On Feb 29, 4:45 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 28 Feb 2012, at 22:09, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > On Feb 28, 3:41 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> >> The implication of Comp is that there is no "you".  "You" are an
> >> abstraction, a fiction,
> >> just another element in a model of the world.
> > That's why I say comp has only a pseudo-1p conception of
> > consciousness. It's not difficult to claim that the hard problem isn't
> > so hard if you allow the hardness of it to be fictional.
> It is not fictional in the sense of unreal. But in the sense of
> abstract, or immaterial.
> You make my point to Brent already.

How does this translate though into answering the very non-abstract
question of 'Doctor, is this treatment any different from me
swallowing the business end of a shotgun?'. If I indeed wake up from
the procedure, it is not clear whether I am arbitrarily limited to one
replacement brain at a time (which means what? that I can kill myself
every day and get a restored brain every night?) or can I wake up as a
massively redundant RAID of disposable brains, or a cluster of
parallel processing identities spread out as identities all over the
world where I would experience my new separate bodies something like
fingers on my hands. I can't think of any plausible restriction
against this in comp. Either you don't become a digital brain at all
or you can become an army of simultaneous selves.

This is really the core issue of the whole thing. Symbol grounding,
primitive matter, the Explanatory Gap & Hard Problem are all different
aspects of this chain of custody issue. Who carries the ball of
consciousness? Atoms? Computation? Cells? Persons?

For human beings I think it has to be people. Just as you would not
call someone who had been catastrophically disabled a non-person, we
should not call a hypertrophied computer a non-machine. Even if the
person is in a vegetative state, we still treat their body and legacy
with human significance as opposed to scrapping it in the landfill.
This isn't a justification based on sentiment, it is an observation of
how these questions have been treated thus far in society. There would
be no reason to treat a disabled computer with any dignity at all - no
need to try to resuscitate it if we have another backup computer
conveniently available. This is not the case with children and

With comp, chain of custody is lost entirely. As was suggested, 'you'
are reduced to an abstraction which is forever lost to the mysteries
of arithmetic ether. Will we be summoned to incarnate as a 23rd
century SmartToaster because we happen to have a popular 'toasty'
voice? Will we be doomed to live in an eternity of toast monitoring
because some programmer found the 100 exabyte eDVD of our identity in
the bargain bin of the RIAA?

Can nobody else see why these absurdities are unavoidable in comp?


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