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Is Reality a Social Construction ?

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:34 am
Good stuff.
0 Replies
 
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:47 am
@fresco,
It is through the acquisition of language that we see "the world" in terms of "agents" (subject) "operating" (verb) on it (object),

But how can you believe in this that language is needed to think, to have sense about your surronding.

Baby knows nothing about language, subject, object or verbs but it can still think and react. The same goes for animals. Ants an bees anyone. Computers think and they don't use language, just a bunch of electrical impulses running around.

Thinking is nothing more then photon hitting your eye, eye sending electrical impulses into brain, this then triggers many electrical impulses that go between neurons and THIS process is called thinking.

LAST part of such process might be 1000 of electrical impulses between neurons whose goal is to move your moth muscels in order to form words.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:35 pm
@vori1234,
Quote:
Computers think and they don't use language,


on the contrary, it could equally be claimed that

Quote:
Computers DON'T THINK but they DO use language (an artificial one).


You are merely expressing a simplistic reductionist view.
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 03:32 am
@fresco,
Then how exactly are you defining process of thinking?

"Brain is thinking" for me simply means that there are electrical impulses running around neurons in our brain, triggerring chemical reactions which create other electrical impulses and so on. Neurons are not sending words to each other. At the most basic level thinking is nothing more then sequence of many causes and effects gouverned by laws of physics. It is just like a rock sliding down the mounted controlled with laws of gravitiy. It is just that in the process of thinking you get more interesting results then a rock resting at the bottom of the mountain.

And when I say that computer is thinking it is only because the same thing happens in the computer. Computer thinks/processes info when there are electrical impulese runningn around its hardware and where they go and what they do is complitely defined by basic laws of physics. Computers are so much like brains that they both used electrical impulses to function. Computers of the futere will use light/photons and some used for space exploration use liquids which are not so easily destroyed as electrical ones with comsic rays. My point is that it doesn't metter from what material computer/brain is made and what technology is currently using impulses/light/liquid. It is the type of interaction as seen and defined by us that defines if this system is currently thinking, solving some problem or not.
Computers can drive vehicle on their own, computer can play chess on their own, computers can recognize patterns and sound waves. And most of this stuff they can do better then humans and most of this stuff is considered as result of thniking when humans are doing it so there is no reason not to say that computers are also thinking.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AND NOW ANOTHER OSERVATION AVOUT NOT NEEDING LANGUAGE TO THINK.

Cmputers operate as instructed by machine code which is a simple sequence of zeros and ones. No words there.
Each command that you want computer to do has its own specific combinations of zeros and one, and although human can directly write machine code, it is very hard to remember which combinations of xzero and ones represent which computer function.
This is why programmers have invented "Assembly language". There you use english words to tell computer what to do. If you want to instruct computer to add two numbers you simply write ADD 10 50 and interpreter will trasnform this command into machine langugae looking something like this:
110001110 000001010 110010 (without spaces introduced for readability).

And in highl level OOP Langugage like JAVA you can create class CAR and use it to create concrete objects of type CAR like MyCar, JohnsCar and so on and then yo could write code like this:
create MyCar as type os CAR.
MyCar.startEngine
myCar.goToDestination("London");

Now you ARE using words, objects and so on but all of these at the end must be transformed into "meaningless" sequence of zeros and once in order for machine to do anything.

So it seem to me that it is very much possible that something like this is automaticly happening in our brain when we want to think about some complicated subject.

But it is also easy to imagine some alien civilisation which doesn't uses words to think or comunicate but for instance pictures.
Or human civilisation that uses hand motions to represent paarts of the world.
Maybe they when they think they simple construct images or hand motions in their brains, no words.

But no metter what is used it all comes down to simple electrical impulses and chemical reactions which do their thing even if person is not using words.
Baby that was just born does a lot of thniking controlling heart, lungs, mouths to scream when it is hungry, poopong when it is full and so on. Smile
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 07:31 am
@vori1234,
Quote:
Then how exactly are you defining process of thinking

I am defining it as a process perculiar to self-aware/conscious organisms.

Computer mimicry of some the functioning of conscious organisms does NOT imply that it explains such functioning. ( For example, in the case of "pattern recognition" by computers using massive calculations involving auto-correlation functions it is pretty clear that we don't do it that way).
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 10:20 am
@fresco,
There are so many differences between a computer and a human, having a discussion about its similarities is hilarious! Humans base their thinking subjectively on most issues that concerns themselves and others. Computers react objectively to all input depending on how it was programmed. It can respond randomly, but somebody had to program that into the computer. Humans do not have any restraint.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 11:29 am
@cicerone imposter,
ci,

vori claims humans have no free will and their behaviour can be reduced to the "laws of physics". He doesn't seem to recognize that the functioning of even a single cell cannot be explained by such laws...but he's optimistic !
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 12:20 pm
@fresco,
That's an extreme position for anybody to take; as he walks out of his house, he is probably programmed by his mother. LOL
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 01:23 pm
I can't take comparisons between machines and humans seriously until machines operate in terms of feelings/emotions/motives as well as some system of logic. All thought as I know it is motivated consciously or unconsciously. And that requires an organic nervous system.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 01:34 pm
@JLNobody,
Even though I readily agree with your first assertion, I see absolutely no reason that machines would require an organic nervous system to have feelings/emotions.

Anthropomorphizing is not rational..
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 02:30 pm
@Francis,
Maturana defines emotion as "a disposition to action". Francis may therefore have a point but not on the basis of emotion as " conscious feelings".
This issue exemplifies the rift between those like M, who "deflate" consciousness as an "epiphenomenon of life" and those who would make it ascendent as the "essence of existence".
0 Replies
 
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 04:01 pm
@cicerone imposter,
What do you mean by:

1.Humans base their thinking subjectively on most issues that concerns themselves and others.
Computers react objectively to all input depending on how it was programmed.

Give an example, concrete situation in which human behaves subjectivly and that same beahvoir can be programmed into computer. Computers can be easily programed to behave subjectivly if that was the intention of the programmer.

Have you ever played RPG - Role playing games. They contain what is called NPCs - Non Player Characters as in Computer Controlled Characters. Creating program that tells them how to behave is very easy to make. Here is an example.

If someone kills my dog I will hit him in a head.
If someine saves my life I will give him 1000 gold coins.
If I am low on health I will take health potion.

Now you can add as many such if statements as you like and you can also combine them into more complex structures like this one:
If someone has blue eyes, comes from Texas and (likes to drink or dislikes pizza) I will ask him if he wants to be my friend.

2. Humans do not have any restraint.
They are restraint by the laws oh physics which allows them to do only one exact think at each moment in time. Did you have physics in your school?How many different solution did each problem have. One. You were given input values for some moment in time and then you were asked to predict value of some other variable somewhere in the future. In order to find that one correct solution you needed to know which mathematical model of which law of physics you should use, where to put those initial values in formula and to calculate formula.
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 04:09 pm
@fresco,
He doesn't seem to recognize that the functioning of even a single cell cannot be explained by such laws...but he's optimistic !

So I offered a view where functioning of even a single cell can be explained by such laws since such assumption was shown to be correct in millions of examples and experiments in many different parts of science. I am not saying this is 100% true, I am not saying that this might not change tomoorow, I am just saying that sicentist and normal people were able to predict, using laws of physics, many times what will happen with a cell. For instanc I can predict that my cells will not reposition them self in the next second to the other side of the world. I can predict that total mass of my cels can't increase 100 times in the next second. And as I expand my knowedge about cell I can predict finer changes.

Now if you think that that cell functioning can be explained in a different way what that other way would be?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 04:30 pm
@vori1234,
Re: cicerone imposter (Post 3652158)
What do you mean by:

1.Humans base their thinking subjectively on most issues that concerns themselves and others.
When we drive a car, we drive on the roads that we think best meets our wishes.
Computers react objectively to all input depending on how it was programmed.
A computerized vehicle can only go in the direction that has been pre-programmed.

Give an example, concrete situation in which human behaves subjectivly
When a human decides to go someplace, they have many options in arriving at their destination. They can take the shortest route, the longest route, the scenic route, or with any numbers of detours.

and that same beahvoir can be programmed into computer.
See your answer below.

Computers can be easily programed to behave subjectivly if that was the intention of the programmer. With great limitations compared to humans.

Have you ever played RPG - Role playing games. They contain what is called NPCs - Non Player Characters as in Computer Controlled Characters. Creating program that tells them how to behave is very easy to make. Here is an example.
Yes, somebody had to "program" what the computer does.

If someone kills my dog I will hit him in a head.
If someine saves my life I will give him 1000 gold coins.
If I am low on health I will take health potion.
The "consequence or reward" is pre-programmed by some human. It does not decide on its own; the programmer programmed it that way.

Now you can add as many such if statements as you like and you can also combine them into more complex structures like this one:
If someone has blue eyes, comes from Texas and (likes to drink or dislikes pizza) I will ask him if he wants to be my friend.
All the scenarios were established, and the response(s) already programmed.

2. Humans do not have any restraint.
We're talking about behavior of humans and computers; not whether we have physical limitations.
They are restraint by the laws oh physics which allows them to do only one exact think at each moment in time. Did you have physics in your school?How many different solution did each problem have. One. You were given input values for some moment in time and then you were asked to predict value of some other variable somewhere in the future. In order to find that one correct solution you needed to know which mathematical model of which law of physics you should use, where to put those initial values in formula and to calculate formula.
Yes, and they are all programmed by humans.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 04:34 pm
@vori1234,
Cells cannot be "explained" except with repect to their own structure as "autopoietic" systems, or relative to the higher level structures of which they are part. The models which give rise to such structures can be described the by non-linear (non-predictive) mathematics of catastrophe theory and fractals. This implies that our gut requirements of a "causal" (predictive) model will fail and consequently our concept of "explanation" itself must change. This last point is termed an epistemological one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopoiesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:04 pm
@Francis,
Francis, I am not advocating anthropomorphization. I am only saying that so long as machines do not feel (so long as they have no internal "motivation" to think up particular conclusions), their "thinking" is fundamentally different from that of humans. Whether or not they need ORGANIC equipment to go beyond external "motivation"/programming, as I have suggested, is an empirical matter, a question for future engineering. Gasp!
0 Replies
 
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:17 pm
@cicerone imposter,
1.When we drive a car, we drive on the roads that we think best meets our wishes.

When computer drives a car, it drives on the roads that it thinks best meets its wishes.
If computer was programmed to get there as fast as possible you can call this his wish and it will use the fastest route. (sports car in a race)
If computer was programmed to get there using the slowest route
you can call this his wish and it will use the slowest route. (sports car in a race hacked by a rival driver)

2. A computerized vehicle can only go in the direction that has been pre-programmed.
Human operated vehicle can only go in the direction that has been pre-programmed.

3. When a human decides to go someplace, they have many options in arriving at their destination. They can take the shortest route, the longest route, the scenic route, or with any numbers of detours.

No he can't. Whatever decision that human makes at that moment was the only possible decision he could have made at that moment. Complex process of deciding where to go that was going in his brain was governed by the laws of physics directing electric impulses between neurons. laws of physics define EXACTLY what will happen with any part of the universe in the next moment no metter if this is electrical impuls in your brain or yourself as a system.

The process of deciding which route to take can be simply programmed into computer.
If there is no rain take the scenic route.
If you need to be at your destination in less then 10 minutes take the fast route.
If you have 30 minutes to get to your destination and you fuel level is lower then 10 galons deatour to the pump.

3. Yes, somebody had to "program" what the computer does.
Just like the nature programmed you what to do and gave you a subprogram which changes your program all the time.
So behaviour of our NPC can also be changed over time by another subprogam. Then subprogam might at some ppoint change thos "1000 gold coins" into "10 silver coins", or it can add another if statement to that NPC furthermore changing its behaviour.

4.The "consequence or reward" is pre-programmed by some human. It does not decide on its own; the programmer programmed it that way.

You can imagen that your brain has acctually two program. One that decides for you and the other that constatly is reprogramming the first one telling him what rules to use. This is like have program and programmer tide to each other and the programmer is constantly changing the program.

Mathematical Models of Neural Networks are oding the same thing. They are always equiped with so called Back propagation algorithm whose goal is to change/reprogram neurla network after each of its decisions. This allows NN to adapt, learn and change just like your brain does.

5. All the scenarios were established, and the response(s) already programmed.
Not if you have another programm which constantly change NPCs behaviour which is what happens in brain.

6. We're talking about behavior of humans and computers; not whether we have physical limitations.
Because of physical limitations/laws we have our choices limited to single one at any given moment.

7 . Yes, and they are all programmed by humans.
What is: "they are all programmed by humans."?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:33 pm
@vori1234,
vori,

From my answer to you on Free Will, you should be able to work out that "the laws of physics" have no existence other than relative to the minds which derive them for the purposes of prediction.
vori1234
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:57 pm
@fresco,
Well if we are talking about viewing world where car doesn't objectivly exisist, but it is just product of our mind or that computer simulation we are living in, then of course for laws of physics could be also said that they don't objectivly exist, we are only imagining them.

The thing is, as I sad before, it doesn't metter if they exists objectivly or just in our brains. They seem to be constant, it seems that we can make mathematical models of them and use them to predict them.

So, whatever reason there might be that we are imagining car or laws of physics, there seems to be some rules as what and how we are imagining things. We are calling these rules laws of physics
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 08:31 pm
@vori1234,
Vori, to say that humans are programmed by humans is to say that they are "socialized", "enculturated" by adults when we are children.
0 Replies
 
 

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