[ExI] few bits per second
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:
> <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
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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