Bruno Marchal wrote:
> 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 also infinitely ignorant and so long as it remains that way it's 
nothing to me.  This is just another form of the "everything" universal 
acid.  Just postulate an everything and then we know the something we're 
interested in must be in there somewhere.

> 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. 

I wasn't talking about "losing all memories", but about not having 
memory, i.e. not only losing old memories, but also not forming any new 
memories.  A computer without memory can't compute.

> 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.

But without memory how would one know it had been lost or not?
> 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.

You mean Rom Houben (a man)?

"Experts are casting doubt on claims that a man <> 
who doctors had believed was in a 23-year coma is truly conscious and 
communicating on his own. Belgian Rom Houben communicates with the help 
<> of a speech therapist who moves his finger 
letter <> by letter along a touch-screen keyboard. 
But yesterday experts slammed the method as 'Ouija board communication', 
saying it had been 'completely discredited'. "

Just because there has once been a mistake doesn't prove it is difficult 
to get right - only that it is difficult to always be right.


> 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.
> Bruno
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