Re: Interesting post on hacking the self

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Wed Oct 12 2005 - 10:54:41 MDT

On Oct 12, 2005, at 12:10 PM, pdugan wrote:

> You're complaint hinges on the concept that there is such a thing
> as an
> objective or technical standard by which the nature of human
> consciousness can

I may have been a bit hard on Eby. After all, I also cannot provide
a good technical explanation of how the brain works. But he doesn't
even make an attempt: he acknowledges that nontechnical explanations
of his idea don't work and then proceeds to offer an alternative
nontechnical explanation. Maybe his metaphor was the key that
finally turned someone on to his idea. Wonderful! But just because
you provide a verbal explanation doesn't mean you are allowed to not
attempt a technical explanation or semi-technical explanation if you
know that a verbal explanation will be insufficient.

> be conveyed. The difference between writing about consciousness and
> writing
> about, say Linux, is that "you" are trying to document the
> mechanics of a
> system which is producing that very documentation. A completely
> thorough
> technical documentation of human consciousness could be produced is
> by an
> entity of transhuman or greater intelligence.

There exists at least one system that can document itself accurately
and precisely. For example, a CAD machine could produce schematics
for building itself or a printer could print its own detailed
technical manual. Of course, some other particular system may or may
not be able to do it. But how can you decide that only transhumans
or smarter can produce "completely thorough technical documentation
of human consciousness" when you don't have a technical explanation
of either human or transhuman mental function? Without a technical
explanation, I fail to see how you can decide whether humans fall
into the category of self documentable or not (or whether transhumans
fall into the category of can document humans or not).

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
                Gordon Worley
             Phone: 352-875-5808
e-mail: PGP: 0xBBD3B003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:52 MDT