On Sat, Aug 26, 2006 at 01:57:07PM -0700, Brent Meeker wrote:
> >What are the ingredients of a conscious computer ?  Perhaps 
> > one essential component is a central processing unit that depends on 
> > quantum 
> > randomness to arrive at a decision when other factors balance out.
> 
> I don't think there's any reason to suppoose quantum randomness plays a role 
> in human 
> consciousness - and there are some reasons to think it doesn't, e.g. see 
> Tegmarks 
> paper.  There is plenty of environmental "noise" to prevent Buridan's ass 
> from starving.
> 
> Brent Meeker
> 

Tegmark's paper looked specifically at quantum computing as a model
for consciousness (ie Penrose's suggestion), and the requirements of
quantum coherent states. He didn't look at quantum noise effects.

There is evidence in the form of brains being structured to behave
chaotically (in the classical deterministic chaos sense) (see Walter
Freeman's work). This has the effect of amplifying randomness at the
molecular (thermal) level, which ultimately depends on quantum
randomness, to the macroscopic brain level.

This may be coincidental, but I think not. Your PC is engineered to
avoid the effects of chaos to prevent this very thing occurring. Why
wouldn't nature do the same thing unless it were deliberately trying
to exploit randomness?

Cheers

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