Take this level of abstraction much further and what you have essentially is
the 'dust theory' from Greg Egan's Permutation City.
- Did you ever hear of "The Seattle Seven"?
- That was me... and six other guys.
2008/11/15 Kory Heath <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> On Nov 14, 2008, at 9:29 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > Now a computationalist cannot say "I believe that persons represented
> > by unimplemented computations are conscious" for the reason that all
> > computations have to be implemented".
> Ok, I see your point. Computations are actions that people (or
> computers or whatever) perform in our world. So it's still not quite
> right to refer to "persons represented by unperformed computations".
> But I still want some concise way of correctly saying what I'm trying
> to say.
> Imagine an infinite two-dimensional lattice filled with the binary
> digits of PI. (Start with any cell and fill in the digits of PI in an
> outwardly-expanding square spiral.) Imagine the rules of Conway's
> Life. We can point to any cell in this infinite lattice, and ask, "At
> time T, is this cell on or off?" For any cell at any time T, there's a
> mathematical fact-of-the-matter about whether or not that cell is on
> or off.
> My essential position is that these mathematical facts-of-the-matter
> play the role that "physical existence" is supposed to play for
> materialists. If, within that mathematical description of Conway's
> Life applied to the binary digits of PI, there are patterns of bits
> (i.e. patterns of mathematical facts) that describe conscious persons,
> I claim that those persons are in fact conscious (and necessarily so),
> because those mathematical facts are as real as anything gets. They're
> "all you need" for consciousness, and they're "all you need" for what
> materialists call "physical reality". We can perform acts of
> computation in our world in order to view some of those mathematical
> facts, but those acts of computation don't create consciousness.
> That's not an argument. It's just a position statement. All I'm
> looking for at the moment is a good one-sentence summary of this
> position. For instance:
> "Mathematical facts play the role that physical existence is supposed
> to play for materialists."
> "All persons described by mathematical facts are necessarily conscious."
> Or even just
> "Collections of mathematical facts can be conscious."
> Incidentally, I'd also like a name for this position. My top pick is
> "Mathematical Physicalism".
> -- Kory
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