Kory Heath wrote: > > 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? > > 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?
I don't think it's a relevant distinction. Even when the game-of-life is running on the computer the adjacent cells are not physically causing the changes from "on" to "off" and vice versa - that function is via the program implemented in the computer memory and cpu. So why should it make a difference whether those state changes are decided by gates in the cpu or a huge look-up table? Brent --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ 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 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---