Brent Meeker writes:> Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 21:57:15 -0800> From: [EMAIL 
PROTECTED]> To:> Subject: Re: ASSA and 
Many-Worlds> > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:> > Brent Meeker writes:> >  > >  > 
> > OK, but that means "observer moments" are not fundamental and the> >  > > 
"illusion" of their continuity may be provided by the continuity of> >  > > 
their underpinning. But I don't see how a strictly stepwise discrete> >  > > 
process as contemplated in the UD can provide that continuity. It > > was my> > 
 > > understanding that it assumed consciousness could be provided by a> >  > > 
series of disjoint states.> >  > > >> >  > > > Brent Meeker> >  > >> >  > > 
It's an assumption of computationalism that the discrete computational> >  > > 
steps will lead to continuity of consciousness. Moreover, it's an> >  > > 
assumption of computationalism that a discontinuity in substrate of> >  > > 
implementation (i.e. from brain to digital computer) will preserve> >  > > 
continuity of consciousness.> >  >> >  > Maybe that assumption is 
inconsistent.> >  >> >  > Computational steps have an order in Platonia. In 
implementing them > > in the material world, as in a computer, the 
sequentiallity (is that a > > word?) of the steps is provided by the underlying 
physics just as the 1s > > and 0s are provided by switches. But without the 
continuity of the > > substrate it seems the states need some axiomatic, 
inherent order as in > > Platonia. So then it is not clear that states can be 
chopped arbitrarily > > finely and still function as computations - or a stream 
of conscious states.> >  >> >  > Brent Meeker> > > > I don't see how it is 
possible to mix up something any more thoroughly > > in the real world than it 
is already mixed up in Platonia. > > Sure. In the real world I can write 1 2 4 
7 6 3...  But in arithmtic Platonia (a small part of the kingdom) there's no 
spacial or temporal order that can conflict with the inherent order.But "1 2 4 
7 6 3..." is a string in Platonia, always "there" even if you don't explicitly 
state it (as you must do in the real world), and it doesn't manage to confuse 
the order of the counting numbers. > >It's not as > > if God has to explicitly 
put the integers in line one after the other: > > they just naturally form a 
sequence, and they would no less form a > > sequence if they were written on 
cards and thrown to the wind. Explicit > > ordering in the physical world is 
important from a third person > > perspective. If the putative sequence has a 
first person experience, and > > the substrate of its implementation is 
transparent to that first person > > experience (eg. an entity in a virtual 
reality environment with no > > external input) then the implicit ordering in 
Platonia is sufficient to > > create the first person impression of 
continuity.> >  > > Stathis Papaioannou> > I don't disagree with that.  But 
that means that a conscious, 1st person, pair of experiences, i.e. pair of 
numbers can have no order other than the inherent order of the numbers.  And if 
an experience corresponds to just a number, then experiences are discrete and 
can't be chopped finer than some limit.  The order of a pair of experiences is 
set by the fact that one is considered first and the other second, perhaps 
because there is a subjective sense of the passage of time, perhaps because the 
second experience contains a memory of the first, perhaps due to some other 
subtle aspect of the content of the experiences. In the real world, the 
subjective content reflects brain activity which in turn reflects environmental 
input (that's why the sense of order evolved in the first place), but this 
relationship is only a contingent one. If the pair of experiences are 
experienced in the order AB there is no way for the experiencer to know whether 
they were actually generated in the order AB or BA, unless reversing the order 
changes the content in some significant way.This means there is no natural 
order of physical states (or abstract machine states): the order can be 
anything, and the subjective order of experience will be unchanged. It also 
means there is no natural order of subjective states: that which seems first, 
seems first and that which seems second, seems second. This is good, because it 
doesn't depend on any theory or assumption about consciousness. > I guess I 
need a more explicit idea of how experiences occur in arithmetic Platonia.  Are 
we to imagine that some large number 3875835442... is a single, atomic 
experience and another number 3876976342... is another single, atomic 
experience and they have no other relation than their natural order?  In that 
case, they would be experiences in a certain bundle of streams of consciousness 
just in virtue of having some digits in common or having factors in common or 
what?  Or are we to imagine another Platonic object, a Turing machine, that 
generates both these numbers in a certain sequence (maybe the reverse of their 
natural order) - and that's what makes them parts of the same experience 
bundle?> > Brent MeekerI would say that the relationship between abstract 
machine states does not have anything to do with how mental states are ordered 
or even if they belong to the same person, except insofar as related machine 
states may lead to mental states with related content.Stathis Papaioannou
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