2009/4/24 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

>> Boltzmann brains are improbable, but the example of the punchcards is
>> not. The operator could have two punchcards in his pocket, have a
>> conversation with someone on the way from M1 to M2 and end up
>> forgetting or almost forgetting which is the right one. That is, his
>> certainty of picking the right card could vary between 0.5 and 1.
>> Would you say that only if his certainty is 1 would the conscious
>> process be implemented, and not if it is, say, 0.9?
> I said it would be implementing *the same* consciousness if he was
> following the rule.  If not he might be implementing a different
> consciousness by using a different rule.  Of course if it were different
> in only one "moment" that wouldn't really be much of a difference.  I
> don't think it depends on his certainty.  Even more difficult we might
> ask what it means for him to follow the rule - must he do it
> *consciously*; in which case do we have to know whether his brain is
> functioning according to the same rule?
> You're asking a lot of questions, Stathis.  :-)  What do you think?

I don't think the rule matters, only the result, which could consist
of a series of disconnected states. The utility of a process is that
it reliably brings about the relevant states; but if they arose
randomly or by a different process that would be just as good. If not,
then you could have an apparently functionally identical machine which
has a different consciousness. One half of your brain might function
by a different process that gives the same neuronal outputs, and you
would have a feeling that something had radically changed, but your
mouth would seemingly of its own accord continue to declare that
everything is just the same. So, I agree with Kelly that the
consciousness consists in the information.

Stathis Papaioannou

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