On 28 Jan 2009, at 21:16, Pete Carlton wrote:

> What is wrong? In my opinion, it is that you are thinking that
> anything at all exists "in addition to" or "supervening on" the
> gates, or the movie, or the functions.
> I think you have a picture in your mind like this: let's say there
> are two side-by-side computers, and let's say the one on the left is
> running a fully conscious simulation of your experiences at age 10,
> and the one on the right is calculating planetary orbits or digits of
> pi; and in your picture the one on the left, in addition to the
> computations, also has an faint invisible blue glow associated with
> it, that is the "consciousness". I think that there is no blue glow -
> there is only the computations.

I could agree. In the "ultimate" simplest description of what there is  
*really", you can say there are only the computations. With Church  
thesis, this is a very well defined mathematical notion, and it  
appears then that the laws of numbers are enough.

Then follows an explanation of why numbers organized themselves  
naturally into believers in blue glow and/or other grey grounds.

> That goes for a physical implementation of a computer, or a stack of
> Game of Life counters, or whatever else. Consciousness is not
> "something else".

What do you mean by "consciousness is not something else"?

It is not because a program is executed that its semantics is not  
already something else.

The number 34546 is already something else.

> Well, I'm getting ahead of myself - what I mean to
> say is that there are many philosophical approaches to consciousness,
> championed by philosophers such as Dan Dennett, under which nothing
> is wrong.

Materialism is incompatible with Mechanism. Dennett needs an infinite  
theater for his notion of consciousness, like the first person  
associated to the machine needs too (and in that sense I agree with  
Dennett), but in that sense it inherits the infinities from  
incompletness and first person indeterminacies, and other mathematical  
Only, now, assuming comp, we know that the correct explanation of the  
appearance of physical laws, relies from the way some numbers  
"perceives" themselves and realize that ignorance.

> And if you do believe in "something else" or supervenience,

Gosh, you are really a "consciousness eliminativist" ??

The real question is: do you say yes to a digital surgeon?. In the  
theories which are saying yes here, it is a theorem that matter or the  
observable has to be reduced into number theory. We have a very big  
job awaiting us.

> why
> should it be a priori any more absurd to say consciousness supervenes
> on a movie than on a bunch of atoms?

OK. (both are absurd indeed, although it is not entirely trivial to  
prove ...)




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