On Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 6:13 PM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Joseph,
> I found your post very interesting.  While I agree with your conclusion,
> how I get there is a little different.
> I think that at the time all of Alice's neuronal firings are triggered by
> random particles she is a zombie.  It is less clear in the case of a single
> malfunctioning neuron.  This is because of the modularity of our brains:
> Different sections of the brain perform specific functions.  Some neurons
> may serve only as communication links between different regions in the
> brain, while others may be involved in processing.  I think that the
> malfunction and correction of a "communication neuron" might not alter
> Alice's experience, in the same way we could correct a faulty signal in her
> optic nerve and not expect her experience to be affected.  I am less sure,
> however, that a neuron involved in processing could have its function
> replaced by a randomly received particle, as this changes the definition of
> the machine.
> Think of a register containing a bit '1'.  If the bit is '1' because two
> inputs were received and the logical AND operation is applied, this is an
> entirely different computation from two bits being ANDed, the result placed
> in that register, then (regardless of the result) the bit '1' is set in
> that register.  This erases any effect of the two input bits, and redefines
> the computation altogether.  This 'set 1' instruction is much like the
> received particles from the super nova causing neurons to fire.  It is a
> very shallow computation, and in my opinion, not likely to lead to any
> consciousness.

I see what you are saying here, but I don't think this counterargument
works because the wiring (i.e. logical rules) of Alice's neural network
have not themselves been changed by her malfunctioning -- only the
individual inputs themselves. The way those inputs are processed has not

> Jason

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