Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
2010/1/10 Brent Meeker <>:

Suppose S1 is being generated by a virtual reality program on machine
M1, then after a minute the human operator saves the program and data
to disc and shuts down M1, walks over to machine M2, loads the data
from the disc and runs the program, which then generates S2. There is
a clear causal connection here even though M1 and M2 are separate
machines. Do you think there would be normal continuity of
consciousness in this case?

No, at least I can see reasons to doubt it.  Of course if the start-up of
the program on M2 were very fast it might not be very noticeable and a
rational person might still say "yes" to the doctor.  But that wouldn't
generalize to the infinitesimal "observer moment".

It seems that you're saying the observer would notice that something
odd had happened if his program were paused and restarted in the way
described, but how is that possible when S1 and S2 are identical
whether generated continuously or discontinuously?

I think you're assuming what is to be proven, i.e. that S1 and S2 are a) states of consciousness, i.e. thoughts or "observer moments" and b) are successive and contiguous without overlap. Suppose that states of consciousness have durations of 10msec (or 1e8 microstates of computation at the appropriate level - I don't want to assume a transcendent continuous time) and successive states overlap by 3msec. Then identifying some 10msec period as state S2 is arbitrary and generating it will only be identical with what the brain did for the middle 4msec (where there was no overlap with) S1 or S3. But, ex hypothesi, 4msec isn't enough to constitute a OM.

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