[ExI] Symbol Grounding

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Sat Apr 29 09:29:34 UTC 2023

Hi Ben,
I see sorry I'm tired, lol. Yeah, it makes sense now and I understand what
you tried to say that is basically what I try to say. The components is not
what matters but the process. I see why I was confused to hear this
sensible argument from Brent, lol.

On Sat, Apr 29, 2023 at 2:25 AM Ben Zaiboc <ben at zaiboc.net> wrote:

> Giovanni, it looks as if you think that Brent wrote this. He didn't, I did.
> But fair enough, if I'm not making my point very well, I'll expand on it
> later. Got to go now, Oil be Bach.
> Ben
> On 29/04/2023 10:19, Giovanni Santostasi wrote:
> *A brick doesn't produce a housing estate, a xylem cell doesn't produce a
> tree, am I getting my point across yet? *No, you don't really.
> It seems I have to explain things on both directions yours and mine. Can
> you write full sentences that go through the details of what you are trying
> to convey without using "poetic" language? Even your inverter examples,
> your pictures of the strawberries are not precise, they don't go to the
> core of mechanisms. I'm not sure how to explain this to you.
> Let me try with the sentences above.
> I need first of all "translate" or guess what you mean with produce. Do
> you mean a bunch of bricks in the field do not spontaneously come together
> and form a house (also why use housing estate when a house would be enough,
> simplify to make things easier). For sure the bricks make up the house as
> components, do we agree on that?
> If you are saying the bricks do not come together to form a house I agree
> but we know how to put together bricks to form a house and one could
> explain the process step by step. That would be a scientific explanation of
> how to "produce" a house. As I explained many times it is not just the
> component but the process, the interactions, the mechanisms. This is why we
> insist on function. The process of building the house is the explanation.
> The materials are not important, I could use other materials besides
> bricks.
> When we say the firing of the neurons are where consciousness is we mean
> of course that this firing transfers information from neuron to neuron, the
> neuron process, add, subtract, and interprets the information. These
> processes together are the "production" of the house. Do we know the
> details of this "production"? No, but we know that it is what matters. I
> never saw a house come together but I know the real house was built by a
> process and its components are not what matters. To me your position seems
> the opposite of this, you emphasize the components, not the processes, it
> is the functionalists that do.
> In addition, consciousness is actually more similar to the tree process
> than the house process. In fact, the house needs an external agent to come
> together but the tree doesn't. It achieves the goal by cell multiplication
> and following the blueprint of the DNA. The reason why I don't think
> consciousness (and even more qualia) are not this big deal is that we
> already know of a very self-referential, emergent process and we call it
> LIFE and consciousness are probably very similar in terms of being more
> than the sum of the parts, emergent, self-referential, apparently
> mysterious, and mostly made of code and transfer of information. Yes, the
> particular type of life we have on earth depends on specific materials and
> even elements like carbon, water, and amino-acids but while it is important
> to understand the role of these components to understand terrestrial life,
> it is not what the essence of life is. It is what life does that is
> important and it is all about information encoding, processing, and
> transferring. The materials can be substituted by others and in fact, we
> are already successful in making artificial life that doesn't require these
> materials and we can also simulate life processes pretty closely and
> completely digitally.
> So in all your example, the function, the interaction between the parts,
> the connection, the information is the essential ingredient. It is us that
> is insisting on this but not it seems from your last email is you that says
> it is what is important.
> If not go ahead and explain.
> I would like to see an explanation regarding these mundane examples
> because I think we can understand better than talking about something as
> complex as consciousness.
> Please go ahead and tell me the answers from your point of view of the
> riddles about the house, tree, and Eiffel Tower. I told you what is my
> answer.
> Giovanni
> On Sat, Apr 29, 2023 at 1:37 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On 29/04/2023 07:49, Brent Allsop wrote:
>> > All spike trails or trains, or whatever, begin and end with
>> > neurotransmitters being dumped into a synapse, right?  Seems to me
>> > that someone who predicts someone's [experience of red] is more likely
>> > to be spike trains, than [...] a chemical in a synapse, like Giovani,
>> > has no ability to understand or model [experiences].  How the heck
>> > could a train of spikes produce a redness experience?
>> How the heck could a pixel on a screen produce a picture of a field of
>> flowers?
>> How the heck could a digital number produce a word processor document?
>> How the heck could a single note on an oboe produce a symphony?
>> If i wanted to show that pixels can't give rise to pictures, numbers
>> can't give rise to novels, or single notes can't give rise to
>> symphonies, these are the kind of questions I'd ask, in order to direct
>> the reader's attention to the wrong thing.
>> This also applies to molecules of neurotransmitter in a synapse
>> producing an experience.
>> A brick doesn't produce a housing estate, a xylem cell doesn't produce a
>> tree, am I getting my point across yet?
>> You have a warehouse full of steel girders and you want to build the
>> eiffel tower. What's the missing essential ingredient? (no, it's not
>> rivets).
>> Ben
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