Jason Resch wrote:
> 
> 
> On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 1:55 PM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
> 
> 
>     On 19 Nov 2008, at 20:17, Jason Resch wrote:
> 
>>     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.
> 
> 
>     Actually I agree with this argument. But it does not concern Alice,
>     because I have provide her with an incredible amount of luck. The
>     lucky rays  fix the neurons in a genuine way (by that abnormally big
>     amount of pure luck). 
> 
> 
> If the cosmic rays are simply keeping her neurons working normally, then 
> I'm more inclined to believe she remains conscious, but I'm not certain 
> one way or the other.
> 
>  
> 
>     If you doubt Alice remain conscious, how could you accept an
>     experience of simple teleportation (UDA step 1 or 2). If you can
>     recover consciousness from a relative digital description, how could
>     that consciousness distinguish between a recovery from a genuine
>     description send from earth (say), and a recovery from a description
>     luckily generated by a random process?
> 
> 
> I believe consciousness can be recovered from a digital description, but 
> I don't believe the description itself is conscious while being beamed 
> from one teleporting station to the other.  I think it is only when the 
> body/computer simulation is instantiated can consciousness recovered 
> from the description.
> 
> Consider sending the description over an encrypted channel, without the 
> right decryption algorithm and key the description can't be 
> differentiated from random noise.  The same bits could be interpreted 
> entirely differently depending completely on how the recipient uses it. 
>  The "meaning" of the transmission is recovered when it forms a system 
> with complex relations, presumably the same relations as the original 
> one that was teleported, even though it may be running on a different 
> physical substrate, or a different computer architecture.

Right.  That's why I think that a simulation instantiating a conscious being 
would have to include a lot of environment and the being would only be 
conscious 
*relative to that environment*.  I think it is an interesting empirical 
question 
whether a person can be conscious with no interaction with their environment. 
It appears that it is possible for short periods of time, but I once read that 
in sensory deprivation experiments the subjects minds would go into a loop 
after 
a couple of hours.  Is that still being conscious?

Brent Meeker

> 
> I don't deny that a random process could be the source of a transmission 
> that resulted in the creation of a conscious being, what I deny is that 
> random *simple computations, lacking any causal linkages, could form 
> consciousness.
>  
> * By simple I mean the types of computation done in discrete steps, such 
> as multiplication, addition, etc.  Those done by a single neuron or a 
> small collection of logic gates.
> 
>     If you recover from a description (comp), you cannot know if that
>     description has been generated by a computation or a random process,
>     unless you give some prescience to the logical gates. Keep in mind
>     we try to refute the conjunction MECH and MAT.
> 
> 
> Here I would say that consciousness is not correlated with the physical 
> description at any point in time, but rather the computational history 
> and flow of information, and that this is responsible for the subjective 
> experience of being Alice.  If Alice's mind is described by a random 
> process, albeit one which gives the appearance of consciousness during 
> her exam, she nevertheless has no coherent computational history and her 
> mind contains no large scale informational structures.  The state 
> machine that would represent her in the case of injection of random 
> noise is a different state machine that would represent her normally 
> functioning brain. 
> 
> Jason
>  
> 
> 
>     Nevertheless your intuition below is mainly correct, but the point
>     is that accepting it really works, AND keeping MECH, will force us
>     to negate MAT.
> 
>     Bruno
> 
> 
> 
> 
>>
>>     Jason
>>
>>     On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM, Jason Resch
>>     <[EMAIL PROTECTED] <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>         On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 5:59 AM, Bruno Marchal
>>         <[EMAIL PROTECTED] <mailto:[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 
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
> 
>     http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > 


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