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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1493938 17-Feb-2016 12:43
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joker97:

 

Hmm ... interesting science. Thanks that answers my question.

 

 

What's interesting science, the science of conciousness?

 

All good.

 

I'm just glad no one lost their rag because I said that models of conciousness aren't real science. 





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Glurp
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  Reply # 1494927 18-Feb-2016 13:45
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Now that you have moved from the extremes of mathematics and physics, which to my regret are far over my head, to the realm of metaphysics, in which anyone can be an expert, I would suggest that the survival instinct might serve as a good indicator of consciousness. I absolute hate cockroaches, and where we live in the countryside we are infested with the buggers. I cannot abide them and I quickly extinguish any I see. I have taken to using spray because they are otherwise too fast for me. As much as I hate them, I am also intrigued by them because they employ desperate measures to escape extinction. They dodge and dart, they hide, they strategise, they do everything but scream 'I want to live!' I have no doubt at all that cockroaches are conscious, as well as alarmingly intelligent. This has also made me look more closely at the animals I do choose to live with, like my cats, who are also indisputably conscious, and who also have a very strong survival instinct. Despite being coddled and cuddled from kittenhood, and feeling completely relaxed in the house, they immediately go into high alert mode whenever they hear an unexpected sound. These, too, are creatures who very much wish to remain alive.

 

On the other hand, my keyboard has no problem at all when I smash it with a hammer. Its survival instinct is pretty much absent, as, I suspect, is its consciousness.

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1495003 18-Feb-2016 14:58
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Rikkitic:

 

I have no doubt at all that cockroaches are conscious, as well as alarmingly intelligent.

 

 

 

 

You could program a machine to behave the same way, or even to pass the Turing test, but that's not proof that the device has "consciousness" and not really related to the philosophical dead-end debate above, that there's no way to prove that although you believe that you are conscious, that everybody and everything else may not be conscious at all regardless of what they do or say to try to prove it.

 

That also ties in (potentially rather dangerously IMO) with the strong anthropic principle that takes the "butterfly effect" (that if the universe didn't evolve in exactly the way that it did, then we/you would not be here to observe it) a step further by stating that of the near infinite number of possible "butterfly effects" which did happen, these happened exactly the way they did with the sole purpose that you, the only conscious entity that you know for sure exists, could be created.  There is no argument which can refute this (but it also doesn't mean that it's true).

 

 


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  Reply # 1495018 18-Feb-2016 15:17
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I thought the Butterfly Effect refers to the observation that extremely small changes somewhere can cause massive changes vast distances away.

 

First observed when weather predictions were wildly different when the computer (which took and made calculations with IIRC 14 decimal places) was offline and the weather scientists manually did predictions using 10 decimal places.

 

Such that "if a butterfly flapped its wings in England it would affect the weather in Mexico".

 

I guess that could be applied to the world. If my greatx10 grandfather didn't go to the chemist because he was sick one day I would not be here.


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  Reply # 1495020 18-Feb-2016 15:21
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The butterfly effects could have led to me without that being their 'purpose'. Maybe it was all just an incredibly random accident. I would further argue that if you programmed a machine to behave exactly as a cockroach does, the machine would possess the consciousness of a cockroach.

 

 





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  Reply # 1495022 18-Feb-2016 15:23
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joker97:

 

 

 

I guess that could be applied to the world. If my greatx10 grandfather didn't go to the chemist because he was sick one day I would not be here.

 

 

That would depend on what he bought at the chemist.

 

 





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  Reply # 1495023 18-Feb-2016 15:23
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Rikkitic:

 

The butterfly effects could have led to me without that being their 'purpose'. Maybe it was all just an incredibly random accident. I would further argue that if you programmed a machine to behave exactly as a cockroach does, the machine would possess the consciousness of a cockroach.

 

 

 

 

I think you don't understand the definition of consciousness. That you one is aware of its existence and its surroundings.


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  Reply # 1495025 18-Feb-2016 15:27
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And you think the cockroach is not? Try chasing one for awhile.

 

 





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  Reply # 1495026 18-Feb-2016 15:29
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Rikkitic:

And you think the cockroach is not? Try chasing one for awhile.


 



I didn't say that. Was referring to the machine.

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  Reply # 1495060 18-Feb-2016 16:00
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The serious point I am trying to make is that I believe in the philosophical principle that a perfect imitation of something becomes that thing. If you could start with inanimate parts and construct a representation of any creature that was complete in every last detail, then I would maintain that your construction would also contain the consciousness of that creature, whatever it might be. Any machine that passes the Turing Test, really passes it, should be given a credit card and the right to vote. It has consciousness.

 

 





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  Reply # 1495074 18-Feb-2016 16:27
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Kind of a back to topic question here...

 

The observed collapse of the binary black hole system radiated a lot of gravitational wave energy,  IIRC that was stated as release of energy equivalent to 3 solar masses.  So the mass of the combined black hole is 3 solar masses less than the combined mass of both black holes before collapse.  I believe that before this direct observation of gravitational waves, there was already evidence of orbital decay of observable high-mass binary systems where the rate of orbital decay correlates with the calculated loss of mass/energy through radiation of gravitational waves.  Though gravity is a weak force, it acts over long distances. A black hole might not be part of a binary pair with something else (another black hole or neutron star or whatever) but it will be causing gravitational effects on other objects - no matter how far away they are, and other objects will cause gravitational effects on the black hole.  Doesn't it follow that a black hole will always radiate some energy (thus always lose mass) as gravitational waves even if not in a collapsing binary system? 


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  Reply # 1495125 18-Feb-2016 17:49
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Excellent question. My guess is the mass of the black hole in normal operation will affect the curvature of space time around it. Then effect of the binary is releasing these forces in pulses with higher peaks. The detectors are somewhat insensitive at present so effectively large peaks are required for detection.

JWR

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  Reply # 1495189 18-Feb-2016 19:52

Fred99:

 

Kind of a back to topic question here...

 

The observed collapse of the binary black hole system radiated a lot of gravitational wave energy,  IIRC that was stated as release of energy equivalent to 3 solar masses.  So the mass of the combined black hole is 3 solar masses less than the combined mass of both black holes before collapse.  I believe that before this direct observation of gravitational waves, there was already evidence of orbital decay of observable high-mass binary systems where the rate of orbital decay correlates with the calculated loss of mass/energy through radiation of gravitational waves.  Though gravity is a weak force, it acts over long distances. A black hole might not be part of a binary pair with something else (another black hole or neutron star or whatever) but it will be causing gravitational effects on other objects - no matter how far away they are, and other objects will cause gravitational effects on the black hole.  Doesn't it follow that a black hole will always radiate some energy (thus always lose mass) as gravitational waves even if not in a collapsing binary system? 

 

 

 

 

Yes, in a Relativistic system, all rotating objects (not just Black Holes) are always losing energy by radiating gravitational waves.

 

But, for most objects, the loss of energy is relatively small and the orbital decay is very, very slow.

 

Given enough time, all orbits decay.

 

Will the Earth eventually tumble into the Sun?

 

Probably not.

 

The Earth will likely be consumed by the expanding Sun long before that.

 

If the Earth was to survive, in orbit, then given enough time, it would crash into the remnant of the Sun.

 

 


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  Reply # 1495233 18-Feb-2016 20:50
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I don't have much to add to the conciousness discussion so far, in terms of points discussed. Equally it could be that an imitation of conciousness would be concious, and we can't really prove or know what is concious. But here's a few interesting tangents that you inspired :P

 

A cockroach has twice the mylenation of the neuron than normal animals (insulation between wires, from a tech pov, thus bandwidth due to lowered interference). In the same way that a snail has half. So a cockroach is actually experiencing reality, with a quicker brain to life ratio, with faster brains. That's why they are so quick, almost prescient when it comes to evasion. Pretty buzzy thought. 

 

Plants have a primitive CNS. They feature many of the same brain chemicals we do, and whilst most plants have mere chemical transmittion, higher plants have an electrochemical transmission that could be properly called a CNS and being similar to neurons. They also evade death, albiet via chemicals responses and communication, rather than movement. Don't count things that don't have muscles as not having an experience, if information and perception is the key to it. Plants do have some, especially the more evolved ones. 

 

The idea of emergence (that conciousness comes from a particular set of condition), begs the question of why/how. That question is possibly unanswerable to every ones satisfaction, and is at least in that state now. A neat logical workaround to that is the notion that conciousness is fundamental, like the mass of the electron, a basic state of the universe - but that would mean that all information, or all matter has some level of it, with it merely collecting in places of high informational complexity, like us, for a deeper level. Even though that completely side steps the hard problem of conciousness, and the mechanics which may elude us forever, it's also a kind of confusing thought. Hence the mention of the keyboard. In this model, the phi model (from the book 'Phi'), though if we regarded fish and plants to be simple enough to have a low level of awareness, the non-complex objects would be basically sleeping at a very neglible level. However this informational model, even emergence also opens the possibility of higher conciousness within unfamiliar forms - cities, civilisations, social species, quantum phenomena, other systems that input and process information with complexity. 

 

And the sensory theory of conciousness (that our perception of experience, makes our experience, although to me, that is illogical, and skips the hard problem), would lead to the notion that anything that models its input would be concious - and there are computer programs that would definately be described as modelling and interpreting their input whether it be data, text, video, audio, or whatever, even ones based on us, such as neural networks modelling language.  

 

Lastly, they created a neural network robotic spider, that like a real spider, learnt how to interpret and interact with its environment. If spiders are concious, there's good odds we have already created it.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1495334 18-Feb-2016 23:53
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JWR:

 

Fred99:

 

Kind of a back to topic question here...

 

The observed collapse of the binary black hole system radiated a lot of gravitational wave energy,  IIRC that was stated as release of energy equivalent to 3 solar masses.  So the mass of the combined black hole is 3 solar masses less than the combined mass of both black holes before collapse.  I believe that before this direct observation of gravitational waves, there was already evidence of orbital decay of observable high-mass binary systems where the rate of orbital decay correlates with the calculated loss of mass/energy through radiation of gravitational waves.  Though gravity is a weak force, it acts over long distances. A black hole might not be part of a binary pair with something else (another black hole or neutron star or whatever) but it will be causing gravitational effects on other objects - no matter how far away they are, and other objects will cause gravitational effects on the black hole.  Doesn't it follow that a black hole will always radiate some energy (thus always lose mass) as gravitational waves even if not in a collapsing binary system? 

 

 

 

 

Yes, in a Relativistic system, all rotating objects (not just Black Holes) are always losing energy by radiating gravitational waves.
But, for most objects, the loss of energy is relatively small and the orbital decay is very, very slow.
Given enough time, all orbits decay.
Will the Earth eventually tumble into the Sun?
Probably not.
The Earth will likely be consumed by the expanding Sun long before that.
If the Earth was to survive, in orbit, then given enough time, it would crash into the remnant of the Sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I found data on the theoretical rate of orbital decay through relativistic loss of mass due to gravitational wave emission in the earth/sun system.  I'm not sure if the calculation was based on an earth/sun binary system or took into account loss of mass from the sun due to orbits of the other planets etc, but anyway the speed of that orbital decay is almost completely insignificant - the orbit would be closer by the width of a hydrogen atom per 300 years.
But the earth orbit around the sun is not decaying as the sun loses mass through fusion and solar wind, about 5.5 million tonnes per second, orbital distance is actually increasing.  Unfortunately in 5 billion years at the present rate of increase in Earth's orbit, we'll only be 80,000km further away than we are now. 


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