Owning cats is not vegan

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Re: Owning cats is not vegan

Post by teo123 » Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:The precautionary principle means erring on the side of caution
Well, see, making people believe fish feel pain might also have dire consequences. Perhaps many of them will stop eating fish because of that, not realizing that it's the main source of vitamin B12 in their diets, and suffer from malnutrition because of that.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Your ignorance on the topic (your anecdote) is not conspiratorial, it's just ignorant.
How is it ignorant, you haven't tried to explain that? OK, fine, you can make all sorts of ad-hoc hypotheses to explain away the behavior of the stick insect in that situation. You can claim it felt pain, but that it didn't feel fear (whatever that actually meant). You can claim that its memory is very short-lasting, so that it didn't remember it was me who broke off its leg (And what's the point of being able to feel pain then, how could it evolve?). You can perhaps claim that insects can't recognize human beings as animate (Even though they are somehow able to build honeycombs... supposedly without even basic intelligence). But the simplest explanation by far is that insects simply don't feel pain.
brimstoneSalad wrote:That's like saying an abacus has a system of beads to carry information and thus might be sentient in the same way as a supercomputer running a synthetic intelligence.
Not remotely. We know exactly how supercomputers work and how abacuses work. On the other hand, we only have a very dim idea of how brains work and how plant hormones work. So much so that there are still quite a few neuroscientists who believe that souls exist.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Read this
What's obvious from the way they are writing is that they are facing considerable opposition.
brimstoneSalad wrote: You need to study informatics, it will answer your questions.
I am studying computer science. In fact, I probably know at least as much computer science as you do. I've just been on a computer science competition for the university students (one category in the STEM-Games), and I ended up being the 7th in Croatia. If what you are saying about computer science doesn't make sense to me, it probably doesn't make sense to anybody.
Besides, what kind of argument is that? How is that different from saying "You need to study Arabic, then the Quran would make perfect sense to you." or "You need to study Christian Science, then the Bible will make a lot of sense to you."?
brimstoneSalad wrote:There are medications you can take to shut down for a while until it wears off, but you can also commit suicide.
How is that relevant?
I mean, a robot can, unlike the truly sentient beings, turn itself off as soon as it wants to, so it can't feel any actual suffering.
Of course it matters whether one can choose if they feel the suffering or not. The ethics of circumcision, for example, is a completely different story depending on whether it's done with or without anaesthesia. Back when it was done without anaesthesia, little Muslims were afraid of it and had to be forced to undergo it, it used to be a terrible experience. Today, most of them are happy about it. It hurts quite a bit until it heals, but that's not enough to make them unhappy.
brimstoneSalad wrote:So, you're saying it's circular reasoning?
Why would that be circular reasoning? The reasoning here goes like this:
In order for the feeling of pain to evolve, an organism most likely needs to be able to tell from which part of its body a sensation is coming from.
The parts of the brain needed for that in humans are not present in fish, and there is probably nothing analogous to that in fish (since their brains are very simple).
Therefore, fish most likely don't feel pain.
brimstoneSalad wrote:we also know that fish are *less* intelligent,
Why exactly would intelligence matter here? Newborns can feel pain, and they are not very intelligent (perhaps only slightly more intelligent than a fish). Is it therefore less wrong to hurt a newborn than an adult?

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun May 12, 2019 4:29 pm

Obviously anybody going vegan needs to take B-12. We need to make that clear when we advise people, and either direct them to take B-12 or note that oysters probably don't feel any pain.

Merely telling people the truth (that animals they eat are sentient beings who suffer the consequences of them eating meat) but failing to give people adequate nutritional advice and leaving them to figure it out on the internet could be harmful. We need to be able to offer them good resources, like referring to veganhealth.org etc. so they won't be drawn in to radical and harmful practices by gurus like Freelee.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
But the simplest explanation by far is that insects simply don't feel pain.
It is not, that's the stupidest explanation. Let me remind you that not long ago you were also quite confident that airplanes not existing was the simpler explanation.
You don't know what you don't know.

It's plausible that insects barely feel pain (to the extent that they're barely intelligent), or feel a kind of pain that would be hard for us to relate to, or perhaps that some don't feel pain at all.
However, the idea that they don't feel anything like pain at all just isn't supported by actual evidence, despite that it would be very convenient since it's really hard to avoid killing them in agriculture.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
We know exactly how supercomputers work and how abacuses work. On the other hand, we only have a very dim idea of how brains work and how plant hormones work.
Three out of four of those are false.
What supercomputers running neural networks are doing is not human-readable. These are very complex systems, and beyond the starting rules they just kind of operate on their own.
That would be like arguing that we understand all of the details of human cognition because we understand chemistry. The basic rules do not do that much to assist human comprehension of the emergent complexity that results.

We're lacking on the details, but we have a pretty good idea of how brains work: what is relevant to this topic is informatics. The same with plant hormones; we do not need to know everything a hormone does to know that the way those hormones diffuse does not make it possible to convey enough discrete packets of information between processing nodes (nodes for which there's no evidence).
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
So much so that there are still quite a few neuroscientists who believe that souls exist.
And there are still physicists who believe in a god. This is only evidence of the extreme nature of theistic bias. It's not like you have a bunch of neuroscientists converting from an atheistic naturalistic belief without souls into a belief IN souls due to their studies in neuroscience.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:Read this
What's obvious from the way they are writing is that they are facing considerable opposition.
Of course you would just ignore the entire content of the article wherein a professional in the field did research and changed his mind, explaining why. Articles on the topic on insect pain are complex and nuanced, tempered with humility; your understanding of the topic is naive and arrogant because YOU have an anecdote that you think endows you with superior understanding of the topic.

There are legit questions to ask about insect intelligence and perception, it doesn't help to dismiss them.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote: You need to study informatics, it will answer your questions.
I am studying computer science.
INFORMATICS teo. The fact that you don't know the difference proves you aren't qualified to discuss this.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informatics

It's like I told you to study epigenetics and you go on about your high school anatomy class.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
I've just been on a computer science competition for the university students (one category in the STEM-Games), and I ended up being the 7th in Croatia. If what you are saying about computer science doesn't make sense to me, it probably doesn't make sense to anybody.
:lol: Teo, always quick to make irrelevant brags in attempt to make yourself an authority.
Nobody cares what a rock star you think you are in a small town Croatian high school.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
Besides, what kind of argument is that? How is that different from saying "You need to study Arabic, then the Quran would make perfect sense to you." or "You need to study Christian Science, then the Bible will make a lot of sense to you."?
This is science, not religion. I shouldn't have to explain how you need to understand basic math to make sense of an equation.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
I mean, a robot can, unlike the truly sentient beings, turn itself off as soon as it wants to, so it can't feel any actual suffering.
Current generation sentient robots can't shut themselves off, but even if they could they'd have to decide to do that (it wouldn't be automatic), and most people wouldn't opt to die over a stubbed toe. We have things we want to do, and tolerating and getting through some amount of suffering is part of achieving our goals.
The issue is when those goals are sabotaged and there's nothing but suffering.

If you're talking about choosing to shut off pain, humans can do that too (like by using opioids), but there's a reason those are addictive.
It's plausible that a robot that could and did turn off pain would function as poorly as somebody on a high dose of opioids.
However, as humans can overcome opioid addiction and choose not to use, we might expect a very intelligent robot to be able to do the same. I wouldn't expect it of a robot with sub-human intelligence but I wouldn't rule it out either.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
In order for the feeling of pain to evolve, an organism most likely needs to be able to tell from which part of its body a sensation is coming from.
No, there's no reason to believe that, that's not how learning works. Directionality may be more useful, but a non-directional sense is still useful.

Don't make the mistake of buying into creationist pseudoscience: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

We have plenty of examples, like eyes, that still function in their most basic forms of a light sensitive cell with no directionality etc.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
The parts of the brain needed for that in humans are not present in fish
No, you should say "The parts of the brain USED for that in humans are not present in fish"
Don't dismiss neuroplasticity.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
and there is probably nothing analogous to that in fish (since their brains are very simple).
You can't assume that. Fish brains are simpler, but not so simple as to be fully human readable. We don't know what every part of the fish brain does and its full function. We still figure these things out from behavior.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm
Why exactly would intelligence matter here? Newborns can feel pain, and they are not very intelligent (perhaps only slightly more intelligent than a fish). Is it therefore less wrong to hurt a newborn than an adult?
Don't confuse intelligence and knowledge.

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Post by Jebus » Sun May 12, 2019 6:10 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:29 pm
INFORMATICS teo. The fact that you don't know the difference proves you aren't qualified to discuss this.
This mistake is understandable as many European languages (probably including Serbo-Croatian) uses the name "Informatics" for computer science.
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon May 13, 2019 3:32 am

Jebus wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:10 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:29 pm
INFORMATICS teo. The fact that you don't know the difference proves you aren't qualified to discuss this.
This mistake is understandable as many European languages (probably including Serbo-Croatian) uses the name "Informatics" for computer science.
I thought so, but Teo is a master god of linguistics, how could he make such an error?

Anyway, even if partially a language issue, I don't think Teo knows the difference -- if he did I think he would have been somewhat familiar with the terminology or would have been able to figure out what I was talking about from the context.

Just goes to show that Teo doesn't know what he doesn't know, and unfortunately his intellectual conceit is a huge obstacle to him filling those gaping holes and forming an educated view.

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Post by teo123 » Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:It is not, that's the stupidest explanation. 
And what do you think Popper meant when he said science isn't looking for the most probable explanation, but for the one that's the easiest to falsify?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Of course you would just ignore the entire content of the article wherein a professional in the field did research and changed his mind, explaining why. 
Like I've said, there are also such articles about the universe being a simulation, and about the Nostratic hypothesis and similar widely discredited "hypotheses" in linguistics. They are not reasons to believe that those things are true: the person who writes them makes a bunch of statements basically nobody can evaluate, and he or she also admits that he or she is uncertain. If you are saying something is likely or unlikely, but you don't present a way in which that can be calculated, you are likely doing pseudoscience. A claim that's being made is irrelevant to a person making the claim.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Teo, always quick to make irrelevant brags in attempt to make yourself an authority.
It's not really an irrelevant brag to point out that one of the best computer science students in whole Croatia, not just the university I am attending, can't evaluate those statements. It opens the question of who really can. Sometimes you need to have very specialized knowledge to really evaluate a claim, but the effect is, in my experience, exactly the opposite of what you seem to imply. The earlier versions of my linguistic theory seemed correct (not like gibberish) to the linguists who didn't specialize in the field of the Croatian onomastics, and it seemed incomplete only to those who specialized in those things.
brimstoneSalad wrote:I shouldn't have to explain how you need to understand basic math to make sense of an equation.
Oh, well, you know, the Flat Earthers often say you need to study perspective in order for their theories to make sense to you. I don't want to get into that trap again. If you don't understand an argument, you should go with the current scientific consensus. If you are not sure what's the current scientific consensus, the best thing you can do is to rely on your own judgements.
brimstoneSalad wrote:It's plausible that a robot that could and did turn off pain would function as poorly as somebody on a high dose of opioids.
Why?
brimstoneSalad wrote:We have plenty of examples, like eyes, that still function in their most basic forms of a light sensitive cell with no directionality etc.
I am not sure what you mean. Euglenas can't learn to behave differently on light and in the dark, it's all written in its genes.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Don't confuse intelligence and knowledge.
I am not sure what you mean here. Babies are certainly both less intelligent and with less knowledge than adults are.
brimstoneSalad wrote:I thought so, but Teo is a god of linguistics, how could he make such an error?
I am not saying I know everything about linguistics are remotely related to linguistics. Of course there are things I am unaware of, just hopefully not the things that are related to my work.
Anyway, I've always assumed "informatics" is a branch of computer science studying the things like Huffman's encoding.

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Post by teo123 » Fri May 17, 2019 6:34 am

I somehow forgot to respond:
brimstoneSalad wrote:Current generation sentient robots can't shut themselves off
Where are you getting that from? If a program is conscious, the first thing that implies is that it's aware that it's a computer program, and that it can somehow interract with its environment (at the very least, decide to ask the operating system to exit it or to pause it for some time, just like other programs unwillingly interact with their environments).

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu May 23, 2019 7:56 pm

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:34 am
I somehow forgot to respond:
brimstoneSalad wrote:Current generation sentient robots can't shut themselves off
Where are you getting that from? If a program is conscious, the first thing that implies is that it's aware that it's a computer program, and that it can somehow interract with its environment (at the very least, decide to ask the operating system to exit it or to pause it for some time, just like other programs unwillingly interact with their environments).
No, neither of these things are correct. A conscious being is aware of itself in its environment to some extent, that doesn't mean perfect awareness of everything it is. An awareness can be anything from a simulated environment (like a synthetic intelligence in a video game) to a simple robot in reality that is aware of colored lights or something else very trivial.
Beyond that, even if you did have a very sophisticated synthetic intelligence that knew what it was, that doesn't mean we've given it the ability to interface with the computer running it; that's naive sci-fi nonsense. It's trivial to isolate a function from other processes. The ability to shut itself down would have to be something that was specifically programmed and given to it.

It seems like you misunderstand the issue so profoundly that It's going to be too difficult to explain it to you. You just need to read more on the topic, or maybe you can start another thread trying to understand Synthetic intelligence.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
brimstoneSalad wrote:It is not, that's the stupidest explanation. 
And what do you think Popper meant when he said science isn't looking for the most probable explanation, but for the one that's the easiest to falsify?
You will have to share a quote. He was either wrong (at least imprecise) or you misunderstood.
We choose the easier to falsify to test out of a set of plausible explanations.

The idea that, for example, gravity is caused by ants would be easy to falsify (much easier than running particle colliders), but we wouldn't bother doing it because it's not a plausible explanation for anything.

We test the easiest to falsify first out of plausible options to narrow things down. Doesn't mean we assume it's right before testing it.
Either way, this doesn't have anything to do with the topic at hand.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
Like I've said, there are also such articles about the universe being a simulation,
If you cherry pick, but that would be selecting a fringe opinion which is discredited by the relevant science. If you search insect pain, the biologists and entomologists discussing it are far from dismissive.
You could be more rigorous in doing a meta-analysis if you wanted, but it's clear that many insects display behavior indicating learning from negative stimuli.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
If you are saying something is likely or unlikely, but you don't present a way in which that can be calculated, you are likely doing pseudoscience.
You're confusing empirical fact and interpretation, which involves some level of philosophy. When we go on to interpret claims we may be doing a softer science, or we may simply be engaging more with philosophy (here, philosophy of mind).
brimstoneSalad wrote:Teo, always quick to make irrelevant brags in attempt to make yourself an authority.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
one of the best computer science students in whole Croatia


:lol:
Teo, stop. Nobody is interested in your bragging and appealing to your own authority as a high school student who recently believed the Earth was flat. You're just making yourself look very silly.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
can't evaluate those statements. It opens the question of who really can.


Appeal to personal incredulity.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
Oh, well, you know, the Flat Earthers often say you need to study perspective in order for their theories to make sense to you.


And then when you do study perspective, you find you can explain why those theories are nonsense.

It's unfortunate that you have to learn things to evaluate claims. The fact that this applies to pseudoscience too is the root of the Gish Gallop problem.
It takes more effort to debunk false claims than to make them because of the research needed to do so, but there's no obvious way around it.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
I don't want to get into that trap again.


It's not a trap, but if you don't want to bother learning things then don't argue about them.

If you don't want to learn a bit about informatics, then stop trying to argue your point here. If you do want to take some time to learn about it, then we can continue.

Not really fair that you're claiming to sit down to a game of chess without knowing any of the rules, and then balking when I say you should learn them.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
If you don't understand an argument, you should go with the current scientific consensus.


YES.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
If you are not sure what's the current scientific consensus, the best thing you can do is to rely on your own judgements.


NO. The best you can do is be agnostic, and err on the side of caution. That is essentially the consensus on insect pain. E.g. assume insects do feel pain, because if they don't and we're nice to them it's not that big a deal, but if they do and we torture them then that's more of a problem.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:It's plausible that a robot that could and did turn off pain would function as poorly as somebody on a high dose of opioids.

Why?


I don't think you understand the issue well enough for my explanation to make sense to you (see the start of the post).

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
brimstoneSalad wrote:We have plenty of examples, like eyes, that still function in their most basic forms of a light sensitive cell with no directionality etc.
I am not sure what you mean. Euglenas can't learn to behave differently on light and in the dark, it's all written in its genes.
The analogy went entirely over your head. My point is that non-directional pain can still function like non-directional vision has a function, not anything about animals with simple eyes learning.

Many things are established by genetics or epigenetics. That's the case with plants and probably most very small animals (particularly microscopic ones). But for organisms with brains various kinds of learning become possible, depending on the information processing potential there. Again, informatics, which you don't want to learn anything about.

teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
Babies are certainly both less intelligent and with less knowledge than adults are.
Infants are in a state of learning at an alarming rate. Don't confuse testable IQ with intelligence either.
teo123 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:06 am
Anyway, I've always assumed "informatics" is a branch of computer science studying the things like Huffman's encoding.
It has applications beyond computer science. You need to learn more about it if you want to have this kind of discussion. If you don't want to, then just be agnostic.

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Post by teo123 » Fri May 24, 2019 5:03 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:It's trivial to isolate a function from other processes.
So, why do you think there is so much concern among computer scientists (as well as anyone remotely familiar with the issue) that artificial intelligence is likely to be dangerous? By your logic, we could simply sandbox it, right?
brimstoneSalad wrote:You just need to read more on the topic
Again, where are you getting your information about artificial intelligence from? See, that's why citations are such an important part of science. Making an extraordinary statement and then saying "Do your own research." without pointing out where is perhaps the biggest no-no in science.
brimstoneSalad wrote:You will have to share a quote.
I haven't actually read what Popper wrote, I was paraphrasing what's written on Wikipedia: " His opposition to positivism, which held that it is the theory most likely to be true that one should prefer, here becomes very apparent. It is impossible, Popper argues, to ensure a theory to be true; it is more important that its falsity can be detected as easily as possible. ".
brimstoneSalad wrote:If you search insect pain, the biologists and entomologists discussing it are far from dismissive.
What? Even the author of the article you linked admitted most entomologists disagree with him or her.
brimstoneSalad wrote:When we go on to interpret claims we may be doing a softer science, or we may simply be engaging more with philosophy (here, philosophy of mind).
And, since philosophy isn't a science, it can't be trusted when it comes to empirical issues, right?
brimstoneSalad wrote:You're just making yourself look very silly.
Well, you know, I actually agree on that. Attempting to make yourself look like an authority is a silly way to argue. You are just as likely to be wrong as anybody else is.
But, you know, it seems to me you are also trying to make yourself look like an authority. Your message is "Don't research things by yourself and make up your mind, rather trust my judgement.", right?
brimstoneSalad wrote:Don't confuse testable IQ with intelligence either.
What do you think is the difference?

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Post by teo123 » Sat May 25, 2019 2:48 pm

@brimstoneSalad, what do you think is the difference between Hegel trying to use his philosophy to prove there could be no more than 7 planets, and somebody trying to use philosophy to prove insects feel pain? Hegel was much more educated in philosophy than people who write those articles are, and even Hegel made a mistake (perhaps plenty of them).

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Post by teo123 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:46 am

Anyway, I've started another thread about artificial intelligence:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5208&sid=5e35a5f05 ... ee16611093

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