Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and > normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't it?
Yes, that's my point! I'm trying to argue that the brain has actually come up with a solution to this in order to account for what we experience. > For that > matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around in > the > course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of > femtosecond > duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as part > of the > calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like > this, > technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, > if the > computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right > answer > and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you > believe > that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond > slice > that binds them all together? No, this is irrelevant. The calculation example is disanalogous, because what is relevant to this is simply the 3-person process that results in the right answer: this *entirely constitutes* the calculation. We don't seek to make claims about any putative 'temporally-extended pov' that the computer might possess while performing it. What is at issue in these thought experiments, by contrast, is *precisely* the pov - of apparently real temporal dimension and dynamic character - that we wish to claim would be experienced from the perspective of a given 'time-slice', however arbitrarily fine-grained. With respect to this pov, we seem to have two alternatives: 1) It is supported and constrained *entirely* by whatever structure and information is to be found within an individual time-slice (i.e. the 'time capsule'). 2) Structure and information external to the individual time-slice is in fact required to generate it (i.e. the individual slice is not a 'time capsule'). Per alternative 1), any slice containing the requisite structure and information content can potentially support a coherent 'temporally extended' conscious experience. Per alternative 2) AFAICS this can't be the case. I'm not sure that you're seeing my point here. I'm not denying that the pov is maintained in the chopped-up version, I'm supporting this view. But given the information constraint, I'm saying that any mechanisms that produce conscious experiences of apparent temporal duration *must* consequently (and counter-intuitively) depend on *instantaneously* present structure and information. These non-sequential issues are not relevant for 'calculation', hence the disanalogy. This leads to an empirical claim about brain mechanism, driven by the analysis. If we don't concede this, then AFAICS we're left with the alternative of giving up the information constraint. That is, the apparent temporal extension available in experience *from the pov of an individual infinitessimal time-slice* must somehow depend on information to be found only in other time-slices. But this then renders any notion of slicing irrelevant and the thought experiment collapses. David > David Nyman writes: > > > I think we're in agreement, Stathis, but I'm trying to focus on a > > problem, and what I think is a non-trivial aspect of evolved brain > > functionality that would be required to overcome it. Of course, I agree > > with you that each aspect of the experience '.....falls perfectly into > > position in each case by virtue of its content alone' - it's precisely > > what I've been arguing. But there's a subtler point here also, I think, > > that leads to the problem. Let's take the 'cat sat on the mat': now > > 'cat' starts at t1 and 'mat' ends at t2. Let's subdivide t1t2 into > > occasions o1-o1000, and let teleportation occur between each. Each > > occasion o1-o1000 is as informationally closed as OMt1t2 (the > > 'teleportation' is of course inserted precisely to make this point), > > but now it has become implausible to believe that any individual > > occasion, say o492, is of sufficient extent to recover any coherent > > component whatsoever of the conscious thought 'the cat sat on the mat'. > > And yet, we know that we *are* in fact able to routinely recover such > > components, corresponding loosely to a 'specious present' of some 1.5 > > seconds extent. > > > > Now comes the problem: how do we account for our manifest ability to do > > this without invoking some form of illicit 'continuity' between > > informationally separated occasions of arbitrarily fine granularity? No > > individual occasion apparently contains all the necessary information, > > and it seems that we almost can't stop ourselves imaginatively invoking > > some sort of continuity over multiple occasions, in order that coherent > > experiences can somehow be recovered by summing over the sequence. > > > > I think, if true, this would be a real problem in reconciling our > > experience with the facts, and I think therefore that it requires a > > real solution (actually an aspect of Barbour's time capsule theory > > which I'm extrapolating a bit further). Simply, if what I'm arguing is > > valid, it must follow that my assumption about individual occasions > > 'not containing the necessary information' *must be wrong*. > > Consequently, sufficient information to recover 'speciously present' > > dynamic experiences *must* in fact be *simultaneously* represented by > > the brain - be present on one occasion - and that this simultaneous > > 'dynamic' presentation must be the engine that renders both the > > duration and the dynamism of the experience. And, to complete the > > (evolutionary) circularity, this would be precisely *why* the brain > > would possess this capability - because without it, extended, dynamic > > environmental presentations would simply be *unavailable* to the > > organism. > > > > Does this make sense? > > I think I see what you mean, but it's as much a problem for the intact and > normally functioning brain as it is for teleportation experiments, isn't it? > For that > matter, it's as much a problem for a computer that gets teleported around in > the > course of its calculations. If the teleportation time slices are of > femtosecond > duration, then there is nothing within a particular slice to mark it as part > of the > calculation 5464*2342. Yet a computer strobing in and out of existence like > this, > technical problems aside, will still come up with the right answer. Indeed, > if the > computer only materialised in the final femtosecond it would have the right > answer > and if a log were kept, evidence of how it arrived at the answer. Do you > believe > that there must be some super-computation information in each femtosecond > slice > that binds them all together? > > Stathis Papaioannou > _________________________________________________________________ > Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail. > http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=5d21c51a-b161-4314-9b0e-4911fb2b2e6d --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---