the range of possibilities considered. "Alexa" doesn't really figure out what you're saying; it figures out which of a limited (though large) list of possible commands you're most likely giving it.

But that won't work for the problem at hand, because the range of possibilities is too large and the processing too intensive. Remember how you'd probably need a supercomputer to monitor a video feed and reliably detect whether there's a person falling? To simultaneously detect whether there's a person reaching for something would require another supercomputer. To simultaneously detect whether there's a dog pushing a snow saucer would require another one. And so forth. Long before you run out of possibilities, you reach the limits of processing power.

But maybe that's because the input is video, which is data-intensive. Maybe you could use just one supercomputer to identify all the objects in each frame. Then a second one to keep track of continuities (e.g. movements of the same objects) from frame to frame. Then a third to determine "actions" and "events" from the continuities. (The chair continues deforming/breaking; the person begins falling.) Then a fourth judges causalities (the person falls because the chair broke). And so forth. Only the first two layers need to process actual video, to produce coded data such as words, maps, and trajectories that all the subsequent layers would use. Would that help?

It might, but it's still a formidable computational task. What would Google Inc. pay to buy a startup that had developed an AI that could reliably summarize documents? Documents are already just words, just about the lowest bandwidth data you can have, but processing meanings is very difficult, which is one of the reasons why state of the art AI language translation is poor. Can an AI read a Harry Potter novel and summarize it in a page? Not at present, or anywhere on the horizon. But a fourth grader can.

Sheesh, Myriad, what's the point? It's this. The reason you, and Marvin Minsky in 1966 when he assigned undergrads to solve machine vision in one summer, and just about everyone, vastly underestimate the difficulty of AI is that you think the world is just there for you to see. You think your eyes are like transparent windows you look out of, at things like chairs and soup pots and "reaching for things" and cause and effect and dogs pushing snow saucers, that are just there. Minsky's colleagues in 1966 were making good progress in getting computers to play chess well, which they considered one of the most difficult cognitive tasks humans are capable of. How hard could it be, by comparison, to scan a photograph of a room and find the chess board? A three year old child or a trained rat can do that. The answer, going by Moore's Law and the approximately 40 years it took to get the latter capability working well, turns out to be, about a million times harder.

The reason is that, although (at least in our empiricist world view) the objects and (arguably) events really are there, we don't perceive them anywhere close to directly. Our brains reconstruct them from the continuously changing blobs of light and color that our retinas transduce, the continuously changing frequency spectra our ears detect, and a few other signals. Our brains sort out not only the objects and positions and movements (a person climbs on a chair and reaches for a canister) but the causes and explanations (she's cooking in a kitchen and needs an ingredient from inside the canister). We don't perceive the enormous computational effort this requires. Or rather, we do, but we don't perceive it as effort. We perceive it, in part, as consciousness.
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:43 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
How does this follow from anything you said prior? Why would it be guaranteed to be conscious?

It follows the same way that it follows that a car that can go 200 miles in one hour must have speed. It's guaranteed to be conscious because what it does is what consciousness is.
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Old 20th February 2019, 08:54 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
It follows the same way that it follows that a car that can go 200 miles in one hour must have speed. It's guaranteed to be conscious because what it does is what consciousness is.

Your last two posts suggest you have no idea what we're talking about.
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Old 20th February 2019, 09:03 PM   #210
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Why must every discussion of conscious turn into a game of "The difference is the thing I'm defining and the definition is the difference?"

Every single time we try to have this discussion this happens. "Conscious" gets used to mean everything from simple sensory inputs and reactions up to a not even pretending it's not a code word for "soul" and pretty much every possible step between the two.

The label is so vague and varied it is meaningless at this point. It's a "Widget" in economic discussions, a place holder you put in to argue for what works in your argument.

I've dropped the Sword of Damocles on that particular Gordon Knot myself a long time ago by just getting over the term.

Without using the word conscious explain what problem we are trying to solve, what variable we are trying to account for, or what missing piece we are trying to find a fit for.
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Old 20th February 2019, 09:37 PM   #211
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I was waiting for Joe to show up with his "Get Offa My Lawn"-ery. lol
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Old 20th February 2019, 09:42 PM   #212
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Just FYI, the author of that really good SciAm article (he's also the author of the book "The End of Science", if you've ever heard of that) has written a whole free ebook on "this" (consciousness/the hard problem/the mind-body problem) stuff.

I'm currently reading it. It's here:
https://mindbodyproblems.com/

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Old 20th February 2019, 09:47 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Just FYI, the author of that really good SciAm article (he's also the author of the book "The End of Science", if you've ever heard of that) has written a whole free ebook on "this" (consciousness/the hard problem/the mind-body problem) stuff.

I'm currently reading it. It's here:
https://mindbodyproblems.com/

He hits the nail on the head in one paragraph which actually addresses a few posts in this thread. You can't eliminate subjectivity when what you are studying is subjectivity.

Quote:

Then I thought, Hold on, there’s a paradox here. Science is a method for eliminating subjectivity from our perceptions so we see things as they really are, we achieve objectivity, which philosopher Thomas Nagel calls “the view from nowhere.” But the mind-body problem is different from other scientific problems, because subjectivity is part of the problem. Subjectivity, you might say, is the problem. Maybe we cannot escape our subjectivity when we contemplate consciousness and other mind-related riddles. When it comes to the mind-body problem, maybe there is no view from nowhere.

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Old 21st February 2019, 12:37 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Without using the word conscious explain what problem we are trying to solve, what variable we are trying to account for, or what missing piece we are trying to find a fit for.
I have often said that the issue should be discussed without using the term "consciousness' just as the claim that free will is an illusion should be set out without using the term "free will".

It really deserves a thread of its own. I would create one but I have an appointment to get tooth picks rammed under my fingernails and I don't want to miss it.

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Old 21st February 2019, 12:45 AM   #215
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Actually, having tooth picks rammed under your fingernails is a lot easier after you have read some Dennett and realised you are not really feeling pain, it is just an illusion, you only seem to be feeling pain.

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Old 21st February 2019, 12:50 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Actually, having tooth picks rammed under your fingernails is a lot easier after you have read some Dennett and realised you are not really feeling pain, it is just an illusion, you only seem to be feeling pain.

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I ran across this last night. You'll like it.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...iousness-real/
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Old 21st February 2019, 02:49 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
But this is a pretty important step in the right direction...

"The team double-checked their work by looking at fMRI scans of 45 patients in comas or vegetative states, and showed that all of them had the network between these three regions disrupted."

Now, I'm not saying that this is the definitive cause of consciousness. Hell if I know where consciousness comes from. But it points to a possible objective cause of consciousness. Much like the DE and DM cases, we don't have to understand the absolute causes of the phenomena to believe that they are objectively present. I really don't see how this is any different.
I think this is definitely a counter-argument to the idea that consciousness is a product of any data-processing, or that any data-processing causes a distortion in the consciousness-field. If that were the case, then damage to one small part of the brain wouldn't cause consciousness to be lost. Then again, the same is true of sleep and anaesthesia - the brain is still functioning while in these states, processing a relatively massive amount of data when compared to most other data processing systems.

At the very least, it implies that only certain kinds of data-processing give rise to consciousness, which doesn't support the idea that consciousness is all-pervasive.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:07 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That's the p-zombie. That you can have all the appearance of being conscious but there are no qualia. In other words if I say to you "close your eyes and imagine a juicy red apple" you will have the qualia of the experience of a red apple. The robot would just say it is imagining the red apple but would have no qualia of the experience of a red apple, it would be lying, just as I've found out I have been doing all my life, I have no such qaulia. I cannot close my eyes and imagine a red apple, juicy or not. If qualia are a neccessary component of consciousness you have to conclude I am not conscious.
Here you're talking about qualia absent the presence of stimulus, but an absence of stimulus is not required for qualia to exist. If you feel pain then you have qualia, regardless of whether or not you can induce pain simply by thinking about it.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:10 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I think this is definitely a counter-argument to the idea that consciousness is a product of any data-processing, or that any data-processing causes a distortion in the consciousness-field. If that were the case, then damage to one small part of the brain wouldn't cause consciousness to be lost. Then again, the same is true of sleep and anaesthesia - the brain is still functioning while in these states, processing a relatively massive amount of data when compared to most other data processing systems.

At the very least, it implies that only certain kinds of data-processing give rise to consciousness, which doesn't support the idea that consciousness is all-pervasive.
I think the IIT advocates would counter that by saying, yes, but, the other non-conscious data processing still might be "proto-consciousness" (which sounds to me like "not-actually-consciousness".)
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:10 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Why must every discussion of conscious turn into a game of "The difference is the thing I'm defining and the definition is the difference?"

Every single time we try to have this discussion this happens. "Conscious" gets used to mean everything from simple sensory inputs and reactions up to a not even pretending it's not a code word for "soul" and pretty much every possible step between the two.

The label is so vague and varied it is meaningless at this point. It's a "Widget" in economic discussions, a place holder you put in to argue for what works in your argument.

I've dropped the Sword of Damocles on that particular Gordon Knot myself a long time ago by just getting over the term.

Without using the word conscious explain what problem we are trying to solve, what variable we are trying to account for, or what missing piece we are trying to find a fit for.
I think I've defined my usage pretty well. I can't speak for anybody else.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:15 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Your last two posts suggest you have no idea what we're talking about.
Translation: "I disagree".


Is Darat conscious?
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:16 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I think this is definitely a counter-argument to the idea that consciousness is a product of any data-processing, or that any data-processing causes a distortion in the consciousness-field. If that were the case, then damage to one small part of the brain wouldn't cause consciousness to be lost. Then again, the same is true of sleep and anaesthesia - the brain is still functioning while in these states, processing a relatively massive amount of data when compared to most other data processing systems.

At the very least, it implies that only certain kinds of data-processing give rise to consciousness, which doesn't support the idea that consciousness is all-pervasive.
This is a misapprehension due to confusion of definitions, as I've pointed out more than once in regard to this study. 'Conscious' in the realm of this study indicates wakefulness and responsiveness and has nothing to do with subjective internal experience. It's like watching a show on TV then snipping wire A and removing capacitor B and claiming some sort of revelation regarding radio signals when the picture shuts off.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:31 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
This is a misapprehension due to confusion of definitions, as I've pointed out more than once in regard to this study. 'Conscious' in the realm of this study indicates wakefulness and responsiveness and has nothing to do with subjective internal experience. It's like watching a show on TV then snipping wire A and removing capacitor B and claiming some sort of revelation regarding radio signals when the picture shuts off.
I was going to ask on what basis you'd claim things which are not conscious have subjective internal experiences, but then I remembered that you've already admitted that you have no evidence for it and cannot suggest a mechanism by which your hypothesis would work. So perhaps a better question is why do you believe this to be true?
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:34 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I was going to ask on what basis you'd claim things which are not conscious have subjective internal experiences, but then I remembered that you've already admitted that you have no evidence for it and cannot suggest a mechanism by which your hypothesis would work. So perhaps a better question is why do you believe this to be true?
I presume when you say 'conscious' you're meaning 'awake and responsive', otherwise your first sentence is clearly untrue. As such, evidence is pretty easy to come by. You dream, don't you? And when you dream are you awake and responsive? Nope. So there you go. Subjective internal experience when not awake and responsive.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:04 AM   #225
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You didn't answer my question.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:06 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I presume when you say 'conscious' you're meaning 'awake and responsive', otherwise your first sentence is clearly untrue. As such, evidence is pretty easy to come by. You dream, don't you? And when you dream are you awake and responsive? Nope. So there you go. Subjective internal experience when not awake and responsive.
I am awake and responsive within my dreams, though. I'm just quarantined within the internally produced dream world.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:19 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You didn't answer my question.
Of course I did. I believe it to be true because the experience is common to almost every person on the planet, including you.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I am awake and responsive within my dreams, though. I'm just quarantined within the internally produced dream world.
Of course. To a third party you are unconscious. Subjectively you are fully conscious. That's exactly what I said.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:43 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Of course I did. I believe it to be true because the experience is common to almost every person on the planet, including you.
You believe inanimate objects have a degree of consciousness because most humans do? I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.

Perhaps it's the way I phrased the question. Allow me to be clear.

You have stated that you believe there to be a consciousness field that permeates the entire universe. You have stated that the processing of data distorts this field and thereby gives rise to consciousness, at different points on a scale. You have admitted that you have no evidence to support these beliefs, and that you cannot propose a mechanism by which it would work. So why do you believe it to be true? We do, after all, have evidence that radio waves exist.

Also, FWIW, not everybody has qualia all the time. There are any number of stories of people losing consciousness and it being as if no time has passed. I myself have experienced this, when ill as a child. I was in front of the TV and lost consciousness. From my mother's POV I fell asleep for half an hour. From my POV the TV programme changed mid-sentence from being an old cop show to a nature documentary. I literally perceived it as someone on TV saying "First I'll have to run that past Colonel brown bear" with no pause, hesitation, or perception of any time having passed. If it weren't for the change in voice and the resultant sentence making no sense it would have seemed like a complete sentence spoken by a single person. Yet there was undoubtedly data processing going on inside my brain during that period.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:44 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Subjectively you are fully conscious. That's exactly what I said.
Doh! Sorry!
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:47 AM   #230
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A couple of follow-up questions, which I'll put in a separate post in case they get missed:

What does the consciousness-field hypothesis explain, or otherwise make sense of, that the idea of consciousness as an emergent property does not? Am I right in thinking that it's a less parsimonious explanation than of consciousness being an emergent property? If not, how are there fewer entities in your hypothesis? If so, why should it be preferred?
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:55 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
There are any number of stories of people losing consciousness and it being as if no time has passed. I myself have experienced this, when ill as a child. I was in front of the TV and lost consciousness. From my mother's POV I fell asleep for half an hour. From my POV the TV programme changed mid-sentence from being an old cop show to a nature documentary. I literally perceived it as someone on TV saying "First I'll have to run that past Colonel brown bear" with no pause, hesitation, or perception of any time having passed. If it weren't for the change in voice and the resultant sentence making no sense it would have seemed like a complete sentence spoken by a single person. Yet there was undoubtedly data processing going on inside my brain during that period.
This is totally off topic, but that sounds like a simple partial seizure to me, as a life long epileptic. In 2nd grade, when I was 6, my teacher would sometimes drift between talking about math (or whatever) in front of class to almost seamlessly be grabbing my chin, yelling at me inches away from my face to pay attention. "And you carry the one to over here what is wrong with you, Kelly?" with her coffee breath in my face.
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Old 21st February 2019, 05:11 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Of course I did. I believe it to be true because the experience is common to almost every person on the planet, including you.
Sounds almost empirical.
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Old 21st February 2019, 05:18 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You believe inanimate objects have a degree of consciousness because most humans do? I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.

Perhaps it's the way I phrased the question. Allow me to be clear.

You have stated that you believe there to be a consciousness field that permeates the entire universe. You have stated that the processing of data distorts this field and thereby gives rise to consciousness, at different points on a scale. You have admitted that you have no evidence to support these beliefs, and that you cannot propose a mechanism by which it would work. So why do you believe it to be true? We do, after all, have evidence that radio waves exist.
I believe consciousness exists because I experience it. I also trust those who say they have the same experience, although I have no empirical evidence that they do, so I understand that consciousness is common to all humans. Fifty years ago it was absurd to suggest a dog, or an octopus, might be conscious, because a line had been drawn under the level of the human animal and the declaration made, "Beneath this line, nothing can possibly be conscious." Now that line has been pushed down a ways to incorporate a number of other species but there is still no evidence whatsoever to demonstrate why this line should be placed where it is or even why it must exist.

In the absence of evidence, Occam's razor says there should be no line, and this is what I believe. The line is an unnecessary entity that has its origins in religious dogmatism, where the human animal stands above and outside nature and is possessed of qualities not to be found anywhere else. This is nonsense, and whilst it's true I have no evidence for my claims, it's also true that the scientists have exactly the same amount for theirs.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Also, FWIW, not everybody has qualia all the time. There are any number of stories of people losing consciousness and it being as if no time has passed. I myself have experienced this, when ill as a child. I was in front of the TV and lost consciousness. From my mother's POV I fell asleep for half an hour. From my POV the TV programme changed mid-sentence from being an old cop show to a nature documentary. I literally perceived it as someone on TV saying "First I'll have to run that past Colonel brown bear" with no pause, hesitation, or perception of any time having passed. If it weren't for the change in voice and the resultant sentence making no sense it would have seemed like a complete sentence spoken by a single person. Yet there was undoubtedly data processing going on inside my brain during that period.
This is an assumption on your part, and IMO a wrong one. You say that because you have no memory of that half hour you must have been unconscious (unconscious as in having no subjective experience, not as appearing unresponsive to a third party). In my view what happened is that, for whatever reason, the activity in your brain slowed or changed and this resulted in a reduced level of consciousness. You were still subjectively aware in the moment but not aware enough to lay down memories in the brain. Therefore, when you came to, you believed you had been unconscious.

A sleepwalker can perform tasks as complex as cooking a meal or driving a car whilst unresponsive and seemingly asleep. We're told they are unconscious, as having no internal experience, but this is based only on the 'evidence' that they don't remember their actions. This is a very naive and closed-minded approach and in my view reaches entirely incorrect conclusions.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
A couple of follow-up questions, which I'll put in a separate post in case they get missed:

What does the consciousness-field hypothesis explain, or otherwise make sense of, that the idea of consciousness as an emergent property does not? Am I right in thinking that it's a less parsimonious explanation than of consciousness being an emergent property? If not, how are there fewer entities in your hypothesis? If so, why should it be preferred?
AFAIC saying consciousness is an emergent property is the same as saying it doesn't exist. Emergent properties, by definition, have no independent reality. I believe that consciousness, or more accurately the conscious field, is as real and 'solid' as space-time, and equally - or more - fundamental.

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Old 21st February 2019, 05:36 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I believe consciousness exists because I experience it. I also trust those who say they have the same experience, although I have no empirical evidence that they do, so I understand that consciousness is common to all humans. Fifty years ago it was absurd to suggest a dog, or an octopus, might be conscious, because a line had been drawn under the level of the human animal and the declaration made, "Beneath this line, nothing can possibly be conscious." Now that line has been pushed down a ways to incorporate a number of other species but there is still no evidence whatsoever to demonstrate why this line should be placed where it is or even why it must exist.

In the absence of evidence, Occam's razor says there should be no line, and this is what I believe. The line is an unnecessary entity that has its origins in religious dogmatism, where the human animal stands above and outside nature and is possessed of qualities not to be found anywhere else. This is nonsense, and whilst it's true I have no evidence for my claims, it's also true that the scientists have exactly the same amount for theirs.
How does any of that lead to the idea of a consciousness field?

I also think you're misapplying Occam's Razor. The, as you term it, "scientists' claims" require the existence of brains and the formation of consciousness from the activity of those brains. Yours require the existence of brains, the existence of a consciousness field, a mechanism by which the processing of data interacts with this field, and the formation of consciousness from the interaction of the processing of data with the field. That's more entities required for your claims - and that's just covering consciousness in humans.

Quote:
This is an assumption on your part, and IMO a wrong one. You say that because you have no memory of that half hour you must have been unconscious (unconscious as in having no subjective experience, not as appearing unresponsive to a third party). In my view what happened is that, for whatever reason, the activity in your brain slowed or changed and this resulted in a reduced level of consciousness. You were still subjectively aware in the moment but not aware enough to lay down memories in the brain. Therefore, when you came to, you believed you had been unconscious.
That would suggest a perception of time having passed, such as when you've been in a dreamless sleep. This was like a jump-cut.

Quote:
A sleepwalker can perform tasks as complex as cooking or driving a car whilst unresponsive and seemingly asleep. We're told they are unconscious, as having no internal experience, but this is based only on the 'evidence' that they don't remember their actions. This is a very naive and closed-minded approach and in my view reaches entirely incorrect conclusions.
This is equivocation on the word "conscious". I've never seen it claimed that sleepwalkers aren't experiencing anything while they're sleepwalking. On the contrary, I've seen many stories where somnambulists were dreaming about doing one thing while physically doing something relevant to that (such as punching in their sleep because they believe themselves to be fighting an ogre). Similarly, I've never seen it suggested that we don't experience dreams we don't remember.

Quote:
AFAIC saying consciousness is an emergent property is the same as saying it doesn't exist. Emergent properties, by definition, have no independent reality.
Why does something have to have a reality independent of something else in order to exist? If I have a computer perform calculations for me do those calculations not exist? Why is more required of consciousness than of those calculations?

Quote:
I believe that consciousness, or more accurately the conscious field, is as real and 'solid' as space-time, and equally - or more - fundamental.
What does this hypothesis explain, or otherwise make sense of, that the "scientists' claims" do not?
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Old 21st February 2019, 05:58 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
How does any of that lead to the idea of a consciousness field?

I also think you're misapplying Occam's Razor. The, as you term it, "scientists' claims" require the existence of brains and the formation of consciousness from the activity of those brains. Yours require the existence of brains, the existence of a consciousness field, a mechanism by which the processing of data interacts with this field, and the formation of consciousness from the interaction of the processing of data with the field. That's more entities required for your claims - and that's just covering consciousness in humans.
My claims require fewer entities, not more. The claim that the brain creates consciousness involves two entities - brain and consciousness. I claim consciousness exists independently of brains. That's also two entities - brain and consciousnesses. Yet the claim that consciousness is unique to this set of animals over here and not present in this set over here requires another entity - the line. I don't believe that line exists. So my claims require fewer entities.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
That would suggest a perception of time having passed, such as when you've been in a dreamless sleep. This was like a jump-cut.
So you're making a distinction between dreamless sleep and your experience in terms of internal conscious awareness. What is that distinction?

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
This is equivocation on the word "conscious". I've never seen it claimed that sleepwalkers aren't experiencing anything while they're sleepwalking. On the contrary, I've seen many stories where somnambulists were dreaming about doing one thing while physically doing something relevant to that (such as punching in their sleep because they believe themselves to be fighting an ogre).
That's RBD. RBD and somnambulism are entirely separate phenomena.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Similarly, I've never seen it suggested that we don't experience dreams we don't remember.
Neither have I. That's because we can detect when someone is dreaming with very high accuracy and we have no need for subjective reporting after the event.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Why does something have to have a reality independent of something else in order to exist? If I have a computer perform calculations for me do those calculations not exist?
No, they're an abstract noun, they don't actually exist.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Why is more required of consciousness than of those calculations?
Calculations don't share any of the elements we attribute to consciousness.

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
What does this hypothesis explain, or otherwise make sense of, that the "scientists' claims" do not?
It depends which claims you mean. I don't accept that consciousness is an emergent property because that would mean it doesn't exist. I don't accept that consciousness is a direct product of the brain, and only of the brain, because that would require adoptions of unwarranted assumptions and additional entities to explain. My theory also explains certain observations such as group behaviours, where individual creatures behave as one single large one.

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Old 21st February 2019, 05:59 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
My claims require fewer entities, not more. The claim that the brain creates consciousness involves two entities - brain and consciousness.
No, they're one and the same. The claim that legs create running doesn't involve two entities; same for consciousness. Your claim requires at least one more.
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:40 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Neither have been proven. Personally, I'd say the evidence + logic strongly indicates that free will is probably an illusion, but that consciousness itself is mere illusion isn't really backed by any evidence at all. Some people just look at evidence showing how quirky and deceptive conscious experience is and use that to conclude (somehow) that the whole thing is just an illusion.

Oh. I'll take your word for it, for now. I was under the impression that both these have been kind of proven, but perhaps I was mistaken. (Haven't read the two articles you've linked, yet, but I will, when I have a bit of time. And it might be good for me to generally read a bit more on this, and, perhaps, after that, start a fresh thread on this?)


Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I have never understood the "consciousness is an illusion" claim. What does it even mean?

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I'm one of the people making the claim -- or at least, not quite claim, but at least expressing that vague impression. But reading your post, I realize that far from being able to actually back this claim (or impression), I'm hard pressed to even define this properly.

Just to address the definition part, the what-does-it-even-mean that you ask, I guess I'd say: Consciousness is probably no big deal. Absolutely not unique to humans. Probably all animals, at least higher animals, have it. Although I suppose there'd be a scale, going from lower to higher.

That is, 'most everything -- at least, (higher) animals -- is conscious, also means I suppose that consciousness is an illusion, in as much as it is simply an intrinsic part of simply being alive with some complexity.



This isn't a claim, or an overture for debate (although certainly, a discussion on this with others better informed than I am would be welcome). I'm not equipped for that, not yet, not without a great deal more reading on this. Given that I'd forwarded the view that consciously is probably an illusion, I thought I'd try to answer your question, and tell you what it might mean.

Why just animals, why not plants? Why not amoeba? If you ask me that, I'll simply shrug, and say "perhaps, who knows?"
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Old 21st February 2019, 08:49 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Your last two posts suggest you have no idea what we're talking about.
It seems to me that the first of those posts revealed considerable knowledge of the matters Myriad was discussing.
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Old 21st February 2019, 08:51 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
It seems to me that the first of those posts revealed considerable knowledge of the matters Myriad was discussing.
Yeah but he disagreed with him, so clearly he's wrong.
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Old 21st February 2019, 09:04 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
O
I'm one of the people making the claim -- or at least, not quite claim, but at least expressing that vague impression
The Hard Problem goes further than that. It asks, implicitly, If consciousness is an illusion, who is experiencing that illusion?

When you look around you, everything you experience is created from scratch 'inside' your brain. That whole three dimensional, tactile, aromatic world is entirely modelled from the electric impulses of your nervous system. I presume when you say that consciousness is an illusion you're referring to the the fact that none of this has an independent existence, which is true, but that's only part of the story. Without some observational element an illusion cannot exist. Who, or what, is doing the observing?

Another puzzler is why I have never - literally never in my life - typed illusion without first spelling it illlustion?
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