Peter Jones writes:

[quoting Russell Standish]
> > > The Game of Life is known to be Turing complete. However, I do not
> > > think any arrangement of dots in GoL could be conscious. Rather there
> > > is an arrangement that implements a universal dovetailer. The UD is
> > > quite possibly enough to emulate the full Multiverse (this is sort of 
> > > where
> > > Bruno's partail results are pointing), which we know contain conscious
> > > processes.

[quoting SP]
> > That's putting it inversely compared to my (naive) understanding of how the 
> > UD works.
> > I would have said
> > (a) some programs are associated with consciousness
> > (b) the UD emulates all programs
> > (c) hence, the UD emulates all the conscious programs
> >
> > In particular, I would have said that some sequence of frames in GoL is 
> > associated with
> > a particular consciousness that can interact with the universe providing 
> > the substrate of
> > its implementation, because we can observe the patterns, maybe even link 
> > them to real
> > world events.
> That is a strange passage. Are you saying that the links would
> be
> a) causal
> b) coincidental
> c) there is no difference between a) and b).

The links would be causal in the normal sense of the word, i.e. the computer 
running GoL is an 
electronic device following the laws of physics, and we could link its output 
to real world events 
in the usual way that we interface with electronic computers. 
> > This does not necessarily mean that the consciousness is caused by or
> > supervenes on the pattern of dots, any more that the number 3 is caused by 
> > or supervenes
> > on a collection of 3 objects. If anything, it could be the other way 
> > around: the GoL pattern
> > supervenes on, or is isomorphic with, the consciousness which resides in 
> > Platonia.
> ????

Well, this is the whole problem we have been discussing these past few weeks. 
The computer 
exhibits intelligent behaviour and we conclude that it is probably conscious. 
The physical 
states of the computer are clearly the cause of its behaviour, and the means 
whereby we 
can observe it or interact with it, but is it correct to say that the physical 
states are the cause 
of its *consciousness*? At first glance, the answer is "yes". But what about a 
computer which 
goes through exactly the same physical states as part of a recording, as 
discussed in my other 
posts? If you say this is not conscious, you have a problem, because identical 
electrical activity 
in the computer's circuitry would then on one occasion cause consciousness and 
on another 
occasion not. If you say it is conscious, then you have to allow that a 
recording or an inputless 
machine can be conscious, something many computationalists are loathe to do.

Stathis Papaioannou
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