[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Fri Feb 12 17:24:53 UTC 2010

Since my last post Gordon Swobe has posted 5 times.
>> But you have clearly stated that consciousness plays no
>> role in behaviour...
> I can hardly believe you [Stathis Papaioannou] wrote that. I spent hours explaining to you why and how I reject epiphenomenalism.

I can hardly believe Swobe is surprised that Stathis doesn't understand his position, I don't believe that Swobe himself understands his position. Consciousness effects behavior enough for evolution to produce it but not enough for the Turing Test to detect it. Nuts.
> I argued that we can program an artificial brain to act as if it has consciousness and that said artificial brain will still lack consciousness.

Even his contradictions are contradictory. We are intelligent and we are conscious, I am anyway; if the 2 are separate then consciousness must just be tacked on, a sort of consciousness circuit. But Evolution has absolutely no reason to develop a consciousness circuit.

> This is not the same as arguing that consciousness plays no role in human behavior!

And yet in his next breath Swobe will tell us that consciousness plays no role in the Turing Test!

> No matter whether we create those simulations with real or imaginary persons in mind, the simulations themselves will have no more reality than does Fred Flintstone. 

Fred Flintstone certainly isn't real as I am real and probably isn't real as Gordon Swobe is real, but one can't help from wondering why he used that as an example rather than, say, "Krotchly Q Kumberbun". Presumedly it's because one meme has enough reality to allow for communication while the other has so little reality that his readers wouldn't even know what he's referring to or the point he's trying to make.

> there will always exist an important difference between the depiction of the thing and the thing depicted.

But not if the "thing" in question is not a thing at all and is in fact not even a noun.

> Those digital depictions of people will only *represent* the real or imaginary people they depict.

Wow, now I see the error of my ways! It's a pity Swobe didn't say that two months and several hundred posts ago, think of the time we could have saved. Oh wait he did.

 John K Clark 


> -gts
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