On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 2/19/2013 1:45 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>> On 2/18/2013 10:49 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
>>> 3. We need not our memories to be ourselves.  Imagine concentrating
>>> heavily on some task, such as taking an exam, or driving in perilous
>>> conditions.  You become so focused on your task that you use almost none of
>>> your personal long term memories.  In principal, large portions of your
>>> brain could be disconnected without impacting your performance or
>>> experience.
>>  I think that is very doubtful.  You seem to equate memory entirely with
>> conscious narrative memory, but what we think consciously is only a small
>> part of our thinking.  In fact it might be a quite small part that could be
>> disconnected.  When I think of the solution to a problem it often just
>> 'pops into my head'.  It obviously depended on my memory, because, for
>> example, I didn't just unconsciously invent calculus to solve it.
> Think of how many neurons are dedicated to other things completely
> unrelated to taking the test: appreciating music, catching a baseball,
> tasting food, swimming, and so on.
> How do you know that catching a baseball is *completely* unrelated?  I
> very much doubt that there is a one-to-one mapping between functions and
> neurons.
What is the information content of your current experience compared to the
information content of your entire brain?  Do you think they are
approximately 1:1, 1:10, 1:100?

I would guess it is somewhere less than 1:10, and thus the majority of the
"me" in my brain is of no consequence to my current observer moment, though
there is little existing data regarding the information content of our
conscious experience, if you look at the bandwidth of the optic nerve, or
auditory nerves, they are very low compared to the total estimated storage
capacity of the brain.  What makes this calculation more complex is that
memories are integral to experience; about half the traffic that goes into
the visual cortex is from memory, and the other half from the eyes.

> Certianly, our experiences shape us in ways we aren't always aware, and
> unconscious thought plays a big part of solutions we come up with, but when
> you are for instance, meditating and thinking of almost nothing, but how
> much of what you consider uniquely defines you as an individual, really
> goes into that experience? (of meditating, concentrating on an SAT
> question)?
> What uniquely defines me as an individual (if I am unique) is my
> moment-to-moment position and viewpoint as well as my stream of
> consciousness over time intervals.  I may have the same thought as you
> momentarily, but I'm seeing a different room and typing on a different
> keyboard and my next thought is different than yours.

If two people are in the same virtual reality so they see the same room and
type on the same keyboard, and they happen to have the same thought, what
principal do you use to say one thought is Brent's and another thought is
that person's?  Is it some intrinsic property of the thought, and if so
what is that property?


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