Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > Brent Meeker writes: > > > Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 21:57:15 -0800 > > From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] > > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > > 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.
But on this view an experience is a complex thing, far from the atomic perception of a red flash, and even includes parts that are not conscious. This comports with my speculation that a conscious atom is fairly complex and has a significant duration such that it overlaps the conscious atoms before and after. This overlap provides the ordering and the sense of time and continuity. > 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. Well that's the question isn't it. Comp assumes it, but comp also leads to strange if not absurd conclusions. > 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. That assumes the experiences can be discretely separated with not overlap. Certainly there are instances like that: the experience just before you lose consciousness due to a concussion and the experience just as you regain it are disjoint in this way. You only recover continuity through accessing memories and there is a gap even in that memory. But in ordinary circumstances the continuity might be inherent in the overlap of conscious atoms. > 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. No natural order of physical states? Are you denying causality? > > 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 Meeker > > I 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. That's the question I was intending to raise. If comp is true then a computation may instantiate some consciousness, i.e. associates a number and a conscious state in one model anyway. Are these states ordered by inherent properties of the numbers? Or are they ordered by their order of generation by the machine? I think you favor the former; that states of consciousness exist timelessly in Platonia. But each one is so complex that there is an inherent ordering, as though each one contained pointers to successors and/or predecessors. I can understand that, but seems to me make conscious states much more complex than "observer moments" and to include much that is not conscious. Brent Meeker Brent Meeker --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ 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?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---