On Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM, Joseph Knight <joseph.9...@gmail.com>wrote:

> 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
> changed.

If every neuron is processing only inputs generated by the exploded star
then the neurons might as well be completely isolated.  If the logical
rules are processing these star-generated inputs (equivalent to input
generated by a "set 1" instruction) then there would be no deep
computations, no recursion, etc.  Would you argue that Alice's neurons
firing in complete physical isolation from each other could create
conscious?  Assume each neuron fires at the same times it would if it were
still in Alice's functioning mind.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to