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White Crane Feather
11 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

So much on Netflix, so little time. :) My adult nephews watch it and recommend it, but i just haven't had the time  

The idea has been around for at least half a century in  books and films  There was a film called something  like,  The illusionist",  which used the technique as a magic trick, having got the technology from  Nicholas Tesla,  but they allowed one of the clones to drown every time. 

Yeah saw that one. Black mirror has a lot of episodes around the theme of copying your consciousness into computers and putting them into artificial environments. Some episodes focus on the potential for slavery while other episodes explore more utilitarian functions that can help humanity. Imagine having an app with your consciousness downloaded into it. The app searches your surroundings until it links with a potential mates app. Then the two apps run a high speed simulation with the two consciousness that covers thousands of years worth of dating and only comes back with a match if 99% of the time you have an extremely positive outcome after thousands of trials. 

The possibilities are endless. 

By the way. One of my students just got a fellowship to Harvard and is now working on building quantum materials. She was telling me all about it over lunch the other week. Things are indeed moving. 

 

Edited by White Crane Feather
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joc
2 hours ago, White Crane Feather said:

I guess I just don’t understand where you are comeinfrom when discussing this particular subject. We do have the right technology and knowledge to land on mars et all. It’s just a matter of putting it to use and building it. We can cure aids. A bone marrow transplant with someone that has a natural immunity will cure it. Is it moral? Maybe if we can start cloneing said marrow, but as of right now I doubt that tiny population of people wants to be a pin cushion, and we’d have to test thousand and thousands of people for immunity. I suppose that could be done in a lab with extracted marrow, but the other option is absolutely immorl too. We also have the tech to put animals into stasis and bring them back, but there are also moral concerns about humans.

 A planet killing nuke is just about scale. A war head the size of a skyscraper should do it. Easy enough if the right resources are applied, but why build one when you can build many.

Anyway. My original point is That we can accomplish a lot of things with Manhattan project style focus, and some of those things can propel humanity leaps forward if we just find away to make them happen. 

My thought process it's not really hard to understand. I live in a world called Now.

The past only exists as memory...the future only exists as anticipation.  Right now...we do not have the technology available to step foot on Mars. In ten years we very well may.  Right now we don't.   Nor do we have the technology to make a nuclear weapon the size of the Empire State Building.  Potential does not equal reality.  We do have Lazer Weapons on ships in our Navy.  But when President Reagan suggested it we did NOT have the technology. He knew we had the potential to create them.  

The only difference is, I live in the real world, and you live in anticipation of what may be and then claim that it already is...when it obviously isn't.

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Horta

 

On 8/22/2018 at 9:47 PM, joc said:

It isn't the ethics that will prevent it...the impossibility of it is the point. Consciousness is more than what you believe it is.   A classic case of reading science and believing it. Get past the voodoo...and think about it.

What is your definition of "consciousness"?

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Even if...it was technologically possible to download human memory...what you would have is 'memory' on a disc. 

Memory is only one function of the mind though, so that's a little bit of a strawman. Then again, even memories themselves aren't so much remembered as recreated, which is why they are so fallible.

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Memory does not equal consciousness. 

I agree. What does?

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Consciousness = Life.

What about brain damaged people? Those who are alive but not conscious? Coma patients? What about people who are (properly) anaethsetised? They don't appear to be conscious. What about a turnip lol...would being alive make it conscious?

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joc
20 hours ago, Horta said:

 

What is your definition of "consciousness"?

con·scious·ness
ˈkän(t)SHəsnəs/
noun
 
  1. the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.
    "she failed to regain consciousness and died two days later"
    • the awareness or perception of something by a person.
      plural noun: consciousnesses
      "her acute consciousness of Mike's presence"
    • the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.
      "consciousness emerges from the operations of the brain"

Memory is only one function of the mind though, so that's a little bit of a strawman. Then again, even memories themselves aren't so much remembered as recreated, which is why they are so fallible.

In our conscious state we are able to access our memories and infuse them into our conscious thought process.  That is a 'living' condition.

I agree. What does?

See above definition of Consciousness

What about brain damaged people? Those who are alive but not conscious? Coma patients? What about people who are (properly) anaethsetised? They don't appear to be conscious. What about a turnip lol...would being alive make it conscious?

That would be a condition known as Unconscious...but as you said, they are alive...Both conscious and unconscious are conditions of living entities...for example a rock is neither conscious or unconscious.

I don't know whether turnips have consciousness or not...you would have to ask one I suppose.  Call any vegetable, call it by name, it will respond to you...(Zappa)  It is interesting however that many weeds appear next to plants that they have remarkable similarity to.  

 

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Horta
On 9/13/2018 at 9:29 PM, joc said:

In our conscious state we are able to access our memories and infuse them into our conscious thought process.  That is a 'living' condition.

No, machines are exponentially better at recalling and processing memory than humans.  This "living" condition and consciousness are an expression of the same basic matter and fundamental forces of nature as everything else, underneath it all. It's a mechanical process, there is no magic.

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I don't know whether turnips have consciousness or not...you would have to ask one I suppose.  Call any vegetable, call it by name, it will respond to you...(Zappa)  It is interesting however that many weeds appear next to plants that they have remarkable similarity to.

Obviously turnips aren't conscious which therefore makes "consciousness=life" wrong, doesn't it? 

It seems close to certainty that human level intelligence and consciousness will be replicated in machines. The virtual simulations of small mammal brain regions looks promising. They react to stimuli the same as normal brains do. Soon after the processing power is available, the human brain is going to be replicated. IMO consciousness (to the extant that separates us from other critters) is not something we are born with anyway, it's learned socially.

 

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joc
9 hours ago, Horta said:

No, machines are exponentially better at recalling and processing memory than humans.  This "living" condition and consciousness are an expression of the same basic matter and fundamental forces of nature as everything else, underneath it all. It's a mechanical process, there is no magic..

 

Yeah, I get that Horta, but there is one very small detail you are not including in your explanation.  That detail is the fact that machines have no 'thought process'.  They cannot take the memory they possess and infuse it into their thought process...bdcause they don't have one. A thought is much more than a series of ones and zeros expressed in an algorithm.

See, here is the rub: without machines...we still have thought process.  Without us...machines are very soon inanimate objects.  They require electricity, provided by us.  They require programming...in and of themselves, there is no magic.

 

HORTA Quoted:

Obviously turnips aren't conscious which therefore makes "consciousness=life" wrong, doesn't it? 

---------------------------------------

There was a study done once where a group of people walked single file by some plants that were wired to polygraph machines.  One person stopped and burned a plant with a cigarette lighter.  The plant responded with a series of lines drawn on a graph...like an EKG for example.

Then the same group of people walked by with no one stopping...but...when the person that had burned the plant walked by...the plant responded with a series of lines drawn on a graph. The conclusion was that even plants have consciousness.

 

HORTA Quoted:

It seems close to certainty that human level intelligence and consciousness will be replicated in machines. The virtual simulations of small mammal brain regions looks promising. They react to stimuli the same as normal brains do. Soon after the processing power is available, the human brain is going to be replicated. IMO consciousness (to the extant that separates us from other critters) is not something we are born with anyway, it's learned socially.

------------------------

It seems far from certainty that will ever happen.

Consciousness IS not learned lol.

I will be redundant with my lizard story...sigh.

On a certain Island in the Galapagos...the only living creatures are iguana lizards and snakes. The lizards are aware of the snakes when they hatch from their eggs. Before they exit the sand they are hatched under they first pop an eye out of the sand...scanning the environment for snakes.

The Magic Horta...is  Living Tissue.

Edited by joc

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Horta
On 9/20/2018 at 6:36 AM, joc said:

Yeah, I get that Horta, but there is one very small detail you are not including in your explanation.  That detail is the fact that machines have no 'thought process'.  They cannot take the memory they possess and infuse it into their thought process...bdcause they don't have one. A thought is much more than a series of ones and zeros expressed in an algorithm.

 

 

Machines can take an immense amount of information, process it (including the use of memory), and then make decisions based on that. The computer in your car does it. That seems the very definition of a thought process. What type of "thought process" are you referring to? 

 

A series of silicon based electrical switches (0's-1's), or carbon based chemical reactions and firing neurons, it's still all mechanical and in principle, able to be replicated. 

 

The difficulty is first defining consciousness. It is rarely separated from "cognition" sufficiently (IMO) and usually rather vaguely stated and assumed with all manner of qualities. Yet these assumptions never seem to be supported with anything other than a personal intuitive feeling. The “wishy washy” dictionary definition as given could probably apply to a smart phone. 

What people really seem to believe is the notion of a separate  and distinct “I” inside of their heads that has "agency", is in control, does the thinking, and somehow (miraculously) makes unencumbered decisions. It simply doesn’t happen this way, it’s an illusion. There is obviously something going on, but there is no real evidence for this type of consciousness, the universe that we know of so far has no provision for it, and all experiments which could in some way shed light on it indicate something very different happening. In reality every brain state is the end result of evolution, via mechanical processes that "we" are unaware of and have no say in. Thoughts also arrive via processes we are oblivious to, and the thoughts that do arrive are something “we” have no genuine control over anyway.

Quote

See, here is the rub: without machines...we still have thought process.  Without us...machines are very soon inanimate objects.  They require electricity, provided by us.  They require programming...in and of themselves, there is no magic.

 

Biological forms require an energy source, otherwise they are soon also "inanimate". Though we have the benefit of billions of years of programming via genetic mutations and natural selection to fit into our environment, but we are still biological machines. Our energy needs are therefore far more complex than those of a simple machine. A solar cell and a battery, versus hunting, foraging for, harvesting all manner of other biological species to consume, specific atmospheric requirements, water, huge amounts of excreted waste and so on. 

Quote

There was a study done once where a group of people walked single file by some plants that were wired to polygraph machines.  One person stopped and burned a plant with a cigarette lighter.  The plant responded with a series of lines drawn on a graph...like an EKG for example.

 

Then the same group of people walked by with no one stopping...but...when the person that had burned the plant walked by...the plant responded with a series of lines drawn on a graph. The conclusion was that even plants have consciousness

 

If that is "consciousness" then machines have long had the ability to react to stimulus. Smart phones can easily tell if it is their owner that wants to unlock/ use them, for instance. 

Quote

It seems far from certainty that will ever happen.

 

We are entering the area where exponential improvements in technology will become more apparent and make this inevitable. We only need more miniaturisation. As a hobbyist I can remember valves and "cat's whisker" diodes. Then transistors, then a small silicon chip replacing millions of transistors... 

 

It's already been done in principle, simply by replicating the neural activity of the brains of small mammals. Once the processing power is available, it'll eventually happen in full.

 

I can see where humans will integrate with technology first, blurring the lines between machine and human to begin with. It's been gradually happening since pacemakers, then cochlea implants, all manner of joint replacements. Electronic implants are already available to take the place of certain brain areas for conditions such as epilepsy. I have no doubt the average person would already integrate their smart phone into their brain if they could lol. It would save them the trouble of strolling around fixated on some little device they are addicted to and need to carry around absolutely everywhere ( which is something that I find somewhat disconcerting in itself).

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Consciousness IS not learned lol.

 

Our "consciousness" simply doesn’t exist in the way assumed, and anyway I’m using a specific definition. As in, the cognitive abilities that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom (not discounting that other species do appear to have limited or rudimentary form of it, with similar basic ability to communicate). An internal mind space that allows for a feeling an "I" that has a sense of “agency”, the patron in the "Cartesian theatre" of Dennet, a "thinker of thoughts" that is entirely separate from the thoughts themselves, an unrestrained "deliberator/ decision maker" and so on. 

 

"Consciousness" has no discreet or dedicated energetic or biological basis (other than a functioning brain). Which means it is a psychological phenomena that has a social and cultural basis and developed along with communication (language) and the gradual ability to think in metaphor IMO. If we didn't have this, we would have a very different mentality, and there would correspondingly be no "I" to be conscious. We would be a mammal without an inner dialogue, living on instinct. In fact, it probably wouldn't be quite as far removed from what we have presently as most people think. We are only occasionally "conscious" anyway. Then again, "consciousness" doesn't stop this from happening as much as mask it in an illusion.

 

Although it is less clear whether language itself has some form of dedicated biological basis. (I should also note this is not a pov original to myself, though one I agree with). That's why "consciousness" can't really be genuinely quantified, accurately measured or studied directly. It's only the claim of being conscious that can really be studied (and is where the only ground is being made IMO). Although there is something there, but it isn’t what it’s assumed to be (and clung to quite frantically by many). It will be replicated in machines.

If you were always “conscious” joc, you must have been quite the prodigy…

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joc
53 minutes ago, Horta said:

What type of "thought process" are you referring to? 

The type that is involved in replying to your post.  My reply is more than an algorithm.  I do not have a preset memory of responses that are available for me to choose from.  While I am responding, I am also looking out of my window at the chickens and thinking that I need to set a trap for a possum I believe is getting into the coop and eating eggs.  I am also thinking about going to work this morning and thinking about a check I need to deposit while also contemplating the story I just read of 60 stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving and noting that the one my daughter works at will be open and how that might affect our Thanksgiving plans since my sister and her family two hours away will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year.

I am also wondering how effective the fire ant bait was that I put out two days ago...and...noticing how high the grass is since the rains we had, and considering the possibility it might rain this weekend, I am wondering if I should reschedule my work day and mow the yard instead...which would mean that I have to go deposit my check first and then go to Home Depot and get a tarp so that I can put it down on the ground and lay on it while power washing underneath my lawnmower which I obviously need to do before I can mow.  Plus, I need to stop and get gas for the lawnmower. Crap! I'm going to have to weedeat around the lawnmower ramp before I lay my tarp down...oh but that reminds me...get OFF at Home Depot because the mosquitos and chiggers are killer right now.

And then there are the two by fours I need to get at home depot, because I want to finish the fence that I started yesterday around the pool equipment.  See, I thought yesterday that I should set the poles in concrete first and then do the rest later so I made time in my afternoon to do that...I really want to build the fence  sooner than later because I have all of these boards which I am using to build the fence sitting in my garage.  Which reminds me how I got the boards to begin with.  I didn't buy them...I found them.   But not because I was looking for boards to build a fence.  My daughter wanted me to make her a board thingy to hang coffee cups on and I was in a neighborhood where  a lot of stuff was on the street in front of various houses because it was Pick up your Crap day in Dallas...and I saw some boards so I grabbed a couple.  But this lady was walking her dog and told me that on such and such street there were a lot of boards.  So I googled such and such street and Bammo...I scored 50 cedar boards...perfect size for the fence I wanted to build.

And I need to get all my chores done because I am going out of town Friday to watch a dance my daughter is performing in. 

But now I need to go because I have a lot to do.  I guess I will actually have to reply to your post later.  Sorry about that....

...now where did I put my keys?!...

Edited by joc

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Horta
1 hour ago, joc said:

My reply is more than an algorithm.  I do not have a preset memory of responses that are available for me to choose from.

Certainly seems that way, doesn't it? Alas... Your brain (as everyone else's) works in a specific way that evolved through a very long drawn out process of evolution, which you had no say in. The formative environment where your neural pathways were formed (that influence your thought patterns) were not chosen by you either. You had as much say in these things as you did in being gay or straight, tall or short.

It's actually far worse than simply having a "preset memory of responses" available to you. I'm saying that you only had one possible response (ie. the one you gave) along with the illusion of multiplicity. If you could rewind the universe back to when you wrote that reply for instance, with every particle and force being identical (which necessitates every chemical and neuronal interaction/ brain state being identical) how do you think you could respond differently? Magic?

Quote

I am also thinking about going to work this morning

If it's a nice day, don't do it. Call in sick and take your wife out to lunch, assuming you are married of course. I used to (now retired). I might not be overly rich, but after all this time we still have a bit of magic lol. Anyway, work seems to encroach far too much on leisure time I think.

Quote

While I am responding, I am also looking out of my window at the chickens and thinking that I need to set a trap for a possum I believe is getting into the coop and eating eggs.  and thinking about a check I need to deposit while also contemplating the story I just read of 60 stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving and noting that the one my daughter works at will be open and how that might affect our Thanksgiving plans since my sister and her family two hours away will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

I am also wondering how effective the fire ant bait was that I put out two days ago...and...noticing how high the grass is since the rains we had, and considering the possibility it might rain this weekend, I am wondering if I should reschedule my work day and mow the yard instead...which would mean that I have to go deposit my check first and then go to Home Depot and get a tarp so that I can put it down on the ground and lay on it while power washing underneath my lawnmower which I obviously need to do before I can mow.  Plus, I need to stop and get gas for the lawnmower. Crap! I'm going to have to weedeat around the lawnmower ramp before I lay my tarp down...oh but that reminds me...get OFF at Home Depot because the mosquitos and chiggers are killer right now.

And then there are the two by fours I need to get at home depot, because I want to finish the fence that I started yesterday around the pool equipment.  See, I thought yesterday that I should set the poles in concrete first and then do the rest later so I made time in my afternoon to do that...I really want to build the fence  sooner than later because I have all of these boards which I am using to build the fence sitting in my garage.  Which reminds me how I got the boards to begin with.  I didn't buy them...I found them.   But not because I was looking for boards to build a fence.  My daughter wanted me to make her a board thingy to hand coffee cups on and I was in a neighborhood where  a lot of stuff was on the street in front of various houses because it was Pick up your Crap day in Dallas...and I saw some boards so I grabbed a couple.  But this lady was walking her dog and told me that on such and such street there were a lot of boards.  So I googled such and such street and Bammo...I scored 50 cedar boards...perfect size for the fence I wanted to build.

That's nice, but next time your out driving consider that the computer in your car puts that to shame. Probably a million times quicker and far more accurate (although less general at this stage). Anyway, when you say "I", to what exactly are you referring? Obviously not the bacteria in your gut, one bowel movement and they're going to be decimated. Did your cells take a collective vote on your itinerary? It seems unlikely that "you" (or the thing you identify with that way) thought of anything, as much as noticed thoughts arriving from...somewhere else...

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...now where did I put my keys?!...

Probably somewhere obvious. I do it with my reading glasses all the time. When I need to read something small and can't find them anywhere it's usually because they're on my head. The last place to look, obviously. :D 

With such a multitude of options to choose from, you'll find 'em no doubt.

 

Edited by Horta

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joc
6 hours ago, Horta said:

Certainly seems that way, doesn't it? Alas... Your brain (as everyone else's) works in a specific way that evolved through a very long drawn out process of evolution, which you had no say in. The formative environment where your neural pathways were formed (that influence your thought patterns) were not chosen by you either. You had as much say in these things as you did in being gay or straight, tall or short.

It's actually far worse than simply having a "preset memory of responses" available to you. I'm saying that you only had one possible response (ie. the one you gave) along with the illusion of multiplicity. If you could rewind the universe back to when you wrote that reply for instance, with every particle and force being identical (which necessitates every chemical and neuronal interaction/ brain state being identical) how do you think you could respond differently? Magic?

If it's a nice day, don't do it. Call in sick and take your wife out to lunch, assuming you are married of course. I used to (now retired). I might not be overly rich, but after all this time we still have a bit of magic lol. Anyway, work seems to encroach far too much on leisure time I think.

That's nice, but next time your out driving consider that the computer in your car puts that to shame. Probably a million times quicker and far more accurate (although less general at this stage). Anyway, when you say "I", to what exactly are you referring? Obviously not the bacteria in your gut, one bowel movement and they're going to be decimated. Did your cells take a collective vote on your itinerary? It seems unlikely that "you" (or the thing you identify with that way) thought of anything, as much as noticed thoughts arriving from...somewhere else...

Probably somewhere obvious. I do it with my reading glasses all the time. When I need to read something small and can't find them anywhere it's usually because they're on my head. The last place to look, obviously. :D 

With such a multitude of options to choose from, you'll find 'em no doubt.

 

You are attempting to equate machine or A.I. with life.  It is a ridiculously absurd comparison.  In fact nothing in your above diatribe was anything other than completely ridiculous.  I just don't have the time or patience to keep up with the Theater of the Absurd.  Good luck with that.

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Horta
3 hours ago, joc said:

You are attempting to equate machine or A.I. with life.  It is a ridiculously absurd comparison.  In fact nothing in your above diatribe was anything other than completely ridiculous.  I just don't have the time or patience to keep up with the Theater of the Absurd.  Good luck with that.

No need to get emotional because we disagree joc. While it has failed us here, it can sometimes make for good healthy discussion.

It might have saved us time if you explained briefly that you can offer nothing for the firmly held personal belief in "human exceptionalism" (common to religious adherents), other than more unsupported personal belief. So far there's nothing that would indicate what you think consciousness is that would allow you to reasonably make such all encompassing proclamations, or  thought about it or researched to a depth that could allow for a most basic informed opinion. Other than a rote dictionary definition of a word.

At least I have offered something by way of explanation. I could also offer the academic writings and experiments that my opinion is based on, but as it is inconclusive anyway (like all research in this field) and as your mind is already firmly made up, I feel it might be a waste of time. Keep clinging to that belief.

 

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and then
On 8/15/2018 at 12:18 PM, GlitterRose said:

hey're going after everything, and if you don't think that will include your guns, then I think you're sadly mistaken

I don't expect EITHER party to let go of the idea of confiscation.  It is the only means to real control.  They just know that until the population has become sufficiently soft and timid, it would be counterproductive to attempt outright seizure.  I also don't expect to fight off a committed force that wants to take my weapons.  Only cowards will refuse to fight unless victory is guaranteed.  Is there something in your life, GR, that you'd be willing to die for?

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