Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 2009/1/14 Brent Meeker <> wrote:
>> However a Turing machine is not just a set of states, it also requires a
>> set of transition rules.  So in the same abstract way that the integers
>> are ordered by "succession" the computational states of a Turing machine
>> are ordered.  Whether just abstract rules, without implementation, are
>> sufficient isn't clear to me.
> In an actual physical computer the transition rules are represented by
> the causal links between the states, so that a particular input will
> reliably give rise to a particular output. But I return to my question
> about what would happen if there were a discontinuity in a sequence of
> states, so that s1 to s10 on m1 are causally linked, s11 to s20 on m2
> are causally linked, but there is no link between m1 and m2, i.e. m2
> just happens to start in s11 accidentally. Assuming that s1 to s20
> occurring in a single machine results is a few moments of
> consciousness (which is to say, assuming that computationalism is
> true), what would happen if the sequence is broken in the way just
> described?

I suspect something is lost.  You are thinking of the states as abstract steps 
in a computer program.  But a computer program requires a computer to run and 
the computer implements distributed spatiotemporal links.  In general you 
take even a digitial computer and freeze it in a instant of time, call that a 
state, and restart it without any effects.  Switches are in intermediate 
EM waves are propagating, electrons are diffusing - it is not a static thing 
like a step in a program.

In terms of Bruno's teleporter, one might say yes accepting that there would be 
a one-time gap in consciousness (ever had a concussion?), but one would 
hesitate if the there was to be a gap every 10ms.


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