Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 3/22/07, *Brent Meeker* <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
>     Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>      >
>      >
>      > On 3/22/07, *Brent Meeker* <[EMAIL PROTECTED]
>     <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>      > <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
>     <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>>> wrote:
>      >
>      >
>      >     John M wrote:
>      >      > Stathis and Brent:
>      >      >
>      >      > ineresting and hard-to-object sentiments.
>      >      > Would it not make sense to write instead of
>      >      > "we are" (thing-wise) -
>      >      > the term less static, rather process-wise:
>      >      > "We do"  (in whatever action)?
>      >      >
>      >      > John M
>      >
>      >     That's part of what I'm struggling with.  ISTM that OMs, being
>      >     static, may leave out something essential to consciousness.  But
>      >     this conflicts with the idea of simulations in which all process
>      >     rates are encoded statically as state values.  I think
>     however this
>      >     misses the point that a simulation must be *run* and that
>     when it is
>      >     run the computer provides the "rate", i.e. the clock.
>      >
>      >
>      > As Quentin said, the computer clock rate cannot be determined from
>      > within the simulation. Also, as far as I am aware no-one has been
>     able
>      > to come up with a method for distinguishing between block
>     universe time
>      > and linear time, as in a block universe static slices give rise
>     to the
>      > effect (or illusion) of linear time.
>     I'm well aware of that - I've written a lot of simulations, ODE,
>     PDE, and stochastic.  But ISTM that if I look at what a computer is
>     doing in running a simulation, its state is defined by a lot of
>     variable values and functions that computer the rate-of-change of
>     those variables - not just the values.  When it runs, the
>     integration routine uses the functions to generate new values.  I'm
>     not insisting on the computer hardware here - it applies equally to
>     an abstract computation in Platonia.  It take the states to
>     correspond to OMs.  But the states are not standing in isolation
>     with no relation.  They are related by the integrator.  The
>     integrator may be thought of as simulator of time.  If it is part of
>     an OM then and OM includes rates and an arrow of time that, togther,
>     point to the next OM.  If it is not part of the OM, then OMs alone
>     are not sufficient to construct consciousness.  At least that's what
>     I think part of the time ;-) 
> I'm not sure I understand. Are you referring to the fact that a real 
> computer does not instantaneously jump from one state to the other, but 
> goes through a process, i.e. a finite current flows when a "1" turns 
> into a "0"? These transitional states are ignored as an irrelevant 
> hardware detail when considering abstract machines.

No.  I'm talking about a sort of program/data division - which I recognize is 
arbitrary in computer program - but I think may have an analogue in brains.  
When I write a simulation of a system of ODEs the time evolution of the ODEs 
define the states.  But in the simulation, what actually evolves them is 
passing them to another program that takes them and the current state as data 
and integrates; thus producing a sequence of states.  When you talk about 
isolated OMs, what we are conscious of, I think of them as the states.  They 
are what we write into memory; they form the "narrative" of the simulation.  
The integrator is like a simulation at a lower level, perhaps at the level of 
neurons.  We're not aware of it and in fact many different integration 
algorithms could be used with little difference in the outcome (as in the comp 
idea of replacing neurons with chips).  But the integrator, even conceived as 
an abstract 'machine' in Platonia, is performing a function, connecting 
one state to the next.  I'm not denying that you can simulate all this and that 
you can take a block universe view of the simulation.  I'm just saying that the 
block can't be made of just the conscious parts, the OMs, it needs to include 
the unconscious parts that connect the conscious parts.

Brent Meeker

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