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Brain in a vat. by stingant0
Started on: 02-28-2002 05:57 PM
Replies: 21
Last post by: DaRkLoRD on 03-02-2002 01:55 AM
stingant0
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Report this Post02-28-2002 05:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post
If there was a giant super computer that sent stimuli to our brain in a vat, then would we know it? Would we have a soul? Would we have all the sensations of what real life would be like?
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Report this Post02-28-2002 06:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
"... I coulda studied, and I coulda passed, but then I got high! ..."
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Report this Post02-28-2002 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTFiero1Click Here to Email GTFiero1Send a Private Message to GTFiero1Direct Link to This Post
You JUST see The Matrix or sumthin?

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mindscape
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Report this Post02-28-2002 06:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mindscapeClick Here to Email mindscapeSend a Private Message to mindscapeDirect Link to This Post
Obviously you have watched "The Matrix" one too many times.

Technically speaking. If a mad scientist took your brain and sustained it artificially, and used a computer (awk!) to feed it stimulation. Then as long as all the senses are accounted for, would it be less than real as opposed to having a body? That is, as long as efferent sensory pathways are stimulated in a manner consistent with biological sensory mechanisms, then how would you know any difference?

Is this going to be a philosophical discussion?

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Report this Post02-28-2002 07:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
So we can extend the question:
If a tree fell in the woods, but your Brain was hundreds of miles away... Would it still make a sound?
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stingant0
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Report this Post02-28-2002 10:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mach10:
So we can extend the question:
If a tree fell in the woods, but your Brain was hundreds of miles away... Would it still make a sound?

No sound just potential sound. And yes I like the matrix but, we are reading Des Cartes in Psych. His theory is what Matrix was based on. The cool thing is that Des Cartes lived in 400 AD!!!

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stingant0
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Report this Post02-28-2002 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post

stingant0

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quote
Originally posted by mindscape:
Obviously you have watched "The Matrix" one too many times.

Technically speaking. If a mad scientist took your brain and sustained it artificially, and used a computer (awk!) to feed it stimulation. Then as long as all the senses are accounted for, would it be less than real as opposed to having a body? That is, as long as efferent sensory pathways are stimulated in a manner consistent with biological sensory mechanisms, then how would you know any difference?

Is this going to be a philosophical discussion?


You are on the right track, BUT, if the world was all red, then we wouldn't have the concept of red right? Then we couldn't see red. right? So.....if we were a brain in a vat then we would NEVER think we were a brain in a vat, thus becuase we can beleive that we are, then we really aren't.

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Report this Post02-28-2002 10:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
Reality is a misnomer. Everything about our existance is our own "perception" of reality. Since our brain processes signals from our body, if you took all the inputs to the brain and replaced them with a computer, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. But that doesn't even touch on the soul question. To decide if you'd have a soul suggests you have to decide what a soul is. Is it physical? Can it be quantified?

This also goes into the argument of AI. If you have an AI that responds exactly like a live human would to stimulus, is it actually intelligent, or merely a sophisticated response to an input? Where to sentience come in? How can you define self-aware?

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, is Greenpeace still pissed?

If a man says something in the woods and no woman is around to hear it, is he still wrong?

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mindscape
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Report this Post02-28-2002 11:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mindscapeClick Here to Email mindscapeSend a Private Message to mindscapeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mach10:
So we can extend the question:
If a tree fell in the woods, but your Brain was hundreds of miles away... Would it still make a sound?


By definition, it would make a sound. That is, sound is a disturbance in a medium. Since the atmosphere is composed of gas(air), a gasesous medium, then a falling tree will create a series of expansion and compression waves in this medium; technically sound is created, ask any physicist.

However, the brains perception of sound is another issue.

"Since our brain processes signals from our body, if you took all the inputs to the brain and replaced them with a computer, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. But that doesn't even touch on the soul question."

In one sense this is true. The better picture is that the brain and body are cohesively couple. Ever heard of somatic-markers? The brain and body form a system, feed back and control.

I'm partial to Marvin Minsky's - Society of Minds theory.

Stan Franklin in his book "Artificial Minds" ask the question: Could there ever be such a thing as an artificial mind? Who would ever think such?

Define mind?

I favor the notion, mind is what the brain does. Why? Consider a few facts. It is known, for instance, that the angular gyrus is a seat of polymodal convergence of sensory information. Angular gyrus lesions lead to anomia - the loss of the ability to understand metaphors. Also, damage to the left angular gyrus results in dyscalculia - the inability to perform even elementary arithmetic. Yet, persons with dyscalculia can still recognize number graphemes.

Another interesting, yet unfortunate, side effect of an inslut to the brain can be prosopagnosia. Prosopagnosia is the inability to recognize faces - face blindness. This means if you had it you would not recognize your own face nor the faces of others.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg - but is evidential that mind and brain ARE closely related - made of the same stuff.

So where is the soul? I suppose it is under the hood next to the battery. Perhaps an emergent property of the brain and it's minds?

Cogito, ergo sum. Descartes, 1637
Latin, "I think, therefore I am." I'm partial to another point of view. I think, therefore I think I am.

Just remember, computers, though the current popular metaphor for mind and brain is just as inaccurate as other technological metaphors of centuries past, such as the telephone switch board metaphor, or a mechanical grearing system metaphor (clockworks). Computer don't think, and I doubt seriously that what we currently call computers can be programmed, the AI approach, to think. Ask Doug Lenat, who has spent well over a decade in such an attempt. Like other AI researchers he has had to reframe what Cyc will actually do, not what was desired and intended.

Formula88 - one word, solipsism.

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Mach10
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Report this Post02-28-2002 11:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mindscape:
...

Huh... The TECHNICAL words for what I just wrote are: "SMARTASS COMMENT!"

I wasn't inviting a huge philisophical debate

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stingant0
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Report this Post03-01-2002 12:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mindscape:

technically sound is created, ask any physicist.

.

Note the word "technically". Sound is the brain's interpetation of the vibrations.

"These examples are just the tip of the iceberg" Not good word choice for someone talking about psychology. Sounds like your talking about the conciousness.


[This message has been edited by stingant0 (edited 03-01-2002).]

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Report this Post03-01-2002 03:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mindscapeClick Here to Email mindscapeSend a Private Message to mindscapeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by stingant0:
Note the word "technically". Sound is the brain's interpetation of the vibrations.

"These examples are just the tip of the iceberg" Not good word choice for someone talking about psychology. Sounds like your talking about the conciousness.

The first point I wanted to make is that sound is a physical phenomena and exist indepdent of human perception. Stated simply, sound is changes in the air. In psychophysics, sound is a distal stimulus.

NOTE, I do like to mess with people about the tree falling and sound or no sound philosophical debate. It's a silly question, if a tree falls and you don't see it fall, did it fall? I'm just changing senses. You might say, it sounded like a tree fell, but I didn't see it. (hahaha!)
Really, I thought that was funny.
Another one is, if I don't perceive gravity, then gravity doesn't exist. Come on, gravity really get's you down. (Okay, no more jokes.)

The point is, what you perceive is not how the physical world actually exist. Each individuals percepts of the physical world are the result of their sensory and perceptual mechanisms. This is a fact.

Consider, we could use transcranial magnetic stimulation to inhibit the functioning of your auditory cortex. Temporarily, you will not perceive sounds even though they exist in the environment, but just because you can not perceive them does not make them any less real. The infrared light of your TV or CD player remote emits light you cannot see, but it is still there nonetheless.

For example, subjective contours are a perception, but do not physically exist. Below, the white ring, white disc and white triangle are NOT physically there - they are illusory.

When I write perception, this does not imply anything about consciousness.

Your profile indicates you are a student, as an elective you might consider taking a class in Sensation and Percpetion. If not, go to the library and look at the E. Bruce Goldstein text, Sensation and Perception. Alternatively, most psychology departments have someone who is an expert in the area.

Who said I was talking about psychology?

Then again, maybe you did not catch the metaphor. Anomia, dyscalculia, and prosopagnosia, as far as neurological deficits are merely the tip of the iceberg metaphorically speaking as there are numerous others I could have cited.

Neurological deficits are issues psychologist should be aware but are more a concern of those working in the domain of neurology and neuroscience.

The point I wanted to make is, there is conclusive evidence that YOU ARE YOUR BRAIN. If I change your brain, then the quality of whatever makes you, YOU, has been altered.

Sorry, I will not argue consciousness as I will leave that to Daniel Dennett, Roger Penrose and other individuals bold enough to venture into that domain.

Before I stop, let's address your qualia question.

"You are on the right track, BUT, if the world was all red, then we wouldn't have the concept of red right?"

The sky is blue, but we still recognize the qualia of blue. BTW, qualia are properties considered apart from things having the property.

We have the concept of smell, but how many qualia do we associate with smell. I can say an Apple smells sweet; but sweet is more related to taste. The truth is, an apple smells like an apple - what's that? A lemon smells like a lemon. Fish smells like fish. Women smell, like women - good Moosehead smells like hops - but what qualia do hops posses?

The difference between smell and vision are qualia. We can say an apple is RED or YELLOW, and a Fiero can be RED or YELLOW. The qualia of RED exist independent of things possessing that qualia.

And don't try to tell me something smells like sulphur because sulphur is not a qualia, because sulphur is something concrete. Saying something smells LIKE "wet underwear" is a METAPHOR. Of course, if you have anomia, then you will not understand.

I'm not saying that qualia do not exist for smell because persons in the beer and wine industry indentionally develop such qualia; they are not innate. Neurologically this is because smell is not as developed in humans as vision - THE dominant sense.

Back to your question... would we have the concept of red if everything were red? I'll speculate and say NO. WHY? Taking this as a literal everything, then if everything were red then there would be no basis for contrast. How would you distiguish foreground and background. Then again I can speculate and say YES as well. WHY? Linguistically Eskmo's have significantly more words describing snow than other languages such as English or Chinese. You're going to love this... Perceptually they perceive things we do not. Why? Because of the environment they live in and as the result of LEARNING in that environment.

As an academic argument, it is quite involved.

------------------------

BTW, I love the opportunity to discuss my interests - including the Fiero! As a teacher I can only hope that you learn something from what I wrote. Plus, I'm writing for fun as well.

Cheers!

[This message has been edited by mindscape (edited 03-01-2002).]

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stingant0
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Report this Post03-01-2002 08:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mindscape:
[B

The point is, what you perceive is not how the physical world actually exist. Each individuals percepts of the physical world are the result of their sensory and perceptual mechanisms. This is a fact.


[/B]

I like that point

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stingant0
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Report this Post03-01-2002 08:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for stingant0Click Here to Email stingant0Send a Private Message to stingant0Direct Link to This Post

stingant0

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Also......why when was look into a mirror it only reverses left to right, not un and down?
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Mach10
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Report this Post03-01-2002 12:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by stingant0:
Also......why when was look into a mirror it only reverses left to right, not un and down?

It doesn't... It bounces light in a STRAIGHT line.

Same analogy:

Flip a bike upside down. Spin a wheel. Note direction. Go to OTHER side of bike and note direction.

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Report this Post03-01-2002 04:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PontiaddictSend a Private Message to PontiaddictDirect Link to This Post
I thought The Matrix was good until I saw the reason for the Matrix. If I was an artificial intellegence trying to harness power from people. I'd lobotomize the people and make them run on a treadmill (actually, I'd probably do something worse, but much more effective). You know how much energy they're wasting giving humans an alternate existance? Then they have to waste even more energy hunting escapees down.
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Report this Post03-01-2002 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blakeinspaceClick Here to Email blakeinspaceSend a Private Message to blakeinspaceDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mindscape:
Fish smells like fish. Women smell, like women - good

women can smell like fish

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Report this Post03-01-2002 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mach10Click Here to Email Mach10Send a Private Message to Mach10Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by blakeinspace:
women can smell like fish


In that case, you hang around in all the wrong bars...

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Report this Post03-01-2002 05:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blakeinspaceClick Here to Email blakeinspaceSend a Private Message to blakeinspaceDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post03-01-2002 07:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fogglethorpeSend a Private Message to fogglethorpeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Mach10:
So we can extend the question:
If a tree fell in the woods, but your Brain was hundreds of miles away... Would it still make a sound?

If a donut falls off a table, and no one is around to catch it, was it pushed by a glass of milk?

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mindscape
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Report this Post03-02-2002 01:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mindscapeClick Here to Email mindscapeSend a Private Message to mindscapeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fogglethorpe:
If a donut falls off a table, and no one is around to catch it, was it pushed by a glass of milk?

Probably, but if you are a coffee drinker...

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Report this Post03-02-2002 01:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DaRkLoRDClick Here to Email DaRkLoRDSend a Private Message to DaRkLoRDDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fogglethorpe:
If a donut falls off a table, and no one is around to catch it, was it pushed by a glass of milk?

If a donut falls off a table, and no one is around to catch it, would Galen make a new post about it breaking?

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