2009/4/25 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

> This implicitly assumes that you can dispense with the continuum and
> treat the process as a succession of discrete states.  I question that.

So are you saying that, because we are conscious, that is evidence
that reality is at bottom continuous rather than discrete?

> It is how we think and how we write and describe computer programs and
> we know that if we make the time step small enough in the simulation we
> can accurately reproduce processes.  But I think we are fooling
> ourselves by taking the description in terms of discrete states to be
> sufficient - actually we are relying on the physics of the computer to
> join one state to the next.  Bruno proposes to abstract this whole
> process up to Platonia where the role of the computer in interpreting
> the program is taken over by abstract computations.  But then to avoid
> any choice he must allow all possible (countably infinite)  computations
> between any two states.  ISTM this implies a strange topology of states
> and I'm not clear on how it models consciousness.
>> Or maybe consciousness is only created
>> from platonic objects / information or relationships that exist within
>> them.  The appeal of computationalism for me is that it creates a
>> self-interpreting structure, the information or state has meaning only
>> because it is part a state machine.  We, being creatures who can only
>> experience through time might be fooled into thinking change over time
>> is necessary for consciousness, but what if we could make a computer
>> that computed over the X-dimension instead of T, what would such a
>> computer look like and how would it be logically different from a
>> recording (which is static over T), and how is it logically different
>> from a computer that computes accross the T dimension?
> I don't think it is *logically* different.  Before computers, a
> computation was something written out on sheets of paper (I know because
> my first summer job in college was calculating coordinates and depths
> for a geological research company and my official job title was
> "Computer".)  :-)

Do you think a computation would feel different from the inside
depending on whether it was done with pencil and paper, transistors or
vacuum tubes?

Stathis Papaioannou

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