On 3/13/2010 6:32 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On 12 March 2010 11:59, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>  wrote:

The pathways are all intact and can spring into action if the person
wakes up. There is a continuum from everything being there and ready
to use immediately, to all there but parts of the system dormant, to
not there at all but could be added if the person has extensive
That would be a classical change and different from a MWI possibility.
Does that matter here? I thought the argument was that if system A is
capable of behaviour that system B is not capable, then A has
different/greater consciousness than B even when we consider the case
where A and B are performing the same activity. A and B could be
identical except that given a particular tricky question Q, A has
access to a plugin module A' that will allow it to work out the
answer, while B does not. For all inputs other than Q, A and B behave
identically. Now I agree that A is more *intelligent* than B, if
intelligence is the ability to solve problems, since A can solve one
more problem than B. Intelligence involves potential, like specifying
a car's top speed, so the counterfactuals here are relevant. But to
say that A and B differ in their consciousness even when they have
inputs other than Q (and therefore go through the same internal state

But they don't. If A has more possible states then, per QM, it, with some probability, goes through them too.

on the grounds that A can discriminate between more possible
inputs, seems incredible.

It's seems incredible that there are multiple worlds and everything possible happens too. But if one supposes that, then one can has physical, not just computational, account of counterfactuals.

It would mean that the consciousness of A
when it was doing non-Q processing would be affected by what happens
to A': if it was destroyed, if it was disconnected, if the special
adapter needed to connect it was lost so that it couldn't be used. We
could do the experiment: A would describe changes in its experiences
as changes were made to A' or its connection to A'.

Yes, it would have that consequence; although in discussing "the consciousness of A" you would need to say how different consciousness's of A were affected in different worlds. I agree that this not particularly plausible (the consciousness depends on quantum realization of counterfactuals) but neither is it particularly plausible that everything happens yet consciousness(s) pick out nomologically consistent universes.

It's not incompatible with any physical observation to say that
consciousness is instantiated by just a recorded sequence.
Is it incompatible with any physical observation to say that consciousness
is instantiated by a rock?  The only consciousness we have observation of is
our own 1st person.  It's not plausible that it's a recording, though in
some sense it may be logically possible.
Our consciousness is instantiated by a machine that interacts with its
environment and has a complex, but consistent, response to
environmental stimuli. This allows one conscious entity to observe
another conscious entity, and postulate that it is conscious. If
consciousnesses were instantiated all around us by random processes
(or even by nothing at all) they would not be of the sort that can be
observed at the level of the substrate of their implementation, which
is why they are not observed. So yes, it's all compatible with our
physical observations.

I'm not clear on what you mean by "it" in "it's all compatible with our physical observations. You mean that everything, including rocks, are conscious but we can't recognize them as such because their consciousness is so different? Or maybe it's not different but their interaction with the world is too different?


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