On Nov 22, 2008, at 7:26 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote: > Ok, but what if consciousness is a computational process that > potentially depends on the entire state of the universe? Let's suppose > for example that quantum particles are the fundamental building > blocks, i.e. the hardware, and that consciousness is a computational > process that emerges from their interactions. We still have MEC+MAT, > and due to quantum entanglement, any quantum particle in the universe > can potentially interfere in the consciousness computation. How can > you store Bruno's film in such a universe?

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This is why I prefer to cast these thought experiments in terms of finite cellular automata. All of the issues you mention go away. (One can argue that finite cellular automata can't contain conscious beings, but that's just a rejection of MEC, which we're supposed to be keeping.) I'm not entirely sure I understand the details of Bruno's Movie-Graph (yet), so I don't know if it's equivalent to the following thought experiment: Let's say that we run a computer program that allocates a very large two-dimensional array, fills it with a special Initial State (which is hard-coded into the program), and then executes the rules of Conway's Life on the array for a certain number of iterations. Let's say that the resulting "universe" contains creatures that any garden-variety mechanist would agree are fully conscious. Let's say that we run the universe for at least enough iterations to allow the creatures to move around, say a few things, experience a few things, etc. Finally, let's say that we store the results of all of our calculations in a (much larger) area of memory, so that we can look up what each bit did at each tick of the clock. Now let's say that we "play back" the stored results of our calculations, like a movie. At each tick of the clock t, we just copy the bits from time t of our our stored memory into our two-dimensional array. There are no Conway's Life calculations going on here. We're just copying bits, one time-slice at a time, from our stored memory into our original grid. It is difficult for a mechanist to argue that any consciousness is happening here. It's functionally equivalent to just printing out each time-slice onto a (huge) piece of paper, and flipping through those pages like a picture book and watching the "animated playback". It's hard for a mechanist to argue that this style of flipping pages in a picture book can create consciousness. Now let's imagine that we compute the Conway's Life universe again - we load the Initial State into the grid, and then iteratively apply the Conway's Life rule to the grid. However, for some percentage of the cells in the grid, instead of looking at the neighboring cells and updating according to the Conway's Life rule, we instead just pull the data from the lookup table that we created in the previous run. If we apply the Conway's Life rule to all the cells, it seems like the creatures in the grid ought to be conscious. If we don't apply the Life rule to any of the cells, but just pull the data from our previously-created lookup table, it seems like the creatures in the grid are not conscious. But if we apply the Life rule to half of the cells and pull the other half from the lookup table, there will (probably) be some creature in the grid who has half of the cells in its brain being computed by the Life rule, and half being pulled from the lookup table. What's the status of this creature's consciousness? -- Kory --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---