On 7/23/2010 1:55 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
I think this has nothing to do with technology. It is just that consciousness is not related to the activity of the physical machine, but to the logic which makes the person supported by the computation integrating that information.

     Thank you for your reply.

I mention technology because, as of now, we don't seem to have any conscious artifacts. Do you agree? If so, what do we need to construct conscious artifacts? If you don't agree, what has man constructed that is or may be conscious? Or is my question nonsensical?

In a sense it is just false to relate consciousness to any third person describable activity, and in fine, if we are machine, our consciousness, which is a first person notion, is related (not even defined by) all the possible computations going through the logical state of the machine. This entails that any machine looking at itself below its substitution level (the level at which it feels surviving an artificial digital substitution) will discover that the apparent material reality is multiple: matter relies on infinity of computations. This is retrospectively confirmed by quantum mechanics.

In fine, matter is a construction of the mind, in the case we are digital machine. The brain does not makes consciousness, it filters it from infinities of first person histories. Tononi is a bit naïve, like many, on the mind-body (consciousness-reality) relationship. The integration does not rely on what a machine do, but on what an infinity of possible machines can do, and how consistent environment reacts to what the machine (person) decides.
I don't want to ignore this portion, it's just more advanced than I am, I don't have a comfortable grasp on the concepts, so I can't make even an attempt at a response.

It is a subtle matter, which necessitate to revise the fundamental status of physics. No amount of third person description will ever define what is consciousness, and this for reason related to Mechanism and discoveries in computer science/mathematical logic. You may look at my url for more if interested. Of you can find sum up and explanation in the archive of the list.

Best,

- Bruno Marchal


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/


I want to ask a question about "The Origin of Physical Laws and Sensations". I don't understand it yet, I'll need to re-read the seventh step multiple times more before I figure it out comfortably. The fault is certainly my own ignorance, not your explanations. I'll be returning to it, and taking your advice on reading the List's archives.

As to my question: At the third step, you wrote "Giving that Moscow and Washington are permutable without any noticeable changes for the experiencer, it is reasonable to ascribe a probability of ½ to the event 'I will be in Moscow (resp. Washington).'" I don't understand the probability here. If I am duplicated, won't there just be two Allens, AllenM (for Moscow) and AllenW (Washington)?

When a probability becomes involved, doesn't it seem like you're saying that there is an entity "I" who is the real Allen, and that "I" may be AllenM or AllenW, but "I" will not be the other one. The other one has some "other I". Am I misunderstanding, and - since it's very likely - to what extent? I don't believe in I's, I think, for lack of a better phrase, that consciousness is all one. How do you feel about this?

P.S. For anyone to answer: Is this acceptable to reply to three separate posts with three separate posts of my own, all within such a short time? I figured one would be quite lengthy, and maybe more confusing. So I split them into replies according to who I was replying to.

     -Allen

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