Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 2009/1/16 Brent Meeker <>:
>> But both the electronic and the mechanical computer are implementing a 
>> process
>> that is distributed in spacetime and has causal connections.
> Yes, and my claim is that the causal connections are important only
> because they give rise to the sequence of states. If the same state
> changes occurred accidentally, I don't see where there is room for the
> resulting consciousness to be any different. 
But I think you are assuming something about states that is false - i.e. 
that they are discrete non-overlapping things. According to our current 
understanding of physics this is not the case for brain states or 
computer states.  Because they are distributed in space, relativity 
implies they are also distributed in time.  Whether  the causal 
connections can be sufficiently simulated in Bruno's UD is a separate 
question, but I don't think it's valid to argue that the spatiotemporal 
relations can be ignored in brains, which is what talk about "states" 
implies, therefore they can be ignored in representation consisting only 
of static states.

> For if the consciousness
> were to be different it would be able to send different signals to the
> vocal cords or loudspeaker reporting that difference, but this is
> impossible if the output states are the same as they would have been
> had they been causally linked.
>>>> 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 
>>>> probably
>>>> hesitate if the there was to be a gap every 10ms.
>>> Assuming the gap did not result in accumulation of errors, a technical
>>> problem, and assuming the environment is held constant to eliminate
>>> 100Hz flicker, I don't see how teleportation every 10ms could alter
>>> consciousness.
>> I could if you lost 10ms of consciousness everytime you were teleported.
> How can you be sure that your consciousness was not suspended for the
> past minute, assuming that care was taken to leave the environment
> unchanged during this period?
How do you know it's possible to suspend consciousness without 
noticeable change?  That seems to me to be assuming what I argue against 
about "states".  It's an idealization which can certainly be 
approximated because the brain is fairly small and operates slowly  (in 
relativistic terms) - but  I don't think the ideal can be realized and 
cannot be the basis of fundamental metaphysics.


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