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The Mary Experiment 
Ok, I wrote an elaborate text but I have to boil it down even more.

You are implying that if physicalism were true, mary shouldn't go "ooh"? It doesn't make sense.

Why? Your assumptions are unclear.

Mary should be able to "simulate" color sensations just with the information of brain patterns? But then she should be able to generate the actual sensations. And then she wouldn't go "ooh", as she's had it before already. She'd go "well, exactly as I predicted".

And if she goes ooh, it's just the lack of possibility of doing the experiment to herself. Physical limitations.

Metl:"Not all knowledge is knowledge of the world..." well, do you count your own mind as part of the world or not? 
99 Bottle Of Beer On The Wall... 
99 bottles of beer...

take one down...

pass it around...

oops! I posted in the wrong thread! (~_^) 
Bambuz: 
She would go "ooh" either way because her reaction is based on how her brain works.

The question is whether she learns anything new by seeing color for the first time. If we think she does, then that means that her previous knowledge was incomplete.

And I should retract my wording in the previous post ... "Not all knowledge is knowledge of the world" is sloppy. It would be better stated as "Not all knowledge of the world is objective knowledge." 
Ok 
A very atomized way of saying it:

Assumed she has perfect knowledge means either:

1)she knows exactly how red feels in her brain, so she doesn't go ooh. (This is impossible today.)

2) she doesn't know how red feels, so she goes ooh - but that means that she didn't know all, hence she doesn't have perfect knowledge, hence the initial condition isn't satisfied.


The problem with the excercise are the unrealistic and unclear assumptions.

It's the same thing as with direct brain interfaces - you can't activate certain brain areas by thinking about a certain point on the surface of the brain. Rather you have to think about something that has been measured to make activity at some spot on your brain, say, moving your left hand.

If you think that the brain should be self-aware in that you could control it like your hands, then there should be another, smaller "core brain" that should do this, but would that brain be aware of itself? Etc, we get into an endless string. As soon as you start "calculations" about what you should do to cause activation at some point in the brain, some other point activates when doing these calculations.
The brain can never think and perfectly see and control its actions at the same time. 
Bambuz 
although i agree with you, i think it could be possible to have a connectionist system like the brain be both self-modifiable and self-aware 
It's Interesting To Note 
that the brain of course has much more neurons and much much more connections than ever could be assembled according to genetic instructions - there just isn't enough place for information in the DNA.

It's that some details and some general structures are given in the genes, but a huge part of the formation of the brain in the fetus and during childhood is by self-organization.

If we take a long jump in thoughts, what self-organizing systems have humans managed to construct? Perhaps neural network learning and the related self-organizing maps (SOM):s, the latter which work by just eating data and automatically organizing it into groups (it takes a while though, but it requires NO teaching). Fascinating systems, but still very far from something as complex as what happens in the brain.
There are stuff like RAAM networks (recursive autoassociative memory) etc too... but as I understand, they're really crude too. 
And 
then you ask, what if our brains are the "DNA" to some self-organizing system? 
Yah 
the complex structure enables some even more complex activity. 
Sending Information Backwards In Time 
Do particle interactions care about the direction of time?
Everybody has probably heard about quantum entanglement and "spooky action at a distance", that would happen immediately, even if the entangled particles were separated far away, violating the speed of light limit.

There's a guy who now proposes to make an experiment that could have very unintuitive results:
http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=1152

[Cramer�s] extra twist is to run the photons you choose how to measure through several kilometers of coiled-up fiber-optic cable, thereby delaying them by microseconds. This delay means that the other beam will arrive at its detector before you make your choice. However, since the rules of quantum mechanics are indifferent to the timing of measurements, the state of the other beam should correspond to how you choose to measure the delayed beam. The effect of your choice can be seen, in principle, before you have even made it.


There are those age-old questions like why does time flow forward? On many scales, time could be reversable. Basically, only entropy is the only thing that increases with time and shows the direction of "the arrow of time". Perhaps small single particles need not care about it? 
Addendum 
I must admit that I don't know much about the things above, so might use the wrong words / ideas. In a sense, I guess saying "immediately" is questionable in the einsteinian sense as everything is relative and local, meaning it's not clear what is meant if you say that two thing happen at the same time. 
Bambuz 
You described teleportation principles... nothing else... 
Phew... 
...the discussion herein has been positively inspiring recently, and as soon as we get this bloody mission pack out I'll be back to ruminate and engage. Thanks metl and bam! 
Messrs Einstein, Podolsky And Rosen 
I agree with JPL (I think)... this or very similar things have been done already.

I saw an interesting idea in New Scientistic a few years back: you can't use EPR-type stuff to communicate faster than light, because you have to compare the results at both sensors to observe the correlation that quantum mechanics predicts -- the output of each sensor is isolation is completely random. So maybe the randomness inherent in quantum mechanics is in some sense the universe's way of preserving causality. 
Back To Teleportation 
This EPR solution is only a way to teleport something, or somebody... In fact you are copying something using the effect of the "something" on an electron. Its paired electron is reacting in the same way, so you are able to define what was the matter who gave the effect detected, and then able to rebuild the original, atoms per atoms... It'a kind of high level copy...
The issue then comes after the copy, if the orginal is a human: what are you doing with the original ? Do you kill him ? It has some ethic consequences there !
So we are not simply talking about teleportation, but more about a high cloning technology... and its collateral effects.... ;P 
BTW 
I don't know if the above explanations were clear... :( 
Interesting Article 
I read this last week.

These guys claim to have evolved simple artificial neural networks that exhibit "stage IV object permanence."

The results seem to challenge what we might think of as "necessary complexity" for intelligent-ish behavior to arise.

Watson, J. S. (2005). The elementary nature of purposive behavior: Evolving minimal neural structures that display intrinsic intentionality. Evolutionary Psychology, 3: 24-48.

http://www.google.com/search?q=www.epjournal.net%2Ffilestore%2Fep032448.pdf 
Broken Link 
Yeah 
but i wanted to provide a link to google's pdf-to-html function :) 
Inertia 
Unfortunately, the link you provided doesn't work.. at least on my PC... I don't know for others... sorry ;P 
It Takes Some Research, At Least For Me 
to determine
1) What they have done
and
2) what it means.

Of course, most probably it's just hype. Will see within time. Now bed. If the damn chess players in the living room aren't too loud. 
Filtered Thought/language 
<quote>Are we excluding more and more of raw input and is more and more of our experience pre-filtered by our expectations? This kind of plays into a suspicion I have that things like language and analytical thought actually enforce a structure on the mind, and while it may feel like the internal world becomes more and more crisp, is it really just becoming more limited? Otherwise, where does the extra complexity come from in our finite brains? </quote>

As we grow up we definitely tend to apply more filters to the input we receive and streamline our thought process in different ways. I think this is very apparent when trying to learn how to draw and paint when you have to work with the way you interpret visual data and try to see the actual appearance of things instead of just quickly looking up objects as simplified "symbols" ("face" "cup" "dolphin" .. ) stored in a big database built up throughout life.

I have no doubt that language impose structure and limit people's thought (Orwell's 1984...) and that we should question the strong dominance the spoken/written/"intellectual" language has in modern(western?) society and the way it affects/limits our thoughts.

It can be very rewarding to try to look at any seemingly insignificant thing without any preconceptions and telling the part(s) in your brain that likes to think in words to shut up. Don't lose the curiosity you had as a child!

/End of incoherent post 
Oops, Forgot The "preview Post" And Quote Tags 
Hmm 
what do you guys think is the most important thing to know? i mean this in a really grand sense 
Clarification 
what do you guys think is the most important thing to know?

How to whipe your own ass. I use that almost every day.

Ok, so are you talking strictly about knowledge, i.e. I know 2+2=4, or are you also including tasks, i.e. I know how to learn? 
It Is Important To Know And Remember Every Day When You Wake Up 
That you are a worthless failure. 
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