Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 2009/4/24 Brent Meeker <>:
>>> 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 two processes always produce the same sequence they are the same 
process in the abstract sense.

> 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.

But is it the information in consciousness and is it discrete?  If you 
include the information that is in the brain, but not in consciousness, 
I can buy the concept of relating states by similarity of content.  Or 
if you suppose a continuum of states that would provide a sequence. It 
is only when you postulate discrete states containing only the contents 
of instants of conscious thought, that I find difficulty.



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