On 19 Nov 2008, at 23:26, Jason Resch wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 1:55 PM, Bruno Marchal <[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.

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.

Absolutely so.


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