On 04 Dec 2009, at 19:15, Brent Meeker wrote:

> Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> Those thought experiences are not needed to understand that the  
>> physical reality and physical sensations emerge from numbers  
>> addition and multiplication, for example, but may be useful to  
>> tackle the identity problem "why I am I", "who am I really?", etc.   
>> (cf soulcatcher☠ question)
>> In general I try to avoid them. When we discussed the prestige  
>> movie, we talk about this. I said, in a conversation with Quentin  
>> Anciaux, that IF you believe that you can survive with a "total  
>> amnesia", THEN you are expanding a lot the variety of the possible  
>> form of the computationalist immortality.
> That's what I meant by impossible.  If there is no memory at all,  
> then I don't see how the construct we refer to as "you" can even be  
> identified.

The universal person. The virgin universal purpose computer, any  
interpreter. Today, unfortunately, when you buy a computer, it is  
already full of software which hides its universality. A universal  
machine is not a trivial object. Babbage did already see that it can  
eat its own tail.

Imagine sort of universal baby. It knows nothing, but can do  
everything (doable). It is infinitely intelligent and creative at the  
start. The hard things is to keep it that way.
It is not necessary for the reasoning, but there are sequence of  
thought experiences which can help you to figure out what is it like  
losing all memories. You are still someone because the 8 hypostases  
still exists, They hacve a first person point of view, and notions of  
observations, and even more, they are unobstructed by the non  
monotonical layers of logics that we need to survive when entangled in  
deep computational histories. This makes the disentanglement between  
laws and contingencies far more complex in practice.

Some believe in a singularity point where machine will be more clever  
than man. I think that that event has already occurred.
When you program a computer "its souls may only fall", unless you  
manage it to stay universal.

>> If you make the experience of remembering having been nothing less  
>> and nothing more than a universal (Löbian) machine, you can know  
>> (or imagine) that you are already immortal. You can live the  
>> experience of being the static consciousness, out of time and  
>> space, of the universal (digital) person, and intuit that time and  
>> space are a construction of your mind. Some "slow sleep" (non REM)  
>> dream state can lead to similar experiences, and I suspect that  
>> Plato, Plotinus, Kant and Descartes (and probably many others)  
>> lived things like that.
>> I thought it was impossible to live that and to be able to come  
>> back from such an experience, but it happens that with salvia  
>> divinorum, some subject can live the experience of quasi-total  
>> amnesia, where not only you forget which human you are, but you can  
>> forget what a human is, what time is, what space is, and yet,  
>> retrospectively, after coming back, you realize that despite having  
>> forgot everything, you were still conscious, and you were still  
>> considering you as a living entity of some sort.
> I've not had that experience, but I might try it.  I think though  
> that even in such a state one must have some short-term (~second)  
> memory to have a human kind of consciousness.

Some would say that the point consists in losing, for a short period,  
that human kind of consciousness.

With comp I argue that matter has to be the "border of the mind", but  
nobody should take seriously the idea that it is the border of the  
human mind. That would be an anthropomorphic error. It is the geometry  
of the ignorance of all universal machine. The 'quest of truth' motor.
I interview the Löbian one only because they are more self-aware (they  
opinions obeys Bp -> BBp) making them much more chatty.

> Obviously you now have memories of what it was like.  I have known  
> people with severe Alzheimer's disease who seemed merely reactive  
> and apparently had no memory, even short term.  I don't think they  
> were as conscious as my dog or the fish in my pond.

To judge the presence of consciousness is difficult. Recently, in  
France, after having been considered as being in a unconscious  
comatose state for 23 years, a woman, with the help of her family,   
has succeed to convince its doctors that she was as conscious than you  
and me. She was just highly paralyzed.

In a injured brain, pathologies can spread on many levels, and it is  
wise to say we can't even imagine how some pathologies are lived by  
the person. Experimenting with some psycho-active substance can put  
some light here, and raise some doubts there.




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