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    1. #1
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      The Chinese Brain

      I hadn't encountered this until very recently but apparently it's quite well known. Personally I think it's a really interesting problem so I hope you like.

      We assume that consciousness arises due to the firing of our neurons; neurons receiving electrical impulses, processing the information, and sending out impulses of its own. The neurons themselves are physical systems with inputs and outputs determined by their inner workings.

      The concept of the Chinese brain is really easy to understand. Basically, we replace every neuron in a brain with a Chinese person. We give the Chinese people phones so that they can receive information (the analogy's version of a neuron's nerve impulses) from and send information to other people, and a list of rules which tells them exactly who they should send signals to depending on when they receive signals from, and who from.

      Essentially we have replaced a brain with the population of China. The question is this: would there therefore be a 'giant blob' of consciousness floating over China; would the situation cause consciousness?

    2. #2
      I LOVE KAOSSILATOR Serkat's Avatar
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      I don't think it would.

      It's like saying that, if we assume that apples are anions and bananas are cations, they should attract one another. Well, here's the deal: They don't. Because they aren't. The analogy is made of fail.

    3. #3
      Member dragonoverlord's Avatar
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      I thought you were gonna say chinese people dont have soles for a secound.
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    4. #4
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dragonoverlord View Post
      I thought you were gonna say chinese people dont have soles for a secound.
      It would be easy to determine one way or the other, as they are always taking off their shoes.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



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      Quote Originally Posted by Korittke View Post
      I don't think it would.

      It's like saying that, if we assume that apples are anions and bananas are cations, they should attract one another. Well, here's the deal: They don't. Because they aren't. The analogy is made of fail.
      You speak so pompously for a complete idiot.

    6. #6
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      There's only one way to find out.

    7. #7
      I LOVE KAOSSILATOR Serkat's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by M-Cat View Post
      You speak so pompously for a complete idiot.
      There's a pencil up your nose.

    8. #8
      Member dragonoverlord's Avatar
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      It would be easy to determine one way or the other, as they are always taking off their shoes
      You know the sole or whatever not the feet thing the sole as in the spirit.

      How the fuk do you spell it!!!???? I cant spell for shit sorry...
      Some are born to sweet deleight
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    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by dragonoverlord View Post
      You know the sole or whatever not the feet thing the sole as in the spirit.

      How the fuk do you spell it!!!???? I cant spell for shit sorry...
      Soul.


      I understand the original point.. and I don't know.

    10. #10
      Member george's Avatar
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      It would have to be a better communication system, as in the brain, a signal is not transferred one-to-one, but rather, as a wave covering the whole of the brain.

      Personally, I do not think that consciousness arises due to the mechanical information transfer between neurons. So there wouldn't be any special kind of consciousness created in the "chinese mind" even were the thing to work.
      Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience.
      It isn't more complicated that that.
      It is opening to or recieving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is,
      without either clinging to it or rejecting it.
      Sylvia Boorstein

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by george View Post
      It would have to be a better communication system, as in the brain, a signal is not transferred one-to-one, but rather, as a wave covering the whole of the brain.

      Personally, I do not think that consciousness arises due to the mechanical information transfer between neurons. So there wouldn't be any special kind of consciousness created in the "chinese mind" even were the thing to work.

      How does the conciousness arise then?

    12. #12
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      There's only one way to find out.
      Lol.
      It would have to be a better communication system, as in the brain, a signal is not transferred one-to-one, but rather, as a wave covering the whole of the brain.
      I wasn't aware of this. As far as I know, thought is the result of neurons sending signals to each other via axons to other neurons.
      It's like saying that, if we assume that apples are anions and bananas are cations, they should attract one another. Well, here's the deal: They don't. Because they aren't. The analogy is made of fail.
      Actually your analogy is wrong, because apples do not have negative charge and bananas do not have positive charge, unlike anions and cations. However, the chinese people are input-output systems, as are neurons.

      Answer this: in one situation, the signals are charged lumps of matter rushing through a thin tube shaped wall of fat and protein, inducing the motions of more lumps further down and hence carrying a signal to the end of the tube, where larger lumps are fired out of the end of the tube at a large sack inside which are many - largely unknown at present - inner mechanisms.

      In the other situation, signals are sent via the electomagnetic field using phones.

      Why is one of these situations more plausible for conscious thought?

    13. #13
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      Lol nobody in this thread knows what they're doing.

    14. #14
      Member dragonoverlord's Avatar
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      Soul.
      i cant beleive i didnt know the spelling. dam unphonetic spelling!
      Some are born to sweet deleight
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      Well, according to functionalism, this is possible. I think it does happen to a certain extent, but in a much different way to proper human consciousness. You look at any country - it has a 'national consciousness' based on its history (memory) and the events that shape it. It may be a far-stretched analogy, but it's certainly interesting to think about.

    16. #16
      Drivel's Advocate Xaqaria's Avatar
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      The interesting thing to think about is, where are lines drawn? Obviously chinese people are not limited to only communicate within their own country in this scenario and so they are allowing an exchange of information outside of the 'body'. The idea arises that it is possible to be part of multiple consciousnesses that work like a complex venn diagram of thought and motivations that over lap each other.

      The ability to happily respond to any adversity is the divine.
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    17. #17
      dream hungry kevtegr8's Avatar
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      well this can be extended to computers, can computers ever reach consciousness?
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    18. #18
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      Yeah it can. It's really the same kind of question but put into a more understandable context.

      I hear a lot of people going into the fine detail of computer chips and why they could not produce consciousness, but in my opinion that is completely the wrong angle on the issue.

      If you think about it, computers can produce totally realistic models of phyics, on the sort of scale of cells anyway (quantum effects are negligible). It follows that a powerful enough computer could, in theory, simulate all of the molcules in a brain. Of course there are much more efficient ways of doing this but the theory is the same. If you hooked up the sensory inputs properly, the computer would act just as if it is conscious. I don't really think the idea of the Turing Test is a very good one personally, but irregardless it would certainally pass the Turing Test. Should we therefore assume it is conscious? You could have a conversation with it if you like. You could have a conversation with the Chinese Brain. Seems pretty conscious to me. To suggest otherwise would be to say you can have thought without awareness. Is that the case?

    19. #19
      dream hungry kevtegr8's Avatar
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      Well yea it can give the impression of consciousness. But I think consciousness transcends physical laws. I don't think we have consciousness through physical means, consciousness is something more than electrons firing.
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