Re: consciousness based on information or computation?

From: <>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 10:26:28 -0800

I find it hard to accept the premise that "I" am a random selection from
among all possible conscious/intelligent entities.

In this way I do not try to draw conclusions about the likelihood or
longevity or measure of other consciousnesses than the one I am now
experiencing. I don't conclude that the human race is doomed, or that
I won't live forever, or that few aliens exist. These conclusions are
very questionable, in my opinion.

It is easier to accept that "I" am a random selection from among all
instantiations of "me" in all universes, that is, all instantiations
which produce the same conscious state that I am now experiencing.

With this perspective, a question I can try to answer is, what am I likely
to observe next? Given a random choice from among all instantiations of
me, what fraction of them produce various possible "next states"?

Ideally, we would like to derive the conclusion that I am most likely
to observe a lawful universe consistent with my memories. In fact, we
would probably adjust our theories until this is what we do conclude.
If we can do this without too many ad hoc assumptions, we would be left
with a simple theory which predicts the observed state of the universe,
which is the goal.

Received on Wed Jan 27 1999 - 10:38:34 PST

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