On 22 Nov 2008, at 17:27, 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:

It seems to me equivalent indeed, in the case you project a part of  
the movie on the broken part of the optical boolean graph.

> 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
> >


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