Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 13:35:22 -0400

O'Regan, Emlyn <> wrote:
> The idea of replacing causality with pattern comes from the observation
> that, even though the rules of derivation look like causality, they can be
> precalculated to determine what they would produce. Then we can have an
> identical system (from inside) which looks exactly as causal as the system
> with rules of derivation. Except that now all the calculations made from
> rules are taken as axiomatic, and there is no derivation. A pattern based
> system.

I disagree. The act of precalculating the patterns to see what they would produce is a causality system. You are pre-calculating them, sticking the output into the pattern and then saying that the pattern-based system has the correct output. It only has the correct output because an external causality system came up with the correct output for the pattern based system. I still have not seen an example of how a pattern can make calculations. The calculations have to be pre-calculated for it. It cannot come up with any answers on its own.

> One objection raised was that the rule based system was necessary to
> the pattern based system. But you can work the other way round. Take this
> new pattern based system, and you can create a new causal system. Start
> the initial patterns as axioms.

But you created the pattern system by using a rule based system. You can't start with the pattern system pre-made and say that you can derive a rule-based system from the pattern. The rules were already created, executed and discarded. You are ignoring the fact that the rules were originally required to create the system. This is just a more complicated method of creating the answers for the pattern system, sticking the answers in the pattern, and then later extracting out the answers as if the pattern system derived them. The pattern system did not derive these answers.

> There really isn't a good difference between a system of derivation rules
> and a lookup table

You need a causal system like a computer CPU to run the program that processes the lookup table. A lookup table is like a data file on diskette. It is not alive, conscious, evolving, or active. A causal system is like a CPU running a program. It can act alive, conscious, evolve, change, and be active. All the functions of life or consciousness are there because the causal system is running. The data pattern itself is inert without the causal system.

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://> <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.