Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Replies to Jason Resch and Brent Meeker:
> On 01 Nov 2008, at 12:26, Jason Resch wrote:
>> I've thought of an interesting modification to the original UDA  
>> argument which would suggest that one's consciousness is at both  
>> locations simultaneously.
>> Since the UDA accepts digital mechanism as its first premise, then  
>> it is possible to instantiate a consciousness within a computer.   
>> Therefore instead of a physical teleportation from Brussels to  
>> Washington and Moscow instead we will have a digital transfer.  This  
>> will allow the experimenter to have complete control over the input  
>> each mind receives and guarantee identical content of experience.
>> A volunteer in Brussels has her brain frozen and scanned at the  
>> necessary substitution level and the results are loaded into a  
>> computer with the appropriate simulation software that can  
>> accurately model her brain's functions, therefore from her  
>> perspective, her consciousness continues onward from the time her  
>> brain was frozen.
>> To implement the teleportation, the simulation in the computer in  
>> Brussels is paused, and a snapshot of the current state is sent over  
>> the Internet to two computers, one in Washington and the other in  
>> Moscow, each of these computers has the same simulation software and  
>> upon receipt, resume the simulation of the brain where it left off  
>> in Brussels.
>> The question is: if the sensory input is pre-fabricated and  
>> identical in both computers, are there two minds, or simply two  
>> implementations of the same mind?  If you believe there are two  
>> minds, consider the following additional steps.
> Only one mind, belonging to two relative histories (among an infinity).
>> Since it was established that the experimenter can "teleport" minds  
>> by pausing a simulation, sending their content over the network, and  
>> resuming it elsewhere, then what happens if the experimenter wants  
>> to teleport the Washington mind to Moscow, and the Moscow mind to  
>> Washington?  Assume that both computers were preset to run the  
>> simulation for X number of CPU instructions before pausing the  
>> simulation and transferring the state, such that the states are  
>> exactly the same when each is sent.  Further assume that the  
>> harddrive space on the computers is limited, so as they receive the  
>> brain state, they overwrite their original save.
>> During this procedure, the computers in Washington and Moscow each  
>> receive the other's brain state, however, it is exactly the same as  
>> the one they already had.  Therefore the overwriting is a no-op.   
>> After the transfer is complete, each computer resumes the  
>> simulation.  Now is Moscow's mind on the Washington computer?  If so  
>> how did a no-op (overwriting the file with the same bits) accomplish  
>> the teleportation, if not, what makes the teleportation fail?
>> What happens in the case where the Washington and Moscow computer  
>> shutdown for some period of time (5 minutes for example) and then  
>> ONLY the Moscow computer is turned back on.  Did a "virtual"  
>> teleportation occur between Washington and Moscow to allow the  
>> consciousness that was in Washington to continue?  If not, then  
>> would a physical transfer of the data from Washington to Moscow have  
>> saved its consciousness, and if so, what happened to the Moscow  
>> consciousness?
>> The above thought experiments led me to conclude that both computers  
>> implement the same mind and are the same mind, despite  having  
>> different explanations.
> Rigth.
>>  Turning off one of the computers in either Washington or Moscow,  
>> therefore, does not end the consciousness.
> Yes.
>> Per the conclusions put forth in the UDA, the volunteer in Brussels  
>> would say she has a 1/2 chance of ending up in the Washington  
>> computer and 1/2 chance of ending up in the Moscow computer.   
>> Therefore, if you told her "15 minutes after the teleportation the  
>> computer in Washington will be shut off forever" she should expect a  
>> 1/2 chance of dying.  This seems to be a contradiction, as there is  
>> a "virtual" teleportation from Washington to Moscow which saves the  
>> consciousness in Washington from oblivion.  So her chances of death  
>> are 0, not 1/2, which is only explainable if we assume that her mind  
>> is subjectively in both places after the first teleport from  
>> Brussels, and so long as a simulation of her mind exists somewhere  
>> she will never die.
> And an infinity of those simulations exists, a-spatially and a- 
> temporally, in arithmetic, (or in  the "standard model of  
> arithmetic")  which entails comp-immortality (need step 8!). Actually  
> a mind is never really located somewhere. Location is a construct of  
> the mind. A (relative) body is what makes it possible for a mind to  
> manifest itself relatively to some history/computation-from-inside.
> The movie graph argument (the 8th of UDA) justifies the necessity of  
> this, but just meditation on the phantom limbs can help. The pain is  
> not in the limb (given the absence of the limb), and the pain is not  
> in the brain, (the brain is not sensitive) yet the subject locates the  
> pain in the limb. Similarly we located ourself in space time, but if  
> you push the logic of comp to its ultimate conclusion you understand  
> that, assuming comp, space time is a phantom itself. Plato was on the  
> right (with respect to comp) track.
> (Math: And computer science makes it possible to derive the  
> mathematical description of that phantom,  making comp Popper  
> falsifiable. The phantom can be mathematically recovered from  
> intensional variants of self-referential (Godel) provability modality  
> G and G*).
> ==========================
> Brent Meeker wrote
>> My guess is that eventually we'll be able to create AI/robots that  
>> seem
>> as intelligent and conscious as, for example, dogs seem.
>> We'll also be
>> able to partially map brains so that we can say that when these  
>> neurons
>> do this the person is thinking thus and so. Once we have this degree  
>> of
>> understanding and control, questions about "consciousness" will no
>> longer seem relevant.  They'll be like the questions that philosophers
>> asked about life before we understood the molecular functions of  
>> living
>> systems.  They would ask:Where is the life?  Is a virus alive?  How  
>> does
>> life get passed from parent to child?   The questions won't get
>> answered; they'll just be seen as the wrong questions.
> You don't get the point. Mechanism is incompatible with naturalism. To  
> solve the mind body problem, keeping mechanism, the laws of physicist  
> have to be explained from computer science, even from the gap between  
> computer science and computer's computer science ...
> Physics is the fixed point of universal machine self observation.
> Let me know at which step (1?, ... 8?) you have a problem? The only  
> one not discussed thoroughly is the 8th one.
I have reservations about #6:  Consciousness is a process, but  it 
depends on a context.  In the argument as to whether a stone is a 
computer, even a universal computer, the error is in ignoring that the 
computation in a computer has an interpretation which the programmer 
provides.  If he can provide this interpretation to the processes within 
a stone, then indeed it would be a computer; but in general he can't.  I 
think consciousness is similar; it is a process but it only has an 
interpretation as a *conscious* process within a context of perception 
and action within a world.  Which is why I think philosophical zombies 
are impossible. But then, when you imagine reproducing someone's 
consciousness, in a computer and simulating all the input/output, i.e. 
all the context, then you have created a separate world in which there 
is a consciousness in the context of *that* world.  But it doesn't 
follow that it is a consciousness in this world.  The identification of 
things that happen in the computer as "He experiences this." depend on 
our interpretation of the computer program.  There is no inherent, 
ding-an-sich consciousness. 

Your step #6 can be saved by supposing that a robot is constructed so 
that the duplicated consciousness lives in the context of our world, but 
this does not support the extension to the UD in step #7.  To identify 
some program the UD is generating as reproducing someone's consciousness 
requires an interpretation.  But an interpretation is a mapping between 
the program states and the real world states - so it presumes a real world.

I have several problems with step #8.  What are consistent 1-histories?  
Can they be characterized without reference to nomological consistency?  
The reduction to Platonia seems almost like a reduction argument against 
comp.  Except that comp was the assumption that one physical process can 
be replaced by another that instantiates the same physical relations.  I 
don't see how it follows from that there need not be an instantiation at 
all and we can just assume that the timeless existence in Platonia is 

You  write: "...the appearance of physics must be recovered from some 
point of views emerging from those propositions."  But how does is this 
"emergence" work?  Isn't it like saying if I postulate an absolute whole 
that includes all logically possible relations then this must include 
the appearance of physics and all I need is the probability measure that 
picks it out.  It's like Michaelangelo saying, "This block of marble 
contains a statue of David.  All I need is the measure that assigns 0 to 
the part that's not David and 1 to the part that is David."

> To be sure, do you understand the nuance between the following theses:
> WEAK AI: some machines can behave as if their were conscious (but  
> could as well be zombies)
> STRONG AI: some machines can be conscious
> COMP: I am a machine
> We have
> WEAK does not imply STRONG AI which does not imply COMP. (it is not  
> because machine can be conscious that we are necessarily machine  
> ourself, of course with occam razor, STRONG AI go in the direction of  
> COMP).
> Does those nuances make sense? If not (1...8) does not, indeed, make  
> sense. You just don't believe in consciousness and/or person like in  
> the eliminative materialism of neuro-philosophers ( the Churchland,  
> amost Dennett in "consciousness explained").
I think they make some good arguments.  I don't think that consciousness 
is a thing or can exist apart from a much larger context.


> Or you make us very special infinite analogical machines, but then you  
> drop the digital mechanist thesis (even the naturalist one, which has  
> been shown inconsistent by 1...8.)
> Bruno Marchal
> >

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