Peter Jones writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > > Now, suppose some more complex variant of 3+2=3 implemented on your 
> > > > abacus has consciousness associated with it, which is just one of the 
> > > > tenets of computationalism. Some time later, you are walking in the 
> > > > Amazon rain forest and notice that
> > > > ****under a certain mapping****
> > >
> > >
> > > > of birds to beads and trees to wires, the forest is implementing the 
> > > > same computation as your abacus was. So if your abacus was conscious, 
> > > > and computationalism is true, the tree-bird sytem should also be 
> > > > conscious.
> > >
> > > No necessarily, because the mapping is required too. Why should
> > > it still be conscious if no-one is around to make the mapping.
> >
> > Are you claiming that a conscious machine stops being conscious if its 
> > designers die
> > and all the information about how it works is lost?
> You are, if anyone is. I don't agree that computation *must* be
> interpreted,
> although they *can* be re-interpreted.

What I claim is this:

A computation does not *need* to be interpreted, it just is. However, a 
does need to be interpreted, or interact with its environment in some way, if 
it is to be 
interesting or meaningful. By analogy, a string of characters is a string of 
whether or not anyone interprets it, but it is not interesting or meaningful 
unless it is 
interpreted. But if a computation, or for that matter a string of characters, 
is conscious, 
then it is interesting and meaningful in at least one sense in the absence of 
an external 
observer: it is interesting and meaningful to itself. If it were not, then it 
wouldn't be 
conscious. The conscious things in the world have an internal life, a first 
phenomenal experience, a certain ineffable something, whatever you want to call 
while the unconscious things do not. That is the difference between them.

Stathis Papaioannou
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