[ExI] Do digital computers feel?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 15:18:30 UTC 2016

Hi William,

You are the original asker in this thread of subject "Do digital computers
feel?" right?

No, not me.  I have scanned the conversations between you and John and have
to say that I don't understand any of it.

The idea that code can emulate human experience is just ludicrous to me.
Four quadrillion neural firings a second in our brains.  I don't think any
supercomputer will be able to deal with that for some time.  Suppose you
isolate a neuron:  some have up to tens of thousands of connections with
other neurons, which maybe exciting it, suppressing it, or not changing.
And I believe that I read where a neuron can change its state from
excitatory to inhibitory or the other way around.  Just mind boggling
complicated to try to understand one second of the neuron's behavior.

It's like some people seem to believe that neurons are like electrical
wires and circuits, able to be laid out in a diagram.  Extremely more
complicated than that.

bill w

On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 8:05 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 20, 2016  Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​> ​
>> Even John admitted that an abstracted word like red does not have a
>> redness quality.
>> *RED* is RED but *RED* is not
> ​ RED​.
>> ​> ​
>> all information in a computer is this type of abstracted information -
> A computer can store all sots of information and that's not true for every
> type of information. The ASCII sequence "red" can not differentiate between
> red light and green light even if it has access to testing equipment, but a
> suitably written program stored in a digital computer can.  ​
> ​> ​
>> a purely digital computer does not qualitatively "feel" like we do.
> ​What's with this "we" stuff? The only person I know for sure that feels
> is me, just because the inside of your head is squishy and the insides of a
> digital computer isn't is not enough for me to think the two of you are
> fundamentally different. And what do you have against digital stuff, why
> would analog be better?
>  John K Clark  ​
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