On 16 Nov 2008, at 09:52, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> It's computations supporting consciousness that makes this idea
> interesting. Otherwise, it's like claiming that a block of marble
> contains any given statue: in a sense it's true, but you need a
> sculptor to allow the statue to interact with the outside world.
> Similarly, if we claim that the vibrating atoms in the block of marble
> implement a computation, say calculating the product of two numbers,
> we need to build a computer to do the computation in a conventional
> way in order to work out what the mapping is. This would also apply if
> the putative computation were conscious and we wanted to interact with
> it. But what if we *don't* require that we interact with the
> computation: that is, what if the computation is of a self-contained
> virtual world with conscious beings? In that case, working out the
> mapping explicitly would allow us to observe what's going on in this
> world, but there's no reason why the consciousness of its inhabitants
> should be contingent on this occurring.
You are right. It is an important point which works well for the DU
computations. We don't have to be able to interact with the conscious
entity, for them to be conscious.
Now I would not use that for a "material stone" because there is no
evidence that a stone computes, except very little programs for a few
Strictly speaking, a mechanist has to admit that he does not know what
a stone is, nor if that really exist. A stone can only be a stable
pattern of his computational histories.
Here the arguments could be unclear due to the fact that they are
interpreted differently according to where we are in the reasoning.
Let me sum up by saying that I agree with your logical point, but I
think that to take a stone as an illustration for a computing entity
could be problematical, at some point, for those who believe
"religiously" in ... fundamental primitive stones.
I let you know that I am working on MGA 0.
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