Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent meeker writes:
> > > > As I understand it, Bruno's theory is that you are all the
> > > "consistent continuations" of your consciousness. I'm not exactly sure
> > > what constitutes a consistent continuation, but it must be something
> > > other than just sharing memories. At any given time my
> consciousness is
> > > accessing only a tiny fraction of my memories. Further I'm continually
> > > forming and forgetting short-term memories as well as forgetting some
> > > long-term memories.
> > > >
> > > > Basing identity on memory seems inconsistent with supposing that
> > > identity is some property of consciousness alone. A digital
> > > doesn't depend on memory/data that isn't accessed.
> > >
> > > Identity from moment to moment is not just memory, it is the entire
> > > content of conscious experience, perhaps accessing at any one time
> > > a small portion of memory. It may be just a sense that I am the same
> > > person continuing the same thought as I was a moment ago, or even less
> > > than this when I am waking up from sleep, for example. At such
> > > sufficiently vague moments, my consciousness may even be
> > > indistinguishable with that of many other people in the world, such
> > > if I ceased to exist momentarily I would still experience
> continuity of
> > > consciousness as if nothing had happened, piggy-backing on someone
> > > else's thoughts: all equivalent observer moments are internally
> > > indistinguishable, by definition. However, such a thing could only
> > > happen momentarily, because very quickly I might reflect on my
> > > situation, and it is here that having a store of memories,
> > > personality style etc. instantly accessible (even if not continuously
> > > accessed) makes me, me.
> > Yes I understand that you would eventually, say when waking from
> anesthesia, have some memories unique to Stathis Papaioannou. But in the
> meantime I think you are still you - and not all those other people who
> shared those vague thoughts in the recovery room. And it can't be
> because your memories are "instantly accessible"; that's a mere
> potentiality not a state. If we start to reify potentialities in a
> multi-verse where we already have a white rabbit problem, we'll really
> be in trouble.
> Perhaps even in a minimally conscious state your experiences are
> specific enough to distinguish them from those of everyone else in a
> superficially similar state. But what if, through amazing coincidence,
> you had a 5 second period of consciousness which exactly matched that of
> a stranger on the other side of the world? During that period it would
> be impossible to say (from a 1st person perspective) where you were
> being run or which person you were, in the same way as it would be
> impossible to say where you were being run if your consciousness were
> implemented on two computers running in perfect lockstep.
> Stathis Papaioannou
Which is to say there is no "you", or at least you are not your consciousness.
This raises the question again of "what is the minimum duration of a conscious
state"? You mention 5sec as being a long time for a coincidental match (would
there still be two consciousnesses for that 5sec - I think not), but what about
300msec, or 100msec. There's not much consciousness in 100msec; so little that
it may be occuring hundreds of times over in different brains.
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