[ExI] few bits per second

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Jun 27 05:47:32 UTC 2010

On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 7:36 PM,  Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

> On 6/26/2010 3:41 PM, Keith Henson quoted:
>> How Many Bytes in Human Memory?
>> by Ralph C. Merkle
>> The remarkable result of this work was that human beings remembered
>> very nearly two bits per second under all the experimental conditions.
>> Visual, verbal, musical, or whatever--two bits per second. Continued
>> over a lifetime, this rate of memorization would produce somewhat over
>> 10^9 bits, or a few hundred megabytes.
> A rather different take on all this was offered by the late physicist
> Evan Harris Walker. I have serious doubts about his calculations, not to
> mention his theories, but here it is in brief:
> http://www.newdualism.org/papers/E.H.Walker/Dualism.html
> <Without a theory of consciousness that embraces the known
> characteristics of consciousness


I was asked where I got a figure about human memory capacity.  I
provided it.  I don't see where memory capacity is examined at all in
this article.

In fact, the article seems to be to be logically deficient, to quote:

1. Consciousness is something real.
2. Physics defines what constitutes physicality.
3. Measurement is the cornerstone of physics; if something is not
physically measurable, it is not a part of physical reality.

So far this is reasonable.

4. It is not possible to measure consciousness.

What?  My computer has a form of consciousness.  I have no problem in
making at least a binary determination about the state of its

Same with a cat.   I can certainly tell the difference between a dead
cat, a sleeping cat and a purring one I am petting.

With humans, doctors have *scales* with which they measure
consciousness.  Responsiveness is the way they measure consciousness.



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