At 10:14 12/06/03 -0400, Charles wrote:
<SNIP> What is this thing called consciousness, anyway?
It could be the unconscious, instinctive, automatic, abductive inference of some consistent sets of "neighborhood-histories". It is related to some high level description of ourselves relatively to what we infer as being (momentarily) invariant. No? Its probable role is to speed up and slow down decision process relatively to high order interpretation of information fluxes. There are evidence (Hobson works on dream) that human consciousness is implemented by some dialog between the cerebral stem and ... the rest of the brain. (A sort of ideal version of "ourselves" can be "modelized" by self-referentially correct proving machines, and then ... much more can be said about what correct machine can prove and/or infer about their consistent extensions).
BTW Smullyan's book "Forever Undecided" is in print. (it is a recreative introduction to the Godel-Lob logics I use, as machine's basic psychology, to derive "fundamental physics" from universal machine's introspection, as made obligatory by the universal dovetailer argument).