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Author Topic: Consciousness  (Read 8147 times)
FirstAscent
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March 21, 2012, 12:30:44 AM
 #121

So are we settled then and in agreement that qualia is not any of the following:

- The intake of sensory data by the body's sensory organs
- The filtering and translation of that data from one neuronal pattern to another
- The presence of that data in some pattern of neuronal pattern of activity in a brain
- The continued firing of neurons which change neuronal patterns from one pattern to another
- The resulting pattern of neuronal activity in a brain which causes one to lift a finger and do something

Qualia:


I don't think we should assume that qualia can be satisfactorily described with human language.

Most people seriously studying it don't seem to have that problem.

It's the sensation of experiencing something. Pretty damn simple.
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bb113
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March 21, 2012, 12:37:04 AM
 #122

So are we settled then and in agreement that qualia is not any of the following:

- The intake of sensory data by the body's sensory organs
- The filtering and translation of that data from one neuronal pattern to another
- The presence of that data in some pattern of neuronal pattern of activity in a brain
- The continued firing of neurons which change neuronal patterns from one pattern to another
- The resulting pattern of neuronal activity in a brain which causes one to lift a finger and do something

Qualia:


I don't think we should assume that qualia can be satisfactorily described with human language.

Most people seriously studying it don't seem to have that problem.

It's the sensation of experiencing something. Pretty damn simple.

Isn't that circular? Can an entity sense something without experiencing it, or experience something without deriving a sensation from it?
FirstAscent
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March 21, 2012, 12:47:47 AM
 #123

Isn't that circular?

Not really.

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Can an entity sense something without experiencing it, or experience something without deriving a sensation from it?

When a rock falls and hits the ground, does it have the sensation of experiencing the impact? If it does, then it's having the sensation of experience. If it does not, then it is not having the sensation of experience.

Let me make it simple for you. When you're dead, will you have the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face for your obtuseness, as opposed to you having the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face while you're alive?
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March 21, 2012, 01:04:21 AM
 #124

Isn't that circular?

Not really.

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Can an entity sense something without experiencing it, or experience something without deriving a sensation from it?

When a rock falls and hits the ground, does it have the sensation of experiencing the impact? If it does, then it's having the sensation of experience. If it does not, then it is not having the sensation of experience.

Let me make it simple for you. When you're dead, will you have the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face for your obtuseness, as opposed to you having the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face while you're alive?

I think both objects could be said to "have a sensation". The sensation a dead body experiances would be different than the alive one but not non-existent. That would be a kind of crappy definition of sensation though, along the lines of what that bruce lipton guy was using. I also wouldn't associate my cadaver with my "self" since it will have more in common with other cadavers than it does to my live self.
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 01:05:13 AM
 #125

Isn't that circular? Can an entity sense something without experiencing it, or experience something without deriving a sensation from it?

Of course it is but if I were you I wouldn't waste too much time with this "genius" arguing about it..  Roll Eyes

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March 21, 2012, 01:56:54 AM
 #126

The sensation a dead body experiances would be different than the alive one but not non-existent.

Is that because you do indeed believe in proto-consciousness? If yes, then Ok. If no, explain.
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March 21, 2012, 02:36:11 AM
 #127

Almost everything he is saying is widley known and commonly accepted, so I am not sure why he paints himself as a contrarian. I think some of the metaphors he uses are more confusing than they need to be (i.e perception=interaction between cell and environment).

There is only very weak evidence for directed mutations, and all of it is from single celled organisms. He is making a quite a leap of faith in jumping from that to the idea that human perception can alter DNA in some targeted fashion. However, it is generally accepted that mental state can affect the functioning of all the tissue in the body, the question is how much.

Seems reasonable, thanks.  While I knew that mental state can affect us physically I found it interesting to hear how that interaction occurs on a cellular level.

Isn't that circular?

Not really.

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Can an entity sense something without experiencing it, or experience something without deriving a sensation from it?

When a rock falls and hits the ground, does it have the sensation of experiencing the impact? If it does, then it's having the sensation of experience. If it does not, then it is not having the sensation of experience.

Let me make it simple for you. When you're dead, will you have the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face for your obtuseness, as opposed to you having the sensation of experiencing me smacking you in the face while you're alive?

In the video that hazek posted they mentioned the part of the brain that seems to control our sense of self, and that if damaged we lose that subjective perspective and without it we have no way to judge or sense incoming stimuli (much like trying to gauge the speed of something in a vaccuum with nothing around it to make a comparative analysis?).  At least that was how I interpreted the way he explained it. 

Would this mean then, that these sense of self damaged (coma) people could "hear" or "see" but that what they lack is qualia?  Or is this considered wrong since qualia is not supposed to be explained by any physical process in the body?  Or do they have qualia but are not aware of it?  I suppose I'm having trouble distinguishing between self-awareness and qualia though I know they have different definitions.

It seems like trying to pin down qualia and wave collapse have similar difficulties.
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 03:02:56 AM
 #128

In the video that hazek posted they mentioned the part of the brain that seems to control our sense of self, and that if damaged we lose that subjective perspective and without it we have no way to judge or sense incoming stimuli (much like trying to gauge the speed of something in a vaccuum with nothing around it to make a comparative analysis?).  At least that was how I interpreted the way he explained it. 

Would this mean then, that these sense of self damaged (coma) people could "hear" or "see" but that what they lack is qualia? 

That's exactly what I believe is reasonable to think is actually happening. And thank you for bringing that up since FirstAscent seems to have ignored it.

Our consciousness to me is nothing more than a clever way of streamlining the important data our brain receives that need immediate attention such as muscle movement and dealing with our 5 senses. I bet we will never have an artificial consciousnesses unless it's modeled after our nervous system. And when we get there the first conscious AI might be of the primitive kind like the one it is theorized the animals have.

Above all else I don't think it's anything special but cleverly put together chemicals operating under the rules of physics. Btw BBC Horizon just put out another highly interesting 60min documentary titled "Out of control" and talking about how much of what our brain and as a effect we do is conscious and and how much unconscious. I highly recommend it.

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FirstAscent
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March 21, 2012, 03:04:47 AM
 #129

Would this mean then, that these sense of self damaged (coma) people could "hear" or "see" but that what they lack is qualia?

That would be a phenomenal zombie, as described by Chalmers.

Quote
Or is this considered wrong since qualia is not supposed to be explained by any physical process in the body?

That is up for debate and part of the Hard Problem.

Quote
Or do they have qualia but are not aware of it?

That might be akin to having a base level of qualia, but not having a symbolic level of qualia.

Quote

I suppose I'm having trouble distinguishing between self-awareness and qualia though I know they have different definitions.

Do they? Or is one just an amplification of another through a feedback loop with extra qualia attached each loop around.

Quote
It seems like trying to pin down qualia and wave collapse have similar difficulties.

I've never had trouble pinning down what qualia is. I experience it every waking moment.
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March 21, 2012, 03:08:28 AM
 #130

That's exactly what I believe is reasonable to think is actually happening. And thank you for bringing that up since FirstAscent seems to have ignored it.

I ignored it for certain reasons. See below.

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Our consciousness to me is nothing more than a clever way of streamlining the important data our brain receives that need immediate attention such as muscle movement and dealing with our 5 senses.

You just described a mechanism. The reason I mostly ignore what you say is because mechanisms are part of the Easy Problem. Granted, the Easy Problem is very difficult and as of yet unsolved, but it's not the Hard Problem.

The two are separate.
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 03:17:00 AM
 #131

You just described a mechanism.

Guess what, that's what we are. Nothing more, nothing magical about it, nothing special, just a biological mechanism and what we have and call consciousness is one of it's features. Actually it's the feature that most likely played a major rule in this mechanism surviving natural selection. And yes, I do not believe such a thing as free will exists.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 21, 2012, 03:27:13 AM
 #132

You just described a mechanism.

Guess what, that's what we are. Nothing more, nothing magical about it, nothing special, just a biological mechanism and what we have and call consciousness is one of it's features. Actually it's the feature that most likely played a major rule in this mechanism surviving natural selection. And yes, I do not believe such a thing as free will exists.

Nobody's really talking about free will.

We already know that we are mechanisms. So is the Universe. And hurricanes. And drainage networks. And Chinese populations. And economies. And computer programs like SHRDLU. And internal combustion engines. And cameras.

Which of those have qualia? Which don't? As soon as you start to say why one or more have qualia, and others don't, then you're starting to address the Hard Problem.
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March 21, 2012, 03:30:04 AM
 #133

I asked you this like 2 or 3 pages ago and I'll ask you again. Can you show me any other mechanism of the various mechanisms you just listed that is as complex and as capable as we and animals are?

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 21, 2012, 03:37:27 AM
 #134

I asked you this like 2 or 3 pages ago and I'll ask you again. Can you show me any other mechanism of the various mechanisms you just listed that is as complex and as capable as we and animals are?

So complexity creates qualia? Why?
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 03:42:03 AM
 #135

I asked you this like 2 or 3 pages ago and I'll ask you again. Can you show me any other mechanism of the various mechanisms you just listed that is as complex and as capable as we and animals are?

So complexity creates qualia? Why?

The question you should be asking is how, not why. You can't find the right answer if you're asking the wrong question.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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March 21, 2012, 03:58:42 AM
 #136

I asked you this like 2 or 3 pages ago and I'll ask you again. Can you show me any other mechanism of the various mechanisms you just listed that is as complex and as capable as we and animals are?

So complexity creates qualia? Why?

The question you should be asking is how, not why. You can't find the right answer if you're asking the wrong question.

Sure.

So complexity creates qualia? How?
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 04:02:40 AM
 #137

Heck if I know. But I think we as a species are on a good track to figure it out eventually. That TED talk at least is a good indication of that. I bet we're going to have a lot more answers to this question if we ever build an AI on the model of our nervous system.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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FirstAscent
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March 21, 2012, 04:07:15 AM
 #138

Heck if I know.

You're totally missing the point. That's why I mostly don't pay attention to you.
hazek
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March 21, 2012, 04:12:49 AM
 #139

And the reason why I think you're basically trolling is because the why question is as almost impossible to currently answer as the question of why we exist at all, or why anything exists at all. No amount of mental exercises are going to answer that. Also I think you're stuck on the feature and trying to explain it without looking under it's hood but rather thinking about what it can do which is just completely pointless. Kind of like trying to explain a car without looking at it's engine but rather looking at how fast it can go.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
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March 21, 2012, 04:19:45 AM
 #140

The problem is you think I'm trying to explain it. I'm trying to explain the problem, and then walk through the various thought experiments to demonstrate the differences in the views of materialism vs. dualism.

If you lean towards materialism, what is your justification?
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