On 19 Nov 2008, at 23:26, Jason Resch wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 1:55 PM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> 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.
I have no certainty either. But this I feel related with my
instinctive rather big uncertainty about the assumptions MECH and
MAT. Now if both MECH and MAT are, naively enough perhaps, assumed to
be completely true, I think I have no reason for not attributing to
Alice consciousness. If not MECH break down, because I have to endow
neurons with some prescience. The physical activity is the same, as
far as they serve to instanciate a computation (cf the "qua
> 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.
I agree. No one said that the description was conscious. Only that
consciousness is related to a physical instantiation of a computation,
which unluckily break down all the time, but were fixed, at genuine
places and moments., by an incredibly big (but finite) amount luck,
(assuming consciously MECH+MAT)
> 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.
No problem. I agree.
> 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.
The way the lucky rays fixed Alice neurons illustrates that they were
not random at all. That is why Alice is so lucky!
> * 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.
If it was random, sure. But it was not. More will be said through MGA 2.
> 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.
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