On 10/3/2011 4:48 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 9:47 AM, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:

But this doesn't
change the argument that, to the extent that the physics allows it,
the machine states may be arbitrarily divided. It then becomes a
matter of definition whether we say the conscious states can also be
arbitrarily divided. If stream of consciousness A-B-C supervenes on
machine state a-b-c where A-B, B-C, A-B-C, but not A, B or C alone are
of sufficient duration to count as consciousness should we say the
observer moments are A-B, B-C and A-B-C, or should we say that the
observer moments are A, B, C? I think it's simpler to say that the
atomic observer moments are A, B, C even though individually they lack
content.


I think we've discussed this before.  It you define them as A, B, C then the
lack of content means they don't have inherent order; where as AB, BC,
CD,... do have inherent order because they overlap.  I don't think this
affects the argument except to note that OMs are not the same as
computational states.
Do you think that if you insert pauses between a, b and c so that
there is no overlap you create a zombie?


I have trouble thinking how you would create those pauses. As a classical device a brain or a computer cannot just be stopped and restarted. You have to save all the variable values *and* their first derivatives. The abstraction of what the computer (or brain) does as a Turing computation ignores the derivatives and just considers a sequence of discrete states. In the real computer the CPU clock provides the physical connection between successive states. In the brain it's a lot of distributed action potentials and chemical diffusion in parallel. Of course a computer can emulate what the brain or the simpler computer is doing by simulating all the rates-of-change and intermediate states at some finer level of time and space resolution. You could create pauses in that level of emulation. But those states don't correspond to Observer Moments - something in consciousness. In Bruno's Washington/Moscow thought experiments it seems obvious to me that he would lose some period of consciousness in being transported; e.g. at least 80ms according to Eagleman. So if you teleported every 80ms, you would prevent consciousness. You wouldn't create a zombie though, just an unconscious person.

Brent

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