Brent Meeker writes:

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > 
> > Le 29-janv.-07, à 18:19, Brent Meeker a écrit :
> > 
> >> Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >>> Le 28-janv.-07, à 20:21, Brent Meeker a écrit :
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> 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.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Yes. But a series of discrete states (or their godel number) has to be
> >>> related by a computation for making sense.
> >>>
> >>> So it makes no sense to say that a sequence of number is a 
> >>> computation.
> >>> You have to fix a "universal environment". Let us fix once and for all
> >>> a godel numbering. Then it is only relative to some universal number
> >>> that a sequence of number can be counted as a computation.
> >> That sounds good - but I don't understand "universal environment" and 
> >> "universal number".  We adopt a goedel numbering of arithmetic 
> >> expressions.  Do we then represent the computation by a sequence of 
> >> goedel numbers, each number corresponding to a mental state (assuming 
> >> the computation is a simulation at a sufficient level to satisfy 
> >> comp)?  But what number is "universal"?
> > 
> > 
> > OK, remind me if I forget to comment this, but to explain what happens 
> > here I do say a little more on the Fi and Wi. A universal number is 
> > just the code of a universal machine or "interpreter" (in a nutshell). 
> > I will come back on this.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >>> Now, from a first person point of view, we don't know in which
> >>> computation we belong. So from a first person point of view, we have 
> >>> to
> >>> take all equivalent computations (number sequence) relative to all
> >>> universal number.
> >>>
> >>> This is enough to explain why from first person points of view,
> >>> computations seem to require a continuum. In a sense we have to be
> >>> related to the continuum of computations going through our states (it
> >>> includes the infinity of computations describing finer grained
> >>> histories with respect to our comp level of substitution.
> >> OK. So the order of computation provides the order of conscious states 
> >> (which may really be very complex and include more than just atoms of 
> >> experience); it is not inherent in the states.  And this order is 
> >> relative to different  goedel numberings?
> > 
> > 
> > I am not sure to understand the relation of your quote of me and the 
> > idea that the order of the computations provides the order of the 
> > conscious state, unless you are refering to the logical order defined 
> > by each computational state. If you run the UD, some "internal first 
> > person future" could be implemented before some internal first person 
> > past, buut this has nothing to do with the logical or arithmetical 
> > order. OK?
> > I intend to explain a bit more through the use of the Fi and Wi, (= the 
> > partial recursive functions and their domain of definition), but it 
> > would help me if you could explain what exactly (or more precisely) you 
> > mean by "order of computation". First person experiences have to be 
> > related to infinities of computational histories, right?
> I'm not sure.  I was considering two kinds of order of computation. One is 
> the time order in the real world of processes in my brain or a computer 
> simulating me.  The other was the order of generation of "states" by the UD.  
> I understand from your answer above that the order of generation, in either 
> case, is regarded as contingent and that 1st person experience is supposed to 
> be ordered by inherent properties of the states.
> If this is correct, it leads back to the question of how big is a 
> "computational state".  It seems that for the inherent order to be coded in 
> the state, the state must be much bigger than what one is conscious of in an 
> "observer moment".  It also implies, contra Stathis, that one cannot 
> subdivide a conscious state very finely in time.  If you could then the finer 
> you divided it, the less information it contained, then the more histories it 
> would be consistent with.  So how do you decide how big a computational state 
> is?  If you make it big enough it may pick out a unique history, or at least 
> one that is unique over a significant time span (say many seconds)?

You seem to be using "computational state" and "mental state" interchangeably. 
Even if the physical computation is necessary and sufficient for the mental 
state, this not the same as saying the two are identical. One point of 
difference between them is that the subjective order of the mental states may 
be unrelated to the actual order of the physical states underpinning them.

Stathis Papaioannou
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