On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 3:58 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> 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.

Computers are turned on and off all the time, saving their last state
to disc and taking up where they left off in the computation. Smart
phones with solid state drives do this very quickly. There is no
reason why a person with an artificial brain couldn't turn on and off
every 80ms. If the off interval were short enough an external observer
would not notice anything unusual. Would he be a zombie, behaving
normally but lacking consciousness?

Stathis Papaioannou

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