Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
>  > > 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.
>  >
>  > Brent Meeker
> I think the minimum duration of a conscious experience is of the order 
> of 100 msec, so if you are shown a red flash it will take at least this 
> long before you perceive a red flash. This implies a minimum duration 
> for an observer moment, although the interval can be divided up 
> arbitrarily (for example, in teleportation thought experiments) leaving 
> the experience intact. However, this raises a difficulty. Suppose you 
> are shown a red flash and 99 msec later you are teleported to a distant 
> place. Once you materialise, your neurons will continue their processing 
> of the red flash for another 1 msec and at that point (i.e. 100 msec 
> after being shown the flash) you will perceive it. Next, suppose that 
> you have no past but are created at the teleportation receiving station 
> from information *as if* you had been shown a red flash 99 msec ago. 
> Your newly-created brain will process information for another 1 msec and 
> then you should perceive the red flash. However, in this case you have 
> only been alive for 1 msec, and we can easily change the experiment to 
> make this interval as short as we want. Does this mean that an observer 
> moment can actually be instantaneous?
> Stathis Papaioannou

This example implicitly assumes a kind of dualism or cartesian theatre in which 
the brain does some processing *and then* you (the really real you) perceives 
it.  This is the idea Dennett criticizes in "Consciousness Explained".  The 
perception must be the processing and even if the flash is very short and it's 
perceived duration is very short, the brain processes producing that perception 
can be much longer.

Brent Meeker

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