[ExI] Do digital computers feel was Re: Is the wave function real?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 23:25:54 UTC 2016

On 30 December 2016 at 17:41, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>

> On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 11:33 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Here's another way to look at it. Suppose your brain contained identical
>> parallel circuits A and B, tied together at input and output, which could
>> be switched on and off independently of each other. It would be difficult
>> to do with biological tissue due to chaotic internal processes but more
>> straightforward if you consider a digital implant. Obviously, if you switch
>> A and B off together you will lose all the functionality of the circuitry.
>> But if you switch off either A or B, you will notice no change.
> ### Let's say the A/B circuits run all the way from a simulation of your
> spinal cord sensory areas, such as the substantia gelatinosa, all the way
> to the frontal lobe cortical areas involved in attaching an affective
> valence to sensory stimuli (cingulate cortex, DLPF and others). We simulate
> the neural processes of you being slowly burned alive, separately in
> circuit A and in circuit B, and route the identical output to the rest of
> the brain. Obviously, the other parts of the brain, involved in e.g.
> producing screams and generating a memory of pain, will not scream twice as
> loud, or remember twice the pain. Yet, a process sufficient to produce the
> experience of pain ran twice. Are you sure you know how much pain was
> actually experienced by the system as a whole (A+B+ the rest of you)?
> Please note that the observable results of the experiment (loud screaming)
> would be the same no matter whether A/B are digital or analog.
> As I mentioned in the initial post, I do not know. My intuitions are
> overtaxed by the problem.

If I tried either a 20% reduction in the painful stimulus I would be in
slightly less pain and scream slightly less, while if circuit A were
switched off I would feel I was in just as much pain and scream just the
same. So if I had a choice, I would choose the 20% reduction. If you told
me that I was deluded about my pain, and I was actually better off
switching circuit A, I would probably use some bad words telling you what
you could do with your advice.

Stathis Papaioannou
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