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. 

But how would they agree on this?  If we knew the answer to that we wouldn't 
need to be considering these (nomologically) impossible thought experiments.  I 
don't think we would judge purely by their behavior.  That might suffice if we 
could observe for a very long time and if we could manipulate the environment, 
but more practically I think we would look at how their sensory organs and 
memory interacted to influence behavior.


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