Brent meeker writes:

> That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of "content" in
> an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the order of a second or
> longer, I think the order could be reconstructed from the content.  But I
> also think there would be exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a
> loud noise this switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter
> than 1sec to "What was that!?" and then, deciding it was not important, I
> switch back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are
> connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe there is
> a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't survive chopping it
> up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has duration and overlaps
> preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think that either some such
> overlap or access to memory must be invoked to ensure that OMs can be
> ordered.

We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present conscious 
experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling what I did yesterday, 
and memory that lies in waiting and available for access should the need arise, 
such as just before I decided to recall what I did yesterday. I would class the 
latter kind of memory along with the rest of the machinery required to generate 
the appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent stream of 
consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with, and the OM's were 
generated magically just as if the underlying stored memories etc. were still 
operational, no difference in the stream of consciousness could occur.

Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for anything external 
to the OM's to bind them together, it is unnecessary for other OM's, past or 
future, to even exist. I would still feel I have a past and expect I will 
survive into the future if my entire lifespan is just one second long and all 
my memories false. My hope that "I" will survive amounts to a hope that 
somewhere, sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense 
that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will consider itself 
my successor regardless of whether I ever actually existed. 

Stathis Papaioannou

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