[ExI] What % of H+ = Electromechanical Devices

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at canonizer.com
Fri Jul 31 22:23:08 UTC 2009

natasha at natasha.cc wrote:
> What I admire about your post is that it takes the discussion, or lack 
> thereof, into a fertile direction and I'd like to discuss this more.  
> What distracts me about the links is that the material is expressing 
> finality with no implication of possible alternatives or suggestion 
> that this is just one theory. A different theory could very well come 
> along and offer insights, with evidence.  I could be wrong, although 
> it's a good idea to keep a window cracked.
> Natasha

The goal of each camp is to concisely describe particular theories, or 
ways of thinking about consciousness, or what we consciously are.  Also, 
it is an open survey, so  not meant to be limiting in any way.  Anyone 
can create and start developing a new camp in a wiki kind of way.  All 
possible theories that anyone thinks are consistent with what we know, 
or what might be possible, are welcomed, even encouraged in competing 
camps.  Underneath the Consciousness is Representational and Real camp here:


There is already quite a broad set of competing theories about what or 
how phenomenal qualia are in supporting sub camps.  One well supported 
being the famed John Smythies' Smythies-Carr hypothesis camp.  It is 
kind of a Cartesian like view where consciousness spreads out from the 
brain via quantum 'branes' of string theory in some kind of alternate 
parallel quantum dimensions.  That camp is a competitor to the 
Mind-Brain identity camp which itself has various well supported sub 
camps.  The most well supported scientific consensus one being argued by 
David Chalmers (Hope I can meet him in person at the upcoming 
Singularity summit) - that qualia 'arise from any functionally 
equivalent mechanism', and another one that simply says things in our 
brain (and consequently nature) have particular phenomenal properties 
our brain uses to represent our conscious knowledge with.  This is the 
one I currently think is best.  More theories, and more support and 
contributions to the ones already there are continuing to come in as the 
survey becomes an ever more comprehensive representation of what all the 
experts believe about consciousness.

If Chalmers' theory is correct, then anything from electrical stuff to 
biological stuff, to mechanical stuff could all be phenomenally the 
same.  If the nature has ineffable phenomenal properties camp turns out 
to be true, various things like transistors could be always phenomenally 
like one thing, particular neurotransmitters could be like another - and 
things would be a little more reliably and consistently tied to physical 
reality - or the neural correlates - that have the particular phenomenal 
properties like red, salty, and so on.  To eff what stuff is like, you 
would plug stuff into a kind of augmented brain cortex where you could 
experience them, upon which you might say something like - wow, that is 
wonderful, and not anything phenomenally like I have ever experienced 
before.  Being a cyborg running on electro mechanical stuff would be 
very different than an intelligence running on more brain like biology - 
though both still being equally increasingly intelligent.

The representational and real camp is somewhat technical or 
philosophical.  Probably a much better way to understand the 
implications would be to read the fictionalized narrative of what 
uploading will be like if this particular scientific consensus theory 
turns out to be true.  This narative is contained in chapters 5 and 6 of 
the "1229 Years after Titanic" story referenced in the notes of the 
above camp starting here:


I would love to know what everyone thinks about such - especially if 
they think anything in that description of what uploading (the 'stepping 
out of our body' to infinitely more phenomenally capable hardware) will 
be like is technically not possible or not correct or whatever.


Brent Allsop

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