On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 4:24 PM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 31 October 2013 10:50, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>  On 10/30/2013 11:24 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>> and that personal survival from moment to moment is exactly the same as
>> survival during a duplication experiment. In comp, at least, a person is a
>> series of discrete states, a "Capsule theory" of memory and identity
>> I find that theory lacking.  It is usually expressed as a sequence of
>> "observer moments" with the implication that the moment consists of a state
>> of consciousness and that this state belongs to sequences according to its
>> inherent content.  But how finely divided can these moments be?  If they
>> are very fine then they haven't enough content to provide specific
>> linkage to other moments and a given OM will fit in infinitely many
>> sequences, including circular ones - so the theory effectively fails to
>> identify any person at all.
>> So suppose the OM are 'longer'; then they are not 'moments' and they can
>> be connected by overlapping rather than by some 'inherent' content.  This
>> is essentially Bertrand Russell's theory of time.
>> Or suppose that even though they are short, so that there is no
>> 'overlap', they have a lot of content that allows them to form specific
>> enough sequences to be considered persons, e.g. memories.  But that is
>> inconsistent with them being *conscious* moments - what one is conscious of
>> is (a) not momentary and (b) doesn't usually include conscious memories.
>> This problem can be avoided by supposing that the OM is more than just the
>> observer's conscious thought, but rather a 'capsule' as envisioned by
>> Julian Barbour.  But that effectively brings back physics and the brain as
>> the extra information carried along with conscious thought.
>> I think the point here is that IF consciousness is Turing-emulable,  THEN
> it can be split up into discrete sequential states, which we can call OMs
> for convenience, even though they may in practice be far shorter than
> anything we'd recognise as a moment (e.g. they could be one Planck time
> long). Since comp assumes consciousness is TE, OMs must exist in comp. The
> question is whether this premise of comp is correct (at any level).
I have doubts that a conscious brain state can manifest or be encapsulated
within a single plank time.  At that time scale, essentially no computation
occurs in the brain at all (at the level of the neurons) from one Plank
Time to the next.  I think instead, that the computational state of the
experience can be smeared out in time (just as it is already smeared out in
space).  If you think about the difference between an AI brain implemented
on a parallel processor vs. a single threaded processor, they may implement
the same exact program and the same exact computational state, but the
single threaded one will be spread out through time to a greater extent,
while the parallel processor is more spread out through space.  In no case,
though, can a brain/conscious state be zero dimensional in space and time:
it would be only a single Plank volume.  So if the informational state of a
brain can be spread out through space, I think given relativity there is no
reason to believe it cannot also be spread out through time.


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