quasi random (kaolinfire) wrote,
quasi random

an interesting thread on perception/reality

> Well, that's being a bit dramatic. I think that all it leads to is not
> having answered the question. I've yet to find anything that leads to a
> dissolution of reality. (that statement's just BEGGING for splorg-flames)

5-MeO-Di-Methyl Tryptamine.

fifteen minutes of lack of reality.

> Yeah, that's the first kind of response that I expected. That doesn't
> change reality.. only perception.

Reality and perception...

we only know reality through perception...

though I suppose you'd argue for a pill you could take, for instance, that
would change other people's perceptions, the "consensus" reality being more
important than any individual's?

> It isn't only consensus. It's meaningful relevance. To argue, as, for
> example, Berkeley did, that matter doesn't exist, is to make a meaningless
> statement. An easy way to counter it is the famous rebuttal, "I refute it
> THUS!" while kicking a stone.

Die, Berkeley, Die! =)

Though I'm not too fond of that rebuttal, either. The heart of the rebuttal
being more, "well, so fucking what if it doesn't exist? that and $2 will
let you make a collect call AND not get your ass beaten."

okay, right, I didn't say anything you didn't just. la la. :)

> And if you had a book by which a person who had no knowledge of chinese
> could take in writings in chinese and respond to them in an intelligent
> fashion, then you will have instantiated 'understanding' without any
> meaningful knowledge or interpretation.

I hate Searle. I hate the Chinese Room Argument. :)

What is understanding? (checking dictionary.com out of curiosity... "To
perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of, grasp")

perceive: [dictionary.com is going REALLY slowly right now; I've never had it
being anything but totally speedy before... I wonder what's up... "connection
refused when attempting to contact www.dictionary.com" ...?]

perceive -- to become aware of through any of the senses, or to achieve
understanding of. (ooh, I love circular definitions... grumble...)

right. so I guess in the first bit of perceive there's pretty blatant
presumption of consciousness. what the hell is consciousness?

"the conscious". hmm. right. getting somewhere?

hmm... pick a definition, any definition: "capable of thought, will, or
perception". I think that's as good as it gets for what we're talking about.

I think there, the "system" would have consciousness. not the book, nor the
"person"/robot acting things out, but the system. by definition. Now,
making that book is difficult. I think the trick there is to make the book
such that it makes itself. Preferably by attaching the book to the robot,
giving the book/robot full proprioception and perception, full ability to
respond to the environment... and then maybe you can start talking about its

Whether it has a soul or not is something to argue with the religious fanatics.

> Argument for such a device presumes that the ddevice could possibly exist,
> and I say it couldn't. If you ditched the 'pill' idea and said you simply
> had an abstract 'machine' that altered everyone's perceptions, INCLUDING
> the applicability of those perceptions to their lives in every measurable
> means, then yes, you'd be changing reality. And then you, being the only
> one who does not interact with the world in the same way as everyone else,
> would be the one in the loony bin.

Hmm. This sounds fun.

So, if and only if, I could dose EVERY HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS with say, a week's
worth of LSD, then I would have changed reality for a week? Because there
wouldn't be a soul to say I didn't? :)

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