On 18 August 2014 18:35, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 18 August 2014 20:10, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On 18 August 2014 14:24, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On 18 August 2014 15:49, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> I think that a sustained stream of consciousness will probably be part
>> >> of
>> >> a computation that instantiates physics - instantiates a whole universe
>> >> complete with physics.
>> >
>> > It would need to instantiate a stable enough universe that something
>> > capable
>> > of computation can evolve there, I imagine. Certainly if one assumes
>> > that
>> > the comp reversal doesn't happen.
>>
>> I was thinking of the case where the comp reversal does happen. If it
>> doesn't happen, then I don't think comp can be true.
>
>
> I thought the comp reversal indicates that the computations don't
> instantiate a universe (although they do instantiate the appearance of one),
> so taking this comment together with your first comment quoted above, you're
> "having your cake and eating it" here. Either comp is false in which case
> computations can instantiate a universe plus physics, or comp is true and
> they instantiate consciousness, and physics somehow appears as a result.
> Isn't that right?

I'm not entirely clear on Bruno's argument on this last point. The way
I see it, if a brain is simulated by a computer program, what is being
simulated is the physics; and if comp is true, that means that
simulating the physics will also reproduce the brain's consciousness.
I'm not sure about computations instantiating consciousness without
instantiating physics, and I'm not sure how instantiating the
appearance of physics is different to instantiating (virtual) physics.

>> >> However, the point that I wanted to make was that if computation can
>> >> instantiate consciousness then there is nothing to stop a recording, a
>> >> Boltzmann Brain, a rock and so on from doing so; for these
>> >> possibilities
>> >> have been used as arguments against computationalism or to arbitrarily
>> >> restrict computationalism.
>> >>
>> > As I think Brent has pointed out previously, any process can be defined
>> > as a
>> > computation - this is another form of the Chinese room, I think, the
>> > idea
>> > that since just about anything can be treated as performing a
>> > computation if
>> > looked at in the rignt way, there is no way to get any meaning into a
>> > computation - it's pure syntax without semantics.
>>
>> The computation or brain creates its own meaning if it is the type of
>> computation or brain that generates consciousness.
>
>
> Yes, the meaning has to be internal to the computation, it's a 1p thing as
> we like to say around here, rather than 3p.
>>
>>
>> > I'm not sure how this restricts comp, however, because according to comp
>> > there are an infinite number of abstract computations backing up each
>> > moment
>> > of consciousness, and if you add to these a few computations performed
>> > by
>> > rocks or Boltzmann brains (or ordinary brains) you aren't actually
>> > adding
>> > anything to the existing infinity.
>>
>> That's right. The restriction on comp is to say, for example, that
>> only computational devices with the right kind of counterfactual
>> behaviour can generate consciousness, which would negate step 8 of the
>> UDA.
>
>
> Yes, I still haven't had a satisfactory answer on what that would mean for a
> computation - i.e. what physically differentiates identical computations
> with different counterfactual add-ons that don't actually get used. Of
> course with comp that question becomes meaningless because 'physical"
> becomes secondary, and all computations passing through a moment of
> consciousness are equivalent, whether in a brain, a rock etc.
>
> (Of course comp assumes there IS such a thing as a definable moment of
> consciousness, by the nature of computation.)
>
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-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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