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Everything posted by Eise

  1. The situation is similar to the incompatibility between General Relativity and Quantum Theory now. Both are tested extensively, and no experiment refuted these theories until now. You could call that an 'academic storm in a teacup', because, as far as I can see, it will not have a direct impact on any technology in daily use. However, as said before, some technologies would not work if we would not take relativity in account: GPS would not work, synchrotons would not work (in fact synchrotons were a necessary technology, because cyclotrons do not work anymore when velocities get too high: the classical law of conservation of momentum does not apply anymore, and must be replaced by relativistic momentum. As that is impossible to do based on the mechanism of the cyclotron (i.e. constant frequency of change of polarisation) we needed new concepts). Without taking into account relativity, particle accelerators would not work. Yes, it is weird: do you think that anything in physics (theoretical and practical) would change, if you find errors in the article 'that started it all'? I would suggest you read the first part of Leonard Süsskind's 'Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory', from the 'Theoretical Minimum' series. It is more educational than Einstein's Moving Bodies', and more modern in its language.
  2. It seems to me you have forgotten that all results of special relativity are tested to the bone, and shown to be correct. I provided the link. Here it is again. Eh? There was a huge problem: Poincaré, Lorentz, and probable many other physicists (less famous), were very well aware that the Galilean transformations do not work for the Maxwell equations. That means that classical mechanics and Maxwell are inconsistent. One of them has to change. Based on the postulate of the invariance of the speed of light, classical mechanics must be adapted. Your 'Ansatz' is also a bit weird: as if SR is logically based on Einstein's original article only. Even if there would be errors in it, the further development of SR is not touched by that. There even have been several physicists who think that Einstein's argumentation in 'Moving Bodies' is not quite correct, but the conclusions of the article were not put in doubt by that. So if you can't follow 'Moving Bodies', then try a more modern introduction, and educational better, or easier to read than Einstein's original article.
  3. Right. I don't know if I exactly can say I know more about science history than you, but at least, it greatly interests me. After the Michelson-Morley experiment, there were several ad-hoc explanations of the negative result: it is no accident that length contraction often goes by the name of 'Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction'. Supposing that the aether exhorted some force on objects moving through it, the length contraction 'explained' the null result of the MM experiment. Woldemar Voigt also went into that direction. To Lorentz, it was also very clear, that classical physics and Maxwell's electromagnetism were inconsistent: applying the Galilean principle of relativity, the Maxwell equations do not keep their form. Lorentz was able to derive the correct transformations that left the Maxwell equations intact. Poincaré named them 'Lorentz transformations', and Einstein just took over this name. However, Lorentz still believed in a dynamic influence of the aether as the explanations of his transformations. AFAIK, Poincaré himself was also very aware of this consistency problem, but thought that would be one preferred reference frame, but due to the Lorentz transformation it is indeterminable. @Logicandreason: from this it should be clear, that Einstein was not working on an original problem when he published his 'On the electrodynamics of moving bodies'. Even the title was not original, I think Poincaré wrote an article with the same title (but then in French, of course). Einstein succeeded in deriving the Lorentz transformations from only two postulates: the principle of relativity, which is the same as the Galilean, but extended to electromagnetism, or better, all laws of physics; and the invariance of the speed of light. Einstein himself said that the time for SR was ripe those days, and I would say it would soon have been discovered by somebody else. Just a few comments on this thread. (I am not well-versed in mathematics either, so I leave that to our experts). But I would like to point out that SR lies at the root of many working technologies (particle accelerators, GPS (which needs general relativity too); of physics itself (e.g. the magnetic field so to speak rolls out the existence of the electric field seen by moving observers; it explains the colour of gold and the liquidness of mercury), E = mc2 of course also rolls out of SR; and spin and antimatter were predicted by making the Schrödinger equation conform to SR (by Dirac)). And then of course there are an awfully lot of tests thrown at it. Wikipedia has a long list here. So the default position of anybody doubting SR should be that (s)he does not understand it, because the tests and usage of SR speak a clear language. To think that there would be an error in Einstein's original article would not change anything in the modern understanding of SR.
  4. That would be a 'trickle-up' effect. And that may be much more realistic as the 'trickle-down' effect. A strong middle class, makes a strong consumer base. So more employees are needed to produce consumer products.
  5. Yes, it is a conjecture, of course. As long as we have not succeeded, we cannot be sure. But as TheVat already said, it is important to keep an open mind. We do not know what belongs to the essential properties of neurons and how they must be connected to generate consciousness. And I also think that @Genady is right, that an 'AGI' must have its own means of observing and moving. TheVat already answered it for me: Deep Learning is modeled after how neurons are working. The output that ChatGPT is not generated by rules implemented by humans. From Genady's linked article: If these simplified models of neurons suffice to replicate our mental capabilities, and can lead to consciousness, is an open question. But the output can definitely surprise the programmers. This is not Eliza, or SHRLDU. In these AI-programs, the rules were explicitly programmed. That is why your examples of your python program, thermostats, elevator software, etc simply are a dishonest comparison. Yep, and you are made of chemicals, that you can buy at the Chemist's. I let ChatGPT write a small bash-script for me. It did it in a nearly human way: the first version was wrong, I wrote what was wrong, and it came with a better version, but still not quite correct. In the end, the 5th version did exactly what I wanted. Yesterday I tried it with an elevator, but it did not succeed. So I think I have to call elevator-repair-man...
  6. But your neurons fire like they are always do, "just" in another pattern. That is true. But there is also no evidence that we can't. Now assume that we are able to simulate a complete brain: that means the simulation can also report on what it sees. And then, being able to do everything that a natural brain can do, it can report that it does not like what it sees. And when asked why, it can reveal some of its reasons. But that means it has inner states, or even stronger, is aware of its inner states. Then it becomes difficult to argue that it has no consciousness. And if it cannot give its reasons? Well, then it was not a good simulation, or at least incomplete. Of course it would! I am convinced that if all 'easy problems' are solved, there is no hard problem left. Qualia have no causal powers, so they might just as well none existent. Maybe it helps, if you ponder about why nobody today thinks we need 'elan vital' to explain life anymore. Piles? Nope. It is the structure and kind of processes that run on this structure. But that is probably what you meant. Well, if one drops the word "emergence" just like that, I agree. But if you have a model on how higher level phenomena can be explained by the workings of a lower level, then "emergence" is a sensible description of that.
  7. Multiple drafts model Sure. But this would also be an argument against any physics simulations: most laws of physics are continuous, so 'analog'. Using your argument computer models of physical process would be useless. So why would a digital computer not be able to be precise enough to simulate analog brain processes? Followup with the TheVat's idea that there is no difference between information processing and a simulation of information processing. A small pile of atoms cannot calculate, so computers, made of atoms cannot either (or the other way round: computers can calculate, so every atom can calculate a bit). Protons, neutrons and electrons do not have colour, so nothing built from them can have colour. Etc. Thanks for the clarification. I was reading 'existential' more in the way existentialists use it. And in that sense, you are already showing the first symptoms of 'existential fear': Read Dennett. He is also a strong defender of the idea that we have free will. (No not libertarian free will, not plain (quantum) randomness). And he wrote a chapter in Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking about the 'just-operator' (made it bold in your sentence)
  8. Yes. Build your own cloud chamber. It is not too difficult. Link.
  9. I doubt that, but in this case... I just wanted to apologise to Genady for forgetting about gluons. So this time I was right by being wrong. Maybe I show my stupidity with the next question: are gluons in a nucleon off-shell, i.e. virtual particles? Or is that a different topic?
  10. This also seems to me the most fundamental description of what c is. However, I think there is another description, and it would be great, if people agree, can shed some more light on this: c is the maximum speed of causality. So, no, as Genady already said. Only particles without rest mass, can travel at this speed, or better, can only exist as particles with this speed. Light and gravity are as far as we know the only phenomena that have this speed. (Neutrinos were also suspected to travel at light speed, until other experiments showed that they must have a tiny rest mass.)
  11. Of course not. The light dot on the wall cannot be used to transfer information from one place of the wall to another. Photons are not charged. Photons have infinite lifetime, unless absorbed. 'In theory', yes. But because there are no perfect mirrors, this will never be possible.
  12. I am not aware using the word 'computability'. Obviously you filled that in. If that helps: no, I do not think there will be an algorithm for consciousness. 'Complexity' surely is a much better description, even if it sounds more vaguely. But e.g. Daniel Dennett makes a well argued case in his Consciousness Explained, making it less vague than it sounds. So if your elevator is just executing algorithms, without having these algorithms unwanted side effects, then it is not conscious. Exactly like a neuron, or a small set of neurons. This is what I said: Added bold. Does that say that there were no discussions about this topic? Nope. And panpsychism is not my cup of tea. Should we also adhere to 'panvivism'? Because living organisms exist, should we suppose that all atoms are at least a little bit alive? Maybe you should explain what 'existential' means.
  13. @wtf That is correct. But there must be a natural explanation, and as long we do not have it, the question if some form of AI could turn out to be conscious cannot be answered. There is no reason to think quantum physics plays a fundamental role in consciousness. AFAIK not a single philosopher or cognitive scientist has picked up on Penrose's idea. (We need a theory of quantum gravity to explain consciousness??? Really?) Is a neuron conscious? Two connected neurons? Do neurons understand symbols? Because the complexity of the system is not big enough. Not enough nodes, not enough connections, and what more. I don't know what, and how much of it, or large, will be needed, but my point in my original reaction is: you don't either. You use the right word: 'speculations'. when you know Searle's Chinese Room 'intuition pump', then you also should know it is intensely debated. Obviously you do not believe that there is a natural explanation of consciousness. And I think that is the real reason, that you see no problem with AI, because it will never reach this 'magical consciousness' that we have. Correct me if I am wrong. And just to add: even if AI will never become conscious, that does not mean the people can make good use of this technology. I do not share your optimism:
  14. @wtf: You have to account for the simple fact, that we are also 'machines': wet, biological machines. From a naturalistic view, the meaning of expressions we experience must have a natural explanation. So the logical and/or chemical mechanism of neurons somehow generate meaning and consciousness. I put the 'flipping' in quotes, while neurons are not flip-flops. But all neurons will behave according to laws of nature. As long as we do not understand how these billions of neurons give rise to meaning and consciousness, it is premature to state that a huge system of flip-flops will not be able to experience meaning. Having said that, I think ChatGPT is still far from that point. And I wonder why you ask me to explain myself, but did not react iNow's remarks: So where your descriptions of the workings of ChatGPT might be perfectly correct, you fail to account how meaning and consciousness arise, evolutionary, and individually, in humans.
  15. Doesn't the meaning supervene on the flipping of the bits? In the end, we are just 'flipping' neurons. I think the difference is gradual.
  16. Not at all. It is such an apparatus: (But then much bigger (I think it is a '12 espresso cups' size), and of stainless steel...) So if you do not notice that the water boiled through, i.e. there is no water anymore in the lower compartment, it can be as hot as possible on your stove. As a side node, pressure is not high enough to count as real espresso (no 'crema'), but it is good enough. No; I just buy my bread. If it comes in contact with (hot?) aluminium, well, too bad.
  17. I meant the percolating coffee espresso maker. And that can become quite hot, especially when I do not smell the coffee or hear it running through. Nope, I do not use alu foil for that I nearly never order food at home, and then mostly it is pizza Not in Switzerland, at least not what I use to buy My drinks are mostly in PET or glass bottles. And AFAIK, there is a small layer of some plastic in aluminium cans. But still, I am not a fanatic. Just a bit careful, when it is easy to do. Like Mistermack says:
  18. Me too. I always make coffee that way. Just not aluminium, but stainless steel ones. Especially, already knowing about aluminium and Alzheimer's plaques, and then learned that aluminium is one of the lightest elements that are not needed in our bodies. I even got further, starting from the coffee grinder: (But then an antique one, and fastened on a stool.) And for the cappuccino, this for the skimmed milk: Yes, I believe in primitive technology, and doing something to 'earn' the coffee. It definitely is not labour saving... Sorry @mistermack.
  19. It is a fact, that with a description in terms of spacetime curvature, we can make better descriptions, more encompassing, about gravity than with Newtonian gravity. That doesn't necessarily mean that spacetime 'really' is curved. It only means that with this model we can make more and better predictions, and a deeper understanding of phenomena in the 'strong gravity' regime, and on modelling the universe and its history. So why shouldn't we use GR instead of Newtonian gravity? It might also be interesting for you to know, that a formulation of GR without curved spacetime is possible, but then you should accept as a fact that gravity slows down time, and changes lengths of objects in gravitation fields, relative to observers that are far away from any gravitational field. According Kip Thorne (Black Holes and Time Warps) some calculations even become easier, than using the mathematical description with curved spacetime. And do not forget: if you think you have an alternative, you must show, mathematically, that you can describe everything that is already correctly described by GR.
  20. Just a side note... 10170 - 1080 is definitely not 1090. It is closer to... 10170. 10170 divided by 1080 is 1090. So a full board has 1090 times the positions of a 13 x 13 board.
  21. Ah, of course you can specify a general triangle. But you cannot draw it. Take my example of 'the dog': using the definition of a 'general triangle', the question if it has a right angle cannot be answered ('the dog' being black or not). But from the definition we can be sure that the sum of the angles is 180o ('the dog' having 4 legs). I consider such use of the word 'triangle' as metaphoric speech.
  22. As said in the previous reactions, the general triangle exists as a concept. As you correctly notice, you cannot draw a 'general triangle'. So, e.g. a proposition about 'the triangle' means, that it should apply to all triangles, like 'the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180o'. To expand a little on 'concepts': naive ideas about language are that the words refer to things in reality. But that is not the case: words refer to concepts. If I ask you the question 'How many legs has a dog?' you have no trouble to give the correct answer. But if I ask you to visualise a dog, and then followup with 'Is it black or not?' I do not know what you will answer, because you pictured a specific dog, not 'the general dog'. The 'general dog' is not black, not brown, not white etc. But the 'general dog' has four legs. Without concepts, language would be impossible, and with that general propositions, and with that on its turn, science. Concepts are not naturally given, so in different languages, concepts might differ too. And in science new concepts are developed again and again. Concepts are not true or false: they are useful or not. If they allow us to describe processes, ideally as a law of nature, they are useful.
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