"James Higgo (co.uk)" wrote:

>Your statement, 'without consciousness you can't  incorporate the anthropic
>principle into your fundamental theory', is wrong. You can, it's just that
>you look for conditions that would support this observer-moment (a
>'self-referential thought'), rather than conditions that support some
>physical object like a brain.

How can you rigorously define the notion of a "self-referential thought?"  
Even a very simple computation can be self-referential in some way, and 
physical processes that can be seen as implementing these sorts of simple 
computations are undoubtedly much more common than physical processes that 
are doing the sort of complex information-processing that goes on in my 
brain.  Is it just amazing luck that I find myself to be one of these 
extremely rare complex observer-moments?

>In your last paragraph you seem to concede that s single observer-moment 
>can
>be 'conscious' and stand-alone. What need is there for this extra word,
>'conscious'? What does it add to 'observer-moment'?

I discussed this issue briefly (and the issue of continuity vs. isolated 
observer-moments) on my first post on this list, at 
<http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m2358.html>.  Basically the idea is 
to differentiate between a position like Chalmers' and one like 
Dennett's--is there a real truth about what is like to be a given 
observer-moment or not?  Also, as I mention above, I don't think you can 
make sense of anthropic reasoning unless you have an objective way to settle 
which patterns/computations can be experienced and which can't.

Jesse Mazer
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