On Jan 12, 3:32 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > Here's another: Consciousness is computation.
>
> Consciousness is a first person notion.
> Computation is a third person notion.
>
> How could those be identified?

How could they be different?

> On the contrary, once you associate consciousness to the working of a  
> digital machine, or digitalizable machine, eventually your "stable"  
> consciousness links itself to an infinite set of abstract (immaterial)  
> computations.
> But even here, it is not possible to make an identification.
> The best you can do is to identify consciousness with a machine belief  
> state in a reality, or with the incommunicable undoubtable global  
> quasi instantaneous sum-up-like feeling, etc.

But the abstract immaterial computations are all that there is. There
is no machine, no physical universe, no nothing, without the
computations - the consciousnesses. And all of them "happen", and all
of them are equally real. Each of them is like the execution of a
universal Turing machine given a particular input tape. The initial
portion of the tape encodes some algorithm executed by the machine;
the rest of the tape serves as input to the machine (observations, in
the quantum mechanical sense).

Some (infinite) subset of these machines correspond to consciousnesses
that believe they are you. I am asserting that they, in fact, *are*
you. The first-person you, including your mind, body, and the entire
observable universe (as seen by you). That's why you can say "yes,
Doctor" and still continue - your consciousness was never really in
your body in the first place. Learning that as an infant was one of
the first mistakes you made, and one of the hardest to unlearn, but it
was necessary for you to be able to learn all the other stuff, the
important stuff, most of which you have yet to learn.

> > While composing this email, I apparently achieved enlightenment. (I'm
> > serious. It's complicated.)
>
> Lucky you :)

Not really. I am pretty sure it's inevitable, at least for human
consciousnesses.

> You may elaborate, or not.

A full explanation would probably not be appropriate for the list, and
would take more time to write than I care to invest at the moment, and
still wouldn't necessarily make enough sense to anybody to be worth
writing. As I said, it's complicated.
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