[ExI] Transpersonal Extropianism?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 5 15:37:48 UTC 2019

When people demand an explanation for consciousness it's not even clear
what exactly they are demanding  john clark

How can one find the cause of something if one cannot agree on how to
measure it?  Or define it?

bill w

On Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 8:30 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 11:01 PM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> *> Unfortunately the ExI list, for all its positives, is not really a good
>> spiritual resonance chamber. *
> In my opinion the world already has far more spiritual resonance chambers
> than it needs.
>> * > I've got the idea that a lot of people here may be stuck at the
>> skeptic/atheist phase, instead of pushing on to ask more deeply about the
>> nature of reality and consciousness.*
> People love to talk about the deep nature of consciousness but not about
> the deep nature of intelligence, I think that's because one is easy but the
> other is hard; any consciousness theory will work but not any old
> intelligence theory will. Before making any real progress on finding the
> deeper reality of consciousness (if there is one) somebody will first need
> to explain how the master algorithm that causes intelligence works, and if
> the philosophical rewards of finding that algorithm isn't enough it would
> also have practical value, it would at the very least make you the world's
> first trillionaire.
>> * > Some here seem ok with the tautological "consciousness is an
>> illusion"--even though, since illusions need a subject to witness said
>> illusion, this leaves us at the same place as before. *
> That's why it's tautological, but tautologies do have one great thing in
> their favor, they're always true.
>> * > Or "consciousness is what data feels like to be processed", without
>> asking what is data, what is matter, *
> I maintain that it is a ontological certitude that a chain of what or why
> questions either goes on forever or it doesn't and ends in a brute fact.
> People feel unsettled and unhappy with either possibility but nature is not
> compelled to be compatible with human desires.
>> *> what makes data incarnate in matter,*
> Incomporial data can not be computed or even stored, for that you need a
> computer or a brain. There are an infinite number of mathematical
> statements but most of them, like 2+2=5, are logically contradictory,
> however matter that obeys the laws of physics will not allow logical
> contradictions and that's why only a material brain or computer can process
> information or behave intelligently.
> > *why does consciousness exist at all, *
> Darwin gave us the answer to that question in 1859. Evolution can't see consciousness
> any better than we can directly see consciousness in other people, and so
> it can not select for consciousness, but Evolution can select for
> intelligent behavior. I know for a fact that  Evolution somehow managed to
> produce at least one conscious being (me) and probably many billions,
> therefore there can only be one conclusion. Consciousness must be a
> byproduct of intelligence, a evolutionary spandrel.
> Evolutionary Spandrel <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandrel_(biology)>.
> > [...  ]
> *how does it relate to the fundamental forces which we have predictive
> maths for yet not even an iota of predictive maths regarding
> consciousness, *
> That's just not true. I predict if I send a electrical current into your
> arm you will report a conscious feeling of pain. I also predict a change in
> your brain will correlate with a change in your consciousness and a change
> in your consciousness will correlate with a change in your brain. What more
> do you need to conclude there is a cause and effect relationship?
> *> At some point, the scientific community will budge, because a model
>> that does not include or explain consciousness is a failure. *
> When people demand an explanation fir consciousness it's not even clear
> what exactly they are demanding. Would you be satisfied if I could prove
> that X causes consciousness or would you say X causes consciousness but X
> is not consciousness. And if after further study I then proven that X
> causes Y and Y caused consciousness would you be satisfied or point out the
> Y causes consciousness but Y is not consciousness? This sort of infinite
> regress is not restricted to consciousness it comes up every time we say
> something causes something, but it only seems to bother people when they
> talk about consciousness.
> John K Clark
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