On Feb 14, 6:35 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Silicon does not have the same chemical properties as the element germanium
> either (although they are in the same column in the periodic table as is
> carbon) and yet you can make transistors out of both and in fact the first
> transistors were germanium. So is arithmetic performed on a germanium
> computer different from arithmetic performed on a silicon computer?  Or can
> the atoms be treated as black boxes and the important thing being the logic
> in the way the atoms are arranged and thus the "4" a silicon computer
> produces to the question "how much is 2+2" is the same "4" that a germanium
> computer produces?

No one knows. It is quite coherent to suppose that consc. critically
depends on unique features of human hardware. The universality of
is rather exceptional.

> The thing I don't understand is that everybody agrees that our conscious
> experience is not at the level of carbon or silicon or germanium atoms, or
> atoms of any sort for that matter, we are not conscious of them and until a
> few centuries ago no conscious being even knew they existed, and yet one
> and only one of those 3 atoms is supposed to produce consciousness even
> though we are no more conscious of that atom than the other two atoms.

I cannot imagine why the "conscious of which atom" would be relevant.
It takes certain very specific atoms to have magnetic properties, and
it takes them in bulk. No indiividual atom is ferromagnetic in itself.
To say that substance N is a necessary precursor of consc. is not
to say atoms of substance N are mini-consciousnesses.

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