On Mon, Jan 18, 1999 at 07:53:57PM -0500, Jacques M Mallah wrote:
>       However, the whole problem with trying to determine when a
> computation is implemented (or instantiated as you call it) is precisely
> that we don't have a definition of when a physical system contains the
> proper information.  Implementation has two critera: a mapping to formal
> states must have the correct causal relationships (which is trivial for a
> system which is an initial value problem) and it must be true to the
> information structure (e.g. index labeling) of the formal states.

A definition of when a physical system contains some information may not
be necessary. If the measure of a conscious experience is related to the
measure of the associated state information, then all we need is a measure
on the set of all possible states. We can simply say that the universe is
this measure, and any perceived physical systems are just illusions
produced by our own minds. Similarly, if the measure of a conscious
experience is related to the measure of the associated computation, then
it would suffice to have a measure on the set of all possible
computations.

So maybe we should work in the opposite direction. Instead of
trying to determine what computations a physical system implements or what
information a physical system contains, we should take the consciousness
measure (definied either by a measure on states or by a measure on
computations) as a given try to figure out what kind of physical system
one should expect to perceive. 

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