[extropy-chat] Fragmentation of computations

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 27 11:19:55 UTC 2007

On 3/27/07, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:

"...a stream of consciousness survives fragmentation of the process..."
> [What is this stream of consciousness that can be conceived
> independently of the process?]

Maybe it can't. A haircut is dependent on the barber and the scissors,
insofar as no barber and scissors means no haircut. But we can still talk of
"a haircut".

"...consciousness supervenes on the instantaneous computational state..."
> [ditto...]

 Supervenience means you can't have one without the other. It is a rather
clumsy term.

"...you can take the snapshots and run the computation a second time
> out of sequence, e.g. running the first minute last and the last
> minute first. Would the inhabitants of the simulation notice that
> something unusual had happened?"
> [From what point of view would one observe this?  This seems like
> those science fiction stories where "time is warped", and the more
> sensitive individuals say "did you feel that?"]

Well, that's exactly what I'm getting at! From the inside, it would be
impossible to notice anything.

"Suppose for a moment that I am right about states having to be
> causally connected in order for there to be information flow, and
> in order for there to be an internal experiencer."
> [I understand describing a system having experience, but having "an
> internal experiencer"?]

Yes, it's redundant, like "conscious experience" is redundant. Usually Lee
is very precise and economic with language, but this consciousness business
seems to cause no end of confusion in the terminology alone.

I enjoy precise thought and there's a good amount of that going on
> here, but some of it is precise in the way of Copernicus describing
> the apparent motion of celestial bodies.  Elaborate epicycles
> constructed to preserve the assumption of a privileged reference
> point.

Do you mean Ptolemy? Copernicus was the good guy.

It's not about whether or not qualia exist, but about whether the
> concept adds anything of value.

What about experiences?

Stathis Papaioannou
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20070327/08fc885b/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list