On 3/7/2011 4:15 PM, 1Z wrote:

On Mar 7, 8:28 pm, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>  wrote:
On 3/7/2011 12:01 PM, 1Z wrote:

On Mar 7, 6:29 pm, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>    wrote:
On 3/7/2011 1:11 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 06 Mar 2011, at 20:21, Brent Meeker wrote:
On 3/6/2011 5:07 AM, 1Z wrote:
The way I see it the MG consciousness would not be conscious of any
   world except the virtual world of the MG, which is to say not conscious
   at all in our terms.  It could, provided enough environment and Bruno
   emphasizes the UD will provide an arbitrarily large environment, be
   conscious*in this other universe*.  But I think that's Stathis's
   example of the conscious rock.  It's conscious modulo some
   interpretation, but that's a reductio against saying it's conscious at all.
I am not a fan of the MG specifically, but I don't see why
you need a world to have consciousness "as if" of a world.
The BIV argument indicates that you only need to simulate
incoming data on peripheral nerves
But how much of the world do you need to simulate to produce
consistent incoming data?  and to allow the MG to act?  I think a
lot. And in any case it is within and relative to this simulated
world that consciousness exists (if it does).  The MGA tends to
obscure this because it helps itself to our intuition about this
world and that we are simulating it and so we "know" what the
simulation means, i.e. we have an interpretation.  That's why I
referred to the rock that computes everything paradox; it's the same
situation except we *don't* have a ready made intuitive
interpretation.  Stathis, as I recall, defended the idea that the
rock could, by instantiating consciousness, provide it's own
interpretation.  I agreed with the inference, but I regard it as a
reductio against the rock that computes everything.
The brain-in-a-vat is somewhat different in that it is usually
supposed it is connected to our world for perception and action.  So
it can have "real" (our kind of) consciousness.
What about a disconnected dreaming 'brain-in-a-vat'?
If you actually took a human brain and put it "in-a-vat" I think it
would quickly go into a loop and no longer be conscious in any
meaningful sense.  But even that case what ever it was conscious of
would be derivative from interaction with this world.  If you "grew" a
brain in a vat, one that never had perceptual experience, you would no
more be able to discern consciousness in it than in a rock.
Again , the point of BIV's is that they are fed fake sensory
But faking what?  Faking our kind of world - not just noise.  Then the
BIV is conscious of our world.
That doesn't follow at all. You could fake something that
is highly organised (not white noise) but also unrelated
to reality. As such, the BIV is not conscious "of"
it, where "of" implies some sort of real object, because there
is no such real object.

Up to a point. But if the faking deviated very far from perceptions of this world the BIV would no longer be able to process them. We casually talk of "white rabbits" on this list, which are perfectly understandable things and are really of this world (e.g. in Walt Disney pictures). But they are just tiny derivative, deviations from reality. Even things as real as optical illusions become difficult to process (which is why they produce illusions). If your BIV was a human brain and was provided the perceptions of, say, a bird it would probably be unable to process them - it would be as cut off as if you provided white noise. My point is that human brains evolve and learn in this world and it's the only kind of world they can be conscious of. You can fiddle a little with inputs to the BIV, but unless your inputs are just variants on this world, they'll mean nothing.


  If it were just fed white noise it might
be "conscious" of some other world the same way a rock may be conscious.


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