2009/1/16 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > 2009/1/16 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:
> >
> >
> >> 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.

The state of a program is discrete, the fact that the electrical states of
the physical computer that runs the program is not (or is) doesn't change
that... this feature is "below" the program knowledge... the program is a
number, the whole program+data is also a number, and a program is composed
of a finite set of instruction which are executed at each step (which is of
"no-time" duration from its pov). The physicality of the computer inner
working doesn't change the program which is implemented at a higher level if
not the physical machine is broken. For example, openoffice works the same
on every kind of physical computers it runs on... even if on different
computers the number of step a computer can handle each physical second is
different, even if one computer represent a binary one by +3.5V or +0.5V or
whatever or even bananas.

> 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.

If spatiotemporal relation is needed and is turing emulable, then there's no
problem, in fact if whatever makes the brain and is needed to make "it work"
is turing emulable then no problem... nobody argues here I think that the
only thing you need to simulate a real actual brain is the electric firing
pattern of the brain. But if all of this is turing emulable then all of this
is composed of a finite or infinite number of finite step with each step
comprising of a state containing a finite number of informations.


> > 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?

If all informations needed to notice is change is not available to the
consciousness then it cannot notice by definition. For example, I "copy" you
and recreate you in a virtual reality at the same state that you were copied
in the outer real, then your copy in the VR will not notice anything because
nothing is different, you can notice what is available unless magics or non
turing emulability of the mind in this case. If you could notice then the
chosen digital level is not correct and too "high". You did not simulate

> 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.
> Brent
> >

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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