Ok, so this is where I would disagree. It only seems that to define a computation you need to look at the time evolution, because a snapshot doesn't contain enough information about the dynamics of the system. But here one considers all of the enormous amount of information stored in the brain, and that is a mistake, as we are only ever aware of a small fraction of this information.

So, the OM has to be defined as some properly coarse grained picture of the full information content of the entire brain. In the MWI picture, the full brain-enviroment state is in state of the form:

Sum over i of |brain_i>|environment_i>

where all the |brain_i> define the same macrostate. This state contains also the information about how the brain has computed the output from the input, so it is a valid computatonal state. If you were to observe exactly which of the many microstates the brain is in, then you would lose this information. But no human can ever observe this informainion in another brain (obviously it wouldn't fit in his brain).

So, the simplistic picture of some machine being in a precisely defined bit state is misleading. That would only be accessible to a superobserver who has much more memory than that machine. The machine's subjective world should be thought as a set of paralllel worlds each having a slightly different information content entangled with the environment.


Saibal

Citeren meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net>:

My point is not that a snapshot brain (or computer) state lacks content, but that if it is an emulation of a brain (or a real brain) the snapshot cannot be an observer moment or a thought. The latter must have much longer duration and overlap one another in time. I think there has been a casual, but wrong, implicit identification of the discrete states of a Turing machine emulating a brain with some rather loosely defined "observer moments". That's why I thought Eagleman's talk was interesting.

Brent

On 10/3/2011 8:01 AM, smi...@zonnet.nl wrote:
I can't answer for Brent, but my take in this is that what matters is whether the state of the system at any time represents a computation being performed. So, this whole "duration requirment" is not necessary, a snapshot of the system contains information about what program is being run. So, it is a mistake to think that OMs lack content and are therefore not computational states.

Saibal

Citeren Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>:

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?


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Stathis Papaioannou

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