Brent,

>> The connection between moments doesn't seem like a physical
>> connection; the notion is non-explanatory, since if there were such a
>> physical connection we could remove it without altering the individual
>> moments, therefore not altering our memories, and our subjective
>> experience of time.
>
> How do we know that?  Memories and brain processes are distributed and 
> parallel,
> which means there are spacelike separated parts of the process - and neural
> signals are orders of magnitude slower than light.

You are right-- the truth is that subjective experience occurs over
time. My point was really that supposing a physical connection doesn't
actually answer the question... it seems like it is equivalent to
simply taking "time" as a notion that cannot be defined in terms of
more basic terms.

--Abram

On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 2:38 PM, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> Abram Demski wrote:
>> Bruno,
>>
>> It seems to me that this runs head-on into the problem of the
>> definition of time...
>>
>> Here is my argument; I am sure there will be disagreement with it.
>>
>> Supposing that Alice's consciousness is spread out over the movie
>> billboards next to the train track, there is no longer a normal
>> temporal relationship between mental moments. There must merely be a
>> "time-like" relationship, which Alice experiences as time. But, then,
>> we are saying that wherever a logical relationship exists that is
>> time-like, there is subjective time for those inside the time-like
>> relationship.
>>
>> Now, what might constitute a time-like relationship? I see several
>> alternatives, but none seem satisfactory.
>>
>> At any given moment, all we can be directly aware of is that one
>> moment. If we remember the past, that is because at the present moment
>> our brain has those memories; we don't know if they "really" came from
>> the past. What would it mean to put moments in a series? It changes
>> nothing essential about the moment itself; we can remove the past,
>> because it adds nothing.
>
> You raise some good points.  I think the crux of the problem comes from 
> chopping
> a process up into "moments" and assuming that these infinitesimal, frozen 
> slices
> preserve all that is necessary for time.  It is essentially the same as 
> assuming
> there is a "subsitution level" below which we can ignore causality and just 
> talk
> about states.  It seems like a obvious idea, but it is contrary to quantum
> mechanics and unitary evolution under the Schrodinger equation which was the
> basis for the whole idea of a multiverse and "everything happens".
>
>
>>
>> The connection between moments doesn't seem like a physical
>> connection; the notion is non-explanatory, since if there were such a
>> physical connection we could remove it without altering the individual
>> moments, therefore not altering our memories, and our subjective
>> experience of time.
>
> How do we know that?  Memories and brain processes are distributed and 
> parallel,
> which means there are spacelike separated parts of the process - and neural
> signals are orders of magnitude slower than light.
>
> Brent
>
>>Similarly, can it be a logical relationship? Is it
>> the structure of a single moment that connects it to the next? How
>> would this be? Perhaps we require that there is some function (a
>> "physics") from one moment to the next? But, this does not exactly
>> allow for things like relativity in which there is no single universal
>> clock. Of course, relativity could be simulated, creating a universe
>> that was run be a universal clock but whose internal facts did not
>> depend on which universal clock, exactly, the simulation was run from.
>> My problem is, I suppose, that any particular definition of "timelike
>> relationship" seems too arbitrary. As another example, should any
>> probabilistic elements be allowed into physics? In this case, we don't
>> have a function any more, but a relation-- perhaps a relation of
>> weighted transitions. But how would this relation make any difference
>> from inside the universe?
>>
>> --Abram
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 4:09 AM, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>>> MGA 3
>>>
>>> It is the last MGA !
>>>
>>> I realize MGA is complete, as I thought it was, but I was doubting this
>>> recently. We don't need to refer to Maudlin, and MGA 4 is not necessary.
>>> Maudlin 1989 is an independent argument of the 1988 Toulouse argument (which
>>> I present here).
>>> Note that Maudlin's very interesting "Olympization technic"  can be used to
>>> defeat a wrong form of MGA 3, that is, a wrong argument for the assertion
>>> that  the movie cannot be conscious. (the argument that the movie lacks the
>>> counterfactual). Below are hopefully correct (if not very simple) argument.
>>> ( I use Maudlin sometimes when people gives this non correct form of MGA 3,
>>> and this is probably what makes me think Maudlin has to be used, at some
>>> point).
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> MGA 1 shows that Lucky Alice is conscious, and MGA 2 shows that the
>>> "luckiness" feature of the MGA 1 experiment was a red herring. We can
>>> construct, from MEC+COMP, an home made lucky rays generator, and use it at
>>> will. If we accept both digital mechanism, in particular Dennet's principle
>>> that neurons have no intelligence, still less prescience, and this
>>>  *together with* the supervenience principle; we have to accept that Alice
>>> conscious dream experience supervenes on the projection of her brain
>>> activity movie.
>>>
>>> Let us show now that Alice consciousness *cannot* supervene on that
>>> *physical* movie projection.
>>>
>>>
>>> I propose two (deductive) arguments.
>>>
>>> 1)
>>>
>>> Mechanism implies the following tautological functionalist principle: if,
>>> for some range of activity, a system does what it is supposed to do, and
>>> this before and after a change is made in its constitution, then the change
>>> does not change what the system is supposed to do, for that range of
>>> activity.
>>> Example:
>>> - A car is supposed to broken but only if the driver is faster than 90
>>> miles/h. Pepe Pepito NEVER drives faster than 80 miles/h. Then the car is
>>> supposed to do what she is supposed to do, with respect of its range of
>>> activity defined by Pepe Pepito.
>>> - Claude bought a 1000 thousand processors computer. One day he realized
>>> that he used only 990 processors, for his type of activity, so he decided to
>>> get rid of those 10 useless processors. And indeed the machine will satisfy
>>> Claude ever.
>>>
>>> - Alice has (again) a math exam. Theoreticians have correctly predict that
>>> in this special circumstance, she will never use neurons X, Y and Z.  Now
>>> Alice go (again, again) to this exam in the same condition, but with the
>>> neurons X, Y, Z removed. Again, not only will she behaved like if she
>>> succeed her exam, but her consciousness, with both MEC *and* MAT still
>>> continue.
>>> The idea is that if something is not useful, for an active process to go on,
>>> for some range of activity, then you can remove it, for that range of
>>> activity.
>>>
>>> OK?
>>>
>>> Now, consider the projection of the movie of the activity of Alice's brain,
>>> "the movie graph".
>>> Is it necessary that someone look at that movie? Certainly not. No more than
>>> it is needed that someone is look at your reconstitution in Moscow for you
>>> to be conscious in Moscow after a teleportation. All right? (with MEC
>>> assumed of course).
>>> Is it necessary to have a screen? Well, the range of activity here is just
>>> one dynamical description of one computation. Suppose we make a hole in the
>>> screen. What goes in and out of that hole is exactly the same, with the hole
>>> and without the hole. For that unique activity, the hole in the screen is
>>> functionally equivalent to the subgraph which the hole removed. Clearly we
>>> can make a hole as large as the screen, so no need for a screen.
>>> But this reasoning goes through if we make the hole in the film itself.
>>> Reconsider the image on the screen: with a hole in the film itself, you get
>>> a "hole" in the movie, but everything which enters and go out of the hole
>>> remains the same, for that (unique) range of activity.  The "hole" has
>>> trivially the same functionality than the subgraph functionality whose
>>> special behavior was described by the film. And this is true for any
>>> subparts, so we can remove the entire film itself.
>>>
>>> Does Alice's dream supervene (in real time and space) on the projection of
>>> the empty movie?
>>>
>>> Remark.
>>> 1° Of course, this argument can be sum up by saying that the movie lacks
>>> causality between its parts so that it cannot really be said that it
>>> computes any thing, at least physically. The movie is just an ordered record
>>> of computational states. This is neither a physical computation, nor an
>>> (immaterial) computation where the steps follows relatively to some
>>> universal machine. It is just a description of a computation, already
>>> existing in the Universal Deployment.
>>> 2° Note this: If we take into consideration the relative destiny of Alice,
>>> and supposing one day her brain broke down completely, she has more chance
>>> to survive through "holes in the screen" than to the "holes in the film".
>>> The film contains the relevant information to reconstitute Alice from her
>>> brain description, contained on this high resolution film. Keeping comp, and
>>> abandoning the physical supervenience thesis, means that we do no more
>>> associate consciousness, neither on the movie, NOR on the brain special
>>> activity in a computation, but to the computation itself directly. A brain,
>>> and even a film,  will "only" be a way to make bigger the probability
>>> for a consciousness to manifest itself relatively to a "probable" universal
>>> computational history.
>>> Strictly speaking, running the movie dimimish Alice chance to have her
>>> conscious experience (life) continue, at least relatively to you, because of
>>> the many scratches the projector makes on the pellicle, which remove
>>> relevant information for a safe reconstitution later (again relatively to
>>> you).
>>>
>>>
>>> 2)
>>>
>>> I give now what is perhaps a simpler argument
>>>
>>> A projection of a movie is a relative phenomenon. On the planet 247a, nearby
>>> in the galaxy, they don't have screen. The film pellicle is as big as a
>>> screen, and they make the film passing behind a stroboscope at the right
>>> frequency in front of the public. But on planet 247b, movies are only for
>>> travellers! They dress their film, as big as those on planet 247a, in their
>>> countries all along their train rails with a lamp besides each frames, which
>>> is nice because from the train, through its speed, you get the usual 24
>>> frames per second. But we already accepted that such movie does not need to
>>> be observed, the train can be empty of people. Well the train does not play
>>> any role, and what remains is the static film with a lamp behind each frame.
>>> Are the lamps really necessaries? Of course not, all right? So now we are
>>> obliged to accept that the consciousness of Alice during the projection of
>>> the movie supervenes of something completely inert in time and space. This
>>> contradicts the *physical*  supervenience thesis.
>>>
>>>
>>> Exercises.
>>>
>>> a) Someone could propose an alternate argument that a movie does not compute
>>> (and so consciousness does supervene on it) by alluding to the lack of
>>> causality in the movie:  the movie does not handle the counterfactual
>>> existing implicitly in computations (physical or not).  Use Maudlin's
>>> Olympization technic to refute that argument.
>>> b) Make fun by using a non dreaming Alice. Shows that the movie (film or
>>> screen) graph border is needed to get the accidental zombies (the puppet).
>>>
>>> And then the "important" exercise (the original goal).
>>> c) Eliminate the hypothesis "there is a concrete deployment" in the seventh
>>> step of the UDA. Use UDA(1...7) to define properly the computationalist
>>> supervenience thesis. Hint: reread the remarks above.
>>> Have a good day.
>>>
>>>
>>> Bruno
>>>
>>>
>>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> >
>>
>
>
> >
>

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