Quentin Anciaux wrote:


2010/1/8 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
Quentin Anciaux wrote:


2010/1/8 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
Quentin Anciaux wrote:


2010/1/8 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com <mailto:meeke...@dslextreme.com>>


   Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

       2010/1/7 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com
       <mailto:meeke...@dslextreme.com>>:


       
               A program that generates S2 as it were out of nowhere,
               with false
               memories of an S1 that has not yet happened or may
               never happen, is a
               perfectly legitimate program and the UD will generate
               it along with
               all the others. If the UD is allowed to run forever,
               this program will
               be a lower measure contributor to S2 than the program
               that generates
               it sequentially;
                   
           How do you know this?
             

       Why S2 is unlikely to appear out of nowhere is equivalent to
       the White
       Rabbit problem in ensemble theories, which has been often
       discussed
       over the years on this list. Russell's "Theory of Nothing" book
       provides a summary. The general idea is that structures
       generated by
       simpler algorithms have higher measure, and it is simpler to
       write a
       program that computes a series of mental states iteratively
       than one
       that computes a set of disconnected mental states from ad hoc
       data.

       
               and similarly in any physicalist theory. But although
               S2 may guess from such considerations that he is more
               likely to have
               been generated sequentially, the point remains that
               there is nothing
               in the nature of his experience to indicate this. That
               is, the fact
               that S2 remembers S1 as being in the past and
               remembers a smooth
               transition from S1 to S2 is no guarantee that S1
               really did happen in
               the past, or even at all.
                   
           We're assuming that thought is a kind of computation, a
           processing of
           information.  And we're also assuming that this processing
           can consist of
           static states placed in order.  So given two static
           states, what is the
           relation  that makes their ordering into a computational
           process?  One
           answer would be that they are successive states generated
           by some program.
           But you seem to reject that.  To say that S2 remembers S1
           doesn't seem to
           answer the question because "remembering" is itself a
           process, not a static
           state.  I tried to phrase it in terms of the entropy, or
           information
           content, of S1 and S2 which would be a static property -
           as for example, if
           S2 simply contained S1.  But that hardly seems a proper
           representation of
           states of consciousness - I'm certainly not conscious of
           my memories most of
           the time.  Even as I type this I obviously remember how to
           type (though
           maybe not how to spell :-) ) but I'm not conscious of it.
             

       You've made this point in the past but I still don't
       understand it. If
       S1 and S2 are periods of experience generated consecutively in
       your
       brain in the usual manner, do you agree that you would still be
       experience them as consecutive if they were generated by chance by
       causally disconnected processes?


   No, I don't.  Of course if they had durations of seconds or minutes, I
   would experience much the same thing.  But it is not at all convincing
   to me that the experience at the beginning and end of the period would
   be identical - and hence in the limit of infinitesimal duration,
   discrete states I'm not sure what the experience would be, if any
   at all.


       The requirement would be only that
       the respective experiences have the same subjective content in
       both
       cases. Memory is only one aspect of subjective content, if an
       important one. If S1-S2 spans the typing of a sentence, then
       both S1
       and S2 have to remember how to type and what the sentence they are
       typing is.


   But here you have allowed S1 and S2 to be processes with significant
   duration and even overlap.  They are no longer discrete, static
   states.


       It may seem to be unconscious but obviously it can't be
       completely unconscious, otherwise it could be left out without
       making
       any difference. Your digestion is an example of a completely
       unconscious process that need not be taken into account in a
       simulation of your mind. Another example is your name: you may
       have no
       awareness at all of your name during S1-S2 so it could safely
       be left
       out of the simulation, although at S3 when you reach the end
       of your
       post and you need to sign it you need to remember what it is.

       

   You are relying on the idea of a digital simulation which is described
   by a sequence of discrete states.  But in an actual realization of
   such
   a simulation the discrete states are realized by causal sequences in
   time which are not of infinitesimal duration and overlap.


This as no impact on the computational level, what is important is the logic state which is discrete. What is running on an actual computer is a program... that the physical computer use 3V or 1V or less or that it can handle 5*10^9 instructions per second or 5000 doesn't change that fact, the program will run the same (with regard to the (external) execution speed). If consciousness is "digitalisable" then it follows that it is composed of discrete states with no duration at all. The "time"  inside the program does not need to be related to an (our) external clock. I could represent "time" in an imaginary program by a counter... the fact that between two steps a million year has passed, inside the program only the next counter value is given, so only "1" has passed for the pov of the program.

So if we want to see the consequences of the computational hypotesis, we must first take for granted that we are digitalisable, hence the particularities of a specific physical instantiation have no impacts on what the program is running (the consciousness). As the running of that program on a virtual machine running on a specific physical instantiation has no impact, as the running on a virtual machine running on a virtual machine running ...

But the point is that the above is a lot more than needed to say "yes" to the doctor.  You could say yes to the doctor without believing that the time and casual connection of states was irrelevant.


Ok, but it is no more the computational hypothesis. 

Isn't it?  Bruno presents "comp" as equivalent to betting that replacing your brain with a digitial device at the appropriate level of substitution will leave your stream of consciousness unaffected. 

Ok, this means that there exist a functional substitution which running under a UTM will generate your stream of consciousness. This means that it exists a program ( a sequence of logic instruction) that "is linked" to your consciousness. If computationalism is true, functional equivalence is true (if not, not even a compiler could work)... this means there exists an infinity of implementation of the same program (logic)... an infinity of "software" implementations... as well taking physicalism view, an infinity of physical implementation. In any way, what is relevant is the logic, what links those states.

As Stathis point out, in the set of every program (generated by the UD), there exist a (an infinity of) program that compute S2 (having the necessary input data to compute it) without ever have computed S1. But the measure of that particular program (an instantiation of the computation of S2) is nothing compare to the set of program computing S2 with Logic L computing the transition from S1 to S2 having computed S1 prior.

Time is an internal notion, assuming computational supervenience, consciousness has access only to what it has access... no need to put a trenscendant time in here, independant of the process.

I'm not appealing to a transcendent time.  I'm pointing out that if S1 and S2 are states consciousness or observer-moments they will have duration as measured in computational steps and having duration they may be connected into a sequence by overlap - which is different and more restrictive than just being part of the same computation or one having "memory" of the other.  I'm challenging the idea that consciousness can be sliced into discrete states whose order is determined only by their content.  It might be true, but I don't think it follows from comp=digital brain substitution and I think it introduces other problems.

Brent


 
From this people are inferring that the discrete states of this digital brain instantiate "observer moments".  But suppose (which I consider likely) the digital brain would have to have a cycle time of a billionth of a second or less.  I don't think you believe you have a different conscious thought every billionth of a second.  What it means is that "a state of your consciousness" corresponds to a million or so successive states of the digitial computation.  These sets of a million states can then of course overlap.  So the idea of discrete "observer moments" doesn't follow from "yes doctor".
 


Think of it like a computer movie file... the movie is stored by frame... the movement is illusory.

An illusion provided by the finite duration of you brain responses.

Finite data gathering ok... finite duration is begging the question.

I'm not sure I understand that remark.  ISTM the finite duration of your visual response is essential.  If it were ten times faster the movie would look like it was being played at 3 frames/sec.  Movements in the movie look smooth because your eyes and brain blur successive frames together.


I mean that you are putting "time" as a non turing emulable thing.

Regards,
Quentin
 
Brent


Quentin
 

Brent


Quentin

 

   Brent


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