Re: Conscious machines

From: Steve (
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 16:01:28 MST

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 15:40:51 -0800
From: "Jason Joel Thompson" <>
Subject: Re: Conscious machines

>Hi Steve.

>Boy, you are a slippery one.

>You're pretty good at "not being wrong," ain'tcha?

I prefer to be more positive and say "being right!"


> >I think you're reading too much into what I'm saying Steve. Let's try to
> >keep this simple.
> Assuming that everything is simple is a BIG mistake.

>You're right Steve. So let's not assume that everything is simple. In
>addition, at the other extreme, let us not practice the deliberate
>obfuscation and/or avoidance of the issues by continual reference to the
>unknowability of all things.

I think we should have as full information as practicable. This makes
choices more clear on the whole, and is not obfustification.

>Can we agree that even in the absence of
>purely predictable/deterministic properties, we, as cognizant beings, can
>proceed anyway, and musn't be paralyzed with indecision?

Indeed, but nor should we be too rash ... I am arguing for balance, not for
one side or the other on this empowerment question....

>To be achingly clear: all you're arguing here is that, for some reason,
>that belief may NOT be limiting in this particular case. Fine. If you
>that to be the case, then it's a bad example. The point remains: we should
>try to remove the genuinely limiting ideologies.

Yes, but this point is so banal and obvious, we all do it anyway. The devil
is in the detail.

>Let me further refine my usage of the term limiting, lest you deliberately
>mis-interpret my intention (whoops, too late.) The type of ideologies I'm
>talking about removing are the ones that limit the individual from
>'good things.' (or increased utility, or however you want to define it.)
>You choose to argue the minutiae, "oh no Jason, that's not a limiting
>ideology for this and that such and such reasons." Fine. I agree the
>consequences of actions and ideologies are debatable. The point remains:
>an ideology limits an individual from increasing utility, THEN it should be
>stripped away.

>Read that sentence again, carefully.

You do love to generalise ... I am trying to inject some gritty reality into
your speculations because I hate generalisations, particularly in
I think a better way of evaluating ideological propositions might be on
TRUTH value .... utility is an even more nebulous quantity, and my utility
might be to your detriment. Reject ideology because is false, not limiting.

>I'm not talking about -every- belief structure Steve, as the paragraph
>states in brutal, nay, shocking clarity. Where do you get these
>counter-arguments from? Why don't you just answer the question? I won't
>hold it against you if you say yes. If fact, it might re-assure me that
>weren't simply being difficult (whoops, too late.)

I repeat, reject ideology because is false, not on grounds that it is
True beliefs, such as that I am not superman or batman, are limiting, but

> I do not see your oversimplistic view as having any merit.

>Fair enough. You think things are complicated. Mostly, they are.
>Situational and environmental modifiers rear their ugly heads. However, a
>simple core truth remains, and I have personally reaped the benefits from
>understanding it: Humans often hold arbitrary beliefs that are negatively
>limiting. Humans should try to identify such beliefs and remove them (so
>to no longer be arbitrarily limited.) Your protestations against this
>'oversimplistic view' are argumentative and unhelpful. The abstractions
>introduce to this discussion seem designed to preserve your authority over
>the process of human therapy. You don't need to do that-- I surrender to
>your authority regarding the frequent complexity of procedure.

>- -I- however have luckily (and in the absence of expert advice) achieved
>whiz-bang results from the logical observation of my own limiting
>and the subsequent removal thereof. Still a work in progress, I am pleased
>to report that my level of personal empowerment is currently quite high.

You are generalising from the particular in the same way that an evangelical
Christian gives their testimony .... Hallelujah, I have been saved, accept
God and
the same can happen for you ....

Great, it works for you (or you have convinced yourself that it does
by auto-suggestion, same thing) and you wish to share this "revelation".
Problem is, your formulae contains nothing new, is just an naive
to "optimise." NLP is a huge system about remodelling & changing your
meta-programming, getting rid of outworn habitual behaviour &c. What are
you saying that adds to this?

> >Desirable ends: Removal of limiting belief structures.
> My limiting belief is that I am "mortal" and not superman which stops
> me leaping from tall buildings ... this limiting belief is ESSENTIAL.
> No need to strip anything way, just evaluate your actions/beliefs

>If you *really* think this is what I meant by 'limiting', then I hope I
>addressed this above.

Glad that I am continually forcing you to modify and qualify your position.

>But, come on Steve. Please.

> > You -are- looking to re-invent
> >yourself as a posthuman entity, aren't you?
> No, have been post-human a very long time already.

>What is a human?

One of your so-called limiting belief structures .....

>What is it about -you- that makes you "not-a-human?"

I have stripped away this limiting belief. Ha!

> Not a problem I have. I just don't altogether trust everyone else with it

>Ah, I see. You don't trust other people who might empower themselves.
>enough. So what's your strategy then? Is it your intention to prevent
>other individuals from embracing rational self-empowerment?

No, just to try and present them with fuller information so as to make
a more informed choice. Shame that you refuse to comprehend MVT, but
that is no loss to me ....

> >The ability to dissolve one's ego is -also- an expression of personal
> power.
> >This is a paradox/truth.
> Humility ... yes maybe what your Joe character was exhibiting?

>More likely its fear-- and the longer that Joe perpetuates this belief
>structure, the less likely that he'll actually sit down and do something:
>write his book, say hello to someone nice. If he's lucky, he'll get
>out of this negative attractor state by a major situational modifier.

Are you attempting to use psychobabble jargon to enhance your
own authority here? What evidence do you have for "structure" as opposed for
fairly ad hoc joblots of variable beliefs ..... most folks aren't very

>For instance, I'm totally incapable of recognizing how your above paragraph
>invalidates (or even remotely addresses) my statement that: "Environments
>have decreased relevancy to our existence if we don't actually get to
>"mentally interface" with them."

"Mentally interface" presumably means "think about them." We have
capability so can think about, or imagine, any environments we want. Cite
Leibnitz "all possible worlds."

>In fact, to my painfully addled intellect, your above paragraph appears to
>be an attempt at tangential obfuscation by authority-- and seems to
>demonstrate an unwillingness to agree with (or engage) a relatively
>innocuous statement.

What makes you say only "relatively" innocuous.
What potential dangers do you see?

>Perhaps, in deference to my ignorance regarding "E-1 non-primal-eye
>infinite-state self-organizing" brain theory, you could (in detail) explain
>how said terms increase the relevancy of environments that we don't
>get to mentally interface with.

See points I made previously. You cannot deny that our brains are (1) E-1,
(2) are self-organising, or (3) are infinite-state (as opposed to mu- or
MVT is based on scientifically repeatable experiments and observations
from nature. Your "theory" is just a personalised lingoistic generalisation.
MVT does explain the mechanisms of all mentation, including dreams.

> If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It is overzealous evangelisers that cause
> problems.
> If their "limiting beliefs" get the Amish or whoever thru
> life .. they aren't complaining ... it is your inflexibility/purism of
> thought
> that creates the problem here, not the poor Amish.

>Dude! I'm not judging the Amish. Hey, I say: "Go Amish!" I -love- the

But, as pro-science Extropians and what-not, we automatically
are proposing a future radically at odds with the Amish vision ....
and therefore must be able to make a strong case for advancement
rather than comfortable stasis (along with its limiting, religious beliefs).

>But, you'll grant (I hope, dear God, I hope) that if a particular Amish
>wants to, oh... visit Mir for instance, he/she has some ideological hurdles
>to overcome.

> We all live in trance!

>Well, if we -all- live in trance, then so what? It's irrelevant if there
>no such thing as "NOT-trance."

There are various depths of trance .. from wakefulness, through daydreams,
to deep catatonic somnambulism. But, yes, all mentation is "hallucination"
even if fairly mundane such as the hallucination of our internal voice
MVT explains this (naturally, I would say that,but happens to be the case).

> let me ask you a question ...
> I can use MVT to devise new types of hypnotic induction (mind control).
> Should I use these techniques to promote my own agenda or not?

>Well, if you want to place the agenda of self-empowerment into an ethical

An 'actual' not 'ethical context' ......

>(I touched on this briefly with my 'spirit of compassion'
>statements,) then I'll have to state that I am pretty much a utilitarian.
>As much utility as possible, for as many people as possible, for as long as

Sure, I will be very beneficent, and put them in a "better" state of mind.
More people will be happier, therefore you think I should do it?

>So, if you're asking, do I agree with ALL forms of personal empowerment,
my answer is a definitive no. I'm a big fan of lots of them, however.

Aha, so you are building qualifiers into your initial statement. You haven't
answered my specific case of the mind-control induction though.

By the way, MVT is the way to make conscious machines , so I changed
the thread name again .. sorry for any confusion.
Level Up

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