On 31 Jan 2009, at 12:47, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

> Ok then for the particular run I describe, the two programs (the  
> original and the one modified by stub subpart) have the same  
> states... So for this particular run, we should still accept that  
> the stub modified program is conscious while the run is performed  
> (either physicaly or just by the mere existence of it's trace in  
> platonia).

It is more complex than that. I have to think more to make a genuine  

> Is consciousness supervening on the state/trace of the computation  
> (which makes that there is an infinity of computations "outputing"  
> this trace, and in our case original program and stub program does  
> the same) or on the trace+the relation between states (which would  
> differentiate the two programs, hence by what supervening mean the  
> consciousness generated by them) ?

On the trace+relations, or better on the relations only. But the  
relations are infinitely many too.

> Another thing is that the meaning (3rd pov) of the computation  
> itself/states is dependant on an observer... if you can see the  
> stack of number of a computation without the program and the current  
> instruction you have no way to tell it isn't just noise.

Yes, but you don't need an observer for making those relations  
existing. And the personal experience will be in those relations.

> Your definition of computation is correct. In platonia, a  
> computation is NOT automatically equivalent to a *description* of a  
> computation.  Why would the finger and the moon collapse in platonia?
> Ok, I still have to think at it.


> I do accept if there is a program that can generates me for all  
> practical purposes and if there is then I accept to be run on  
> anything that can run such a program, including the whole timeless  
> running in platonia. But that's the whole point, I must believe I'm  
> turing emulable (which I believe)... But I think we should be able  
> to prove we are without needing to believe it is true...
> <snip>
> It helps... but some days I think I understand the whole thing and  
> other days I'm no more confident :), I have a little bootstrapping  
> problem... like something is missing in platonia.

Here again you point on a very important and perhaps disappointing  
issue about science in general: which is that, as scientist we can  
never know for sure if our theories are exact. This is true for Newton  
Physics (well except that now we know it to be false), or QM or  
Computationalism. For computationalism, this disappointing feature of  
science appears with a vengeance.  The computationalist hypothesis  
almost explicitly demonstrates its own unbelievability (a bit like the  
Gödel sentence which explicitly asserts its own non provability). But  
in this manner, this very disappointing facts is also how ultimately  
comp solves the hard problem of consciousness, by pointing on the  
existence of a gap and a complete justification of why such a gap must  
exist and why it is truly not bridgeable, and why, thus, any comp  
practice requires an act of faith, and cannot be imposed, etc. That is  
why I do consider the computationalist hypothesis as an hypothesis in  
(scientific, doubtful) theology, and why I consider important to  
always mention the "assuming comp" before asserting any conclusion,  
especially practical one.
If you oscillate between "understanding the whole thing" and "being no  
more confident",  it is just because you are close to the  
understanding of the whole thing. I guess that the AUDA part could  
help you to understand the whole thing minus epsilon: the machine can  
explain that, if ever she got the whole complete understanding, she  
will became inconsistent and unsound. Assuming comp, and assuming we  
are sound, we can completely understand that there is something true  
about us that is completely unprovable in any scientific way.  
Consciousness, or its hard mysterious feature,  is a good candidate  
for that unjustifiable reality, which has to exist (assuming comp).


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