Re: Protean Self-Transformation

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 01 Apr 1997 15:50:09 -0500

Gregory Houston wrote:
> Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > With all due respect Greg, I think that you have a bit of denial here as
> > to what Alife feels. Since we are simulating creatures of instinct,
> > which react to stimuli, then, Alife has really no distinction from
> > biolife.
> A computer cannot say something feels good in the way I can say such.

At this point in time it cannot, only because our ability to program
such has not reached the level of sophistication of the human being.

> can analyze data inputted to it and come to the purely abstract
> conclusion that according to all its data this incoming data should be
> considered a "good" feeling.

When it comes down to it, your own feelings are just as abstract as the
computers, relative to everyone else.

> But it is not feeling the data.

You are not feeling it feeling the data.

It is just
> running subroutines and more subroutines.

As do you when you receive sensory stimuli. With proper reprogramming,
you can be made to find pleasure in pain, joy in sorrow, and art in

> All the computer has done is
> label the data.

As do you label sensory stimuli as "good" or "bad", "pain" or "pleasure"
as you have been programmed to do.

>It has given the data a name and that is it. The
> computer can then be programmed to blow bells and whistles but the
> computer will in no way ENJOY blowing bells and whistles.

You are not participating in its own joy, just as you are not
participating in mine. What is the difference in the ego separation
between you and I and a computer programmed with human level

It just does
> it. There is no way I could scare my computer, there is no way I could
> anger my computer, there is no way I could embarass my computer, there
> is no way I can give my computer pleasure or pain, no matter what data I
> send it or in what fashion I handle it. How is this so difficult to
> understand?

Only because you are only existing in the now. You automatically assume
because your computer is not programmed to do these things now, that it
will never be programmed to do these things. There is your error.

> > Animals merely react to input via sensory nerves as pre
> > programmed by evolved instincts.
> This is not true. There is this thing called training or learning which
> allows us to modify our programming.

Exactly my point, so you acknowledge that we, as animals, operate
conciously as reactions to sensory stimuli and analyses of same.

> > A-Greg will debate with Greg over who is real
> > and who is not real......
> Sure, we will be able to debate all day long. I will be emotively
> affected by the debate and A-Greg will not be.

In your opinion, not in his....

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}