new system by direct neural interface. I don't have to go to such lengths to learn about the new system's mass, volume, behaviour, or any other property, and in *this* consists the essential difference between 1st person and 3rd person experience. You can minimise it and say it doesn't really make much practical difference, but I don't think you can deny it.
From Lee Corbin: Jonathan contrasts descriptions and what the descriptions describe:
> > Stathis: Your post suggests to me a neat way to define what is special > > about first person experience: it is the gap in information > > between what can be known from a description of an object and > > what can be known from being the object itself. > > But how can "being an object" provide any extra information? I don't see > that information or knowledge has much to do with it. How can "being an > apple" provide any extra information about the apple?
Let's remember some naive answers here. First, for a fixed physical object, there exist infinitely many descriptions. It's a common belief that beyond a certain amount of accuracy, differences don't really matter. For example, one ought to be quite happy to teleport even if there is one atomic error for every 10^20 atoms.
Second, a common interpretation of QM asserts that beyond a certain accuracy, there is *no* additional information to be had whatsoever. That is, that there exists some finite bit string that contains *all* an object's information (cf. Bekenstein bound).
Still, the naive answer is that a description (or even a set of descriptions) of a physical object is different from the physical object itself: a physical object is a process, and a set of descriptions is merely a set of bits frozen in time (and here we are back again, you know where).
However, I hold with these "naive" answers, as do a lot of people. And so therefore I proceed to answer the above question thusly: "Being an apple" provides *no* information beyond that which would be provided by a sufficiently rich description. Even if an emulation of a person appreciating the sublime, or agonizing to a truly horrific extent, or whatever----no information obtains anywhere that is not in principle available to the experimenters, i.e., available from the third-person.
You could make the experimenter *hurt*, and then say, "now you know what it feels like", and given today's techniques, that might very well be true. But this is only a limitation on what is known and knowable today; it says nothing about what might be knowable about a human subject of 20th century complexity to entities living a thousand years from now.
(We ignore the possible effects on the experimenter's value system, or possible effects on his incentives: we are just talking about information as bit-strings, here.)
> Obviously there is a difference between *an apple* and *a > description of an apple*, in the same way there is a difference > between *a person* and *a description of a person*, but the > difference is one of physical existence, not information.
Yeah, that's the way it seems to me too.
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