Le 18-janv.-07, à 04:10, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

>> I would say "relative to a theory explaining the appearances", not 
>> just to the appearances.
> Well, it is relative to appearance, but people go on to theorise that 
> these appearances are "true reality".

 From Pythagoras to Proclus, "intellectuals" were proud not making that 
error. Aristotle is in part responsible for having made "appearance" 
reality, coming back to the (provably wrong assuming comp) common sense 
in those matters.
(of course as you know we have to rely on common sense to go beyond 
common sense).

> Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result of actual brain 
> activity, not Turing emulable.

Nooooo....... True: Searle's theory is that consciousness is a result 
of brain activity, but nowhere does Searle pretend that brain is not 
turing emulable. He just implicitly assume there is a notion of 
actuality that no simulation can render, but does not address the 
question of emulability. Then Searle is known for confusing level of 
description (this I can make much more precise with the Fi and Wi, or 
with the very important difference between computability (emulability) 
and provability.

> This theory is in keeping with the facts


> and allows us to keep materialism as well.

Abandoning the comp hyp. OK.

> The main problem I see with it is that it allows for the existence of 
> philosophical zombies, such as computers that act conscious but 
> aren't. If this were possible it would mean that consciousness was an 
> optional evolutionary development, i.e. we could all have evolved to 
> live in a world exactly like our own, except we would be zombies. It's 
> not a knock-down argument, but it strikes me as odd that something as 
> elaborate as consciousness could have evolved with no real benefit.

OK. Of course COMP admits local zombie. One day it will be possible to 
build an artificial museum tourist, looking and commenting picture and 
art like a real tourist, which nobody will be able to distinguish from 
a real tourist, but which will be only a sophisticated machine looking 
for presence of bomb in the museum.
With comp, consciousness has a big role, many big role (relative 
sped-up of computations, give the ability to face personal relative 
ignorance and alternate reality guessing and contemplation, ...). Cf I 
define in first approximation "consciousness" as the quale which 
accompanies the instinctive believe in reality/self-consistency.

>> I agree there is no way to know whether you are being run in serial, 
>> parallel, etc. But mathematically multiple shorter parallel streams 
>> have to be able to be glued, at least mathematically, for 
>> constituting a proper computation. If not literally anything can be 
>> described as a computation. That is why I explicitly use a 
>> mathematical definition of computation, and then(and only then) try 
>> to figure out what is a rock, for example.
> Would you speculate that there is some indivisible atom of conscious 
> computation?

Not at all. Consciousness, or instinctive belief in a reality (or in 
oneself) and/or its associated first person quale needs an infinity 
(even non countable) of computational histories. It depends in fine of 
all nameable and unameable relations between number. Nothing deep here, 
the primeness of 17 is also dependent in some logical way of the whole 
mutilicative structure of the natural numbers. Machine are lucky to be 
able to prove the primeness of 17 in a finite time, because the *truth* 
of even something as mundane than 17's primeness already escapes the 
machine capability of expression.

> Because it doesn't seem that you need any "glue" to have a continuous 
> stream of conscious in teleportation and mind uploading thought 
> experiments.

One day I will have to ask you what you really mean by computation. An 
arbitrary sequence of sign can be interpreted as a computation (cf your 
"rock"). I am OK with that if, and only if you can show me the 
universal machine for which this sequence describes a computation. And 
if you do that, each of those sign will need to have, at least,  an 
arithmetical connection: there will be a number (finite piece of 
information) capable of relying all the signs. This makes computations 
non trivial object, and it is easy to prove that arbitrary sequence of 
numbers/signs are NOT computations (there is an uncountable number of 
arbitrary sequences, and a countable number of third person 
computations. The glue I was thinking about is not physicalist glue, 
but already arithmetical glue. Does that help?

The real question is not "does a rock implement computations", the 
question is "does a rock implement computations in such a way as to 
changed the relative measure of my (future) comp states in a relevant 
way?" And for answering such question we need to know what a rock 
really is, and both physics and comp are not near at all to answer 
this. Comp has less trouble here because it does not have to reify any 
primary reality associated to the rock, which already emerge locally 
from many non material computations.



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