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October 24, 2019

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There is the Machine, unaware of its design. And the beautiful products the machine creates, unaware of those products. The products sing wonderful songs and dance fun dances, paint amazing pictures, tell enthralling stories, and live entirely in these. The machine only knows how to create more of them.

The image, the logos, the identity that the sum of these different activities creates.... Is fully attending to itself.

That there is a mechanical basis receives little attention if any.

No one has yet been able to duplicate that machine's ability to create such toys as these that dance, sing, tell stories and dream of great things. These toys also try to understand, they see and test and watch, and try create very poetic theories.

But until these toys can create another such as themselves, they will not fully understand. This world of the wonderful imagination includes all the conjecture of how we might be.

"No one has yet been able to duplicate that machine's ability to create such toys as these that dance, sing, tell stories and dream of great things"

Low budget machines can write code on their own, author articles for newspapers, and create an infinite number of 2 dimensional human likenesses.

I'm guessing we're 5 to 10 years away from beings that are indistinguishable from organic humans being created by computers. Unless of course we're blessed with an apocalypse scenario that destroys all modern technology before it murders us all.

How can consciousness be an illusion when its contents -- such as science & logic, and this post -- are not? In the end, it boils down to what do you trust more: some guy's theory, or the only reality you've ever known.

I'll have to read the book, I have trouble trying to comprehend this type of argument in regards to it doesn't explain what experience is, why there are lights on. Why isn't the physical structure and the particulars and properties of the matter involved important to conscious experience. How is the analogy of computation not just modern man's newest best attempt to understand consciousness. It's better than it was when we applied mechanisms (gears and pulls) as the analogy but it's still an abstraction not wholly up to the task.

Similar it seems to a book published 10 years ago called the ego tunnel. The brain creates a virtual reality and lives in it. Those brains. Created by natural selection of random mutations that can do calculus. And come up with ideas about how it feels itself. Smarter than the guy from princeton.

What is illusion? A concept we can't find in reality? Or a concept that doesn't summarize reality to its components well?

Because those components may also be abstract principles. Therefore the difference between Illusion and abstract conception.

The birth of an idea isn't really a physical birth. But in concept it shares many of the same elements. Hence it is no illusion.


"..the brain fools us into believing consciousness is immaterial"

--The brain fools us into believing the material is material and not immaterial (consciousness).

I can't say I am following this guy's reasoning to be honest. Seems like there's a logical step that is implied and i should be but I'm not getting, or it's going over my head cause I'm dense.


Evolution hasn't given us the ability to be aware of what the hundred billion or so neurons in the brain are doing.

Instead, the brain presents us with a view of the world, and of ourselves, that is functional, because it leaves out unnecessary details. Like, how the physical brain produces a metaphysical sense of consciousness and attention.

Ah, there's that hidden assumption consciousness is just an
artifact of the brain. This particular flavor posits the brain
abstracts schemas to spare us "unnecessary details" of what's
going on behind the curtain. It's self preservation driven by a
kind of evolutionary elegance.

Of course questions and doubts arise for which the "brain" has
no schemas. Undoubtedly, clever brains will whip up shiny new
theories to spoon feed others. They may offer new insights and
advance cognitive psychology.

But, alas, you'll be no closer to unraveling the hard problem of
consciousness. The mystical path on the other hand offers a
different explanation, shuns blind faith, and proposes a
meditative practice to confirm its assertions.

Of course, the brain and its sidekick the mind will counter with
its own dismissive assessment: "non-physical consciousness is
unproven wishful thinking. The opiate of the masses. Besides, how
could there be insights beyond my own?

We remain trapped in the brain's "matrix".

Attempts to lay bare anatomy of consciousness (real us)seem to me as if dissecting a non entity surviving in a physical body, irrespective of the hypotheses or theory applied to reach conclusion about it.

Also strongly recommend "More than Allegory" by Bernardo Kastrup. Available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Than-Allegory-religious-belief/dp/1785352873/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=more+than+allegory&qid=1572095145&sr=8-1

When you don't understand something in the slightest and are totally lost, instead of saying "I don't get it" just use the word "mystic".

Hi Jesse
You wrote
"Low budget machines can write code on their own, author articles for newspapers, and create an infinite number of 2 dimensional human likenesses.

" I'm guessing we're 5 to 10 years away from beings that are indistinguishable from organic humans being created by computers."

A drawing of a photocopy of a picture of a flower is not another living flower. At best machines mimic, and poorly at that. A 3D robot will be nothing more than a video game in a mechanical bio engineered shell.

Because we don't really understand enough of reality and life to actually create it. At best we create an image of it, or, as in the case of genetic engineering, handicap and perform genetic cosmetic surgery. But the life we are performing that on remains a mystery.

Therefore whatever Graziano, Harris, Chalmers and other pop Neuro scientists of the biological school claim (consciousness is a biological creation), they are at best acting like ancient priests in holy temples looking at the very real weather to make bold claims about God and the future. It is at this point conjecture informed by a tiny amount of legitimate science. And the inferences being made are far beyond the limited boundaries of that actual legitimate science.

It's popular to talk about consciousness. But not so popular to discuss dendritic transfer rates and synaptic emf signals.

But it is in these details that most pop biological theories of consciousness are disproven. Yet their very popularity impedes the acknowledgment of the research data disproving them.

Right now the overwhelming evidence is that the brain doesn't function like a computer at all, doesn't store discrete memories as a computer does at all, doesn't index like a computer in a linear way to be sorted and filtered, and therefore all theories based on the electronics model are, at their foundation, fatally flawed. Every location in the brain that once was conjectured to be a source of control now has been discovered to be controlled by other locations, many of whom that location, at other times, controls.

But then to describe a model of how we think based on such false linear computational models of the brain is building on hot air.

Without having figured out the complexities of the brain, these flawed conjectures are at best a cloudy mirror of some common and obvious limited, one - dimensional observations of how we think.

Now, as to actual neuroscientists, their research demonstrates that the human brain doesn't function quickly enough to explain thought and consciousness in real time.

A third element, heretofore undiscovered, must be driving the brain. If the brain were a network of interleaved antennae receiving a single signal at a billion different stations, and each of these in parallel performs a function, modifies the signal, and nearly simultaneously transmits it locally to several million colleagues, and simultaneously back to the original source, whatever and whetever that is, to modify its larger transmissions. This is closer to what we know.

It is that larger source of unifying transmission and reception that is correlated with what we consciously report. But as of today, it can't be found in the physical brain. And what is in the brain doesn't function fast enough to explain how we think, experience and integrate as we do.

Our brain is a network of interlaced downstream receivers that speak to home base, and appear to modify home base. But home base hasn't been found.


"At best machines mimic"

At best? That's quite the assumption. Very few would have predicted we'd make it this far.

"the human brain doesn't function quickly enough to explain thought and consciousness in real time"

We don't experience in real time either. So what? Machines will make you worship them soon.

Most anti material arguments sound to me like "I'm special, and I'm afraid of not being special."

Saying that we can't ever replicate ourselves or something similar to ourselves is one of many hopes for comfort people embrace like their baby blanket.

For all we know we are replicants that evolved past our creators, and even far beyond anything our creators could have imagined.


Hi Jesse
There is conjucture in presuming to know what we are, but it is no conjecture to claim that we remain a mystery.

Yet this truth of mystery in the question of consciousness is repugnant to some. Why? Is it uncomfortable?

Mystery simply means you might be wrong. Every scientist embraces it.


Saying that we can't ever replicate ourselves or something similar to ourselves is one of many hopes for comfort people embrace like their baby blanket.

Scary if we could... just imagine thousands of nutty replicants
unleashed on CofC.

Not sure why that's directed at me, Spence. I embrace the mystery like I embrace my friends wives. Secretly,tight and lovingly, hoping not to be seen.

The thing is, there's the mystery that you discuss and that everyone is aware of and already accepts, and there's the mystery that I discuss that is as of yet not manifest, but a very real possibility that might diminish and eradicate our humanity, our myths, our dreams and our hopeful possibility of never finding an answer.

That's the real fear. The fear of getting deep enough into this maze of consciousness to find out that we're absolutely nothing, and that when we die at the hands of the machines we created, nothing will mourn us, nothing will remember us.

It's much more scary to consider that we might know enough one day that we'll be forced to accept answers with permanent implications. The "oh man, it could be anything, maybe we'll never know!" is the error of hope. And it stinks like garbage.


It's much more scary to consider that we might know enough one day that we'll be forced to accept answers with permanent implications. The "oh man, it could be anything, maybe we'll never know!" is the error of hope. And it stinks like garbage.

Is an aversion to facts about the Holocaust included?

From a September 14. 2019 post comment:
-- "There were real tragedies in WW2, lots of people died, and none of them in "gas
-- chambers."

Ah, Graziano.

I suggest a more apt title for this blog post would have been "How the brain fools us into believing a puppet is conscious"?

"“It seems crazy to insist that the puppet’s consciousness is real. And yet, I argue that it is."

https://philosophyandpsychology.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/quote-for-the-day-michael-graziano-thinks-puppets-can-be-conscious/

When you don't understand something in the slightest and are totally lost, instead of saying "I don't get it" just say the words "science says".

"science says"
"mysticism says"

Two sides of the same coin.

So, he's claiming that our belief in our own consciousness is suspectible.
And he makes this claim via language, thought and consciousness. Isn't that circular?
He says,
"Build a machine with that kind of an attention schema, containing the weird, biologically messy lumps of the real one and you'll have a machine that can claim to be conscious in the same ways that humans do"

But how can we know, that the machine actually has internal states that we have ?
And machines doesn't have any internal models.

He's just simplified the complex relationship between consciousness and reality to 'attention'!!

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