To add some clarification, I do not think spreading Alice's logic gates
across a field and allowing cosmic rays to cause each gate to perform the
same computations that they would had they existed in her functioning brain
would be conscious.  I think this because in isolation the logic gates are
not computing anything complex, only AND, OR, NAND operations, etc.  This is
why I believe rocks are not conscious, the collisions of their molecules may
be performing simple computations, but they are never aggregated into
complex patterns to compute over a large set of information.

On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM, Jason Resch <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 5:59 AM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> Does everyone accept, like Russell,  that, assuming COMP and MAT, Alice
>> is not a zombie? I mean, is there someone who object? Remember we are
>> proving implication/ MAT+MECH => <something>. We never try to argue
>> about that <something> per se. Eventually we hope to prove MAT+MECH =>
>> false, that is NOT(MAT & MECH) which is equivalent to MAT implies NOT
>> MECH, MECH => NOT MAT, etc.
>> (by MAT i mean materialism, or naturalism, or physicalism or more
>> generally "the physical supervenience thesis", according to which
>> consciousness supervenes on the physical activity of the brain.
> Bruno, I am on the fence as to whether or not Alice is a Zombie.  The
> argument for her not being conscious is related to the non causal effect of
> information in this scenario.  A string of 1's and 0's which is simply
> defined out of nowhere, in my opinion cannot contain conscious observers,
> even if it could be considered to encode brain states conscious observers or
> a universe with conscious observers.  To have meaningful information there
> must be relations between objects, such as the flow of information in the
> succession of states in a Turing machine.  In the case of Alice, the
> information coming from the cosmic rays is meaningless, and might as well
> have occurred in isolation.  If all of Alice's logic gates had been spread
> over a field, and made to fire in the same way due to cosmic rays and if all
> logic gates remained otherwise disconnected from each other, would anyone
> consider this field of logic gates be conscious?
> I have an idea that consciousness is related to hierarchies of information,
> at the lowest levels of neural activity, simple computations of small
> amounts of information combine information into a result, and then these
> higher level results are passed up to higher levels of processing, etc.  For
> example the red/green/blue data from the eyes are combined into single
> pixels, these pixels are combined into an field of colors, this field of
> colors is then processed by object classification sections of the brain.  So
> my argument that Alice might not be conscious would be related to the
> skipping of steps through the injection of information which is "empty" (not
> having been computed from lower level sets of information and hence not
> actually conveying any information).
> Jason
> ) I do not believe is

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