Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > 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? > > > No, I don't think the medium makes a difference. But interpretation makes a difference. Most computations we do, on pencil and paper or transistors or neurons, have an interpretation in terms of our world. Kelly is supposing there is a "self-interpreting structure" I'm not sure what he means by this, but I imagine something like an elaborate simulation in which some parts of the computation simulate entities with values or purposes - on some mapping. But what about other mappings?
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