[ExI] Do digital computers feel?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 23:36:36 UTC 2016

Hi William,

You are the original asker in this thread of subject "Do digital 
computers feel?" right?  I haven't seen you comment on what I've been 
saying.  Hopefully it is evident to you that the theory I have been 
describing predicts an answer to this question and that science could 
soon demonstrably prove such to all of us by enabling us to eff the 
ineffable.  Even John admitted that an abstracted word like red does not 
have a redness quality.  And since all information in a computer is this 
type of abstracted information - a computer can represent or emulate or 
behave as if it knows what it is like to feel - but unless it knows how 
to interpret its abstracted representation of feelings (something that 
the theory predicts is possible, but it would then be more than just a 
"digital computer") - a purely digital computer does not qualitatively 
"feel" like we do.


On 12/15/2016 10:59 AM, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> in fact I have no proof that you or anybody else have any subjective 
> experiences at all.  john
> It may be that your standards of proof are in question, at the least.  
> You seem to be able to believe that only you, out of over 7 billion 
> people, can be conscious, think, feel, and so on. In other words, the 
> most basic of human qualities.
> I would have to ask you: */what proof do you have that you are this 
> unique?/*  How likely is this?  It is far, far less likely than that 
> others experience things in the external world much like you do.
> Ask ten million people, excluding the colorblind, to view a red 
> thing.  All ten million call it red.  What else do you need?
> bill w
> On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 8:05 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com 
> <mailto:johnkclark at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 10:51 PM, Brent Allsop
>     <brent.allsop at gmail.com <mailto:brent.allsop at gmail.com>>wrote:
>         ​> ​
>         Let me ask you what you think I mean when I talk about a
>         "redness quality"?
>     ​Come on Brent, this isn't my ​first day at the rodeo! I am quite
>     familiar with the
>     qualia
>     ​ idea and I know the difference between objective and subjective.​
>         ​> ​
>          And would you also agree that an abstracted work like "red"
>         does not have this quality?
>     ​I would agree that red is a subjective experience and "red" is
>     just an ASCII sequence. ​
>         ​> ​
>         And would you agree that something in our brain has this
>         quality when we experience it?
>     ​What's with this "our" and "we" stuff? I have a subjective
>     experience when I experience red but I have no proof that you do,
>     in fact I have no proof that you or anybody else have any
>     subjective experiences at all. ​
>     ​If somebody believes that a digital computer ​behaving as if it
>     is conscious is insufficient evidence to conclude that it really
>     is conscious and if he wishes to be consistent in his beliefs then
>     there is no alternative but to embrace solipsism.
>     John K Clark
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