(unknown charset) Re: The implementation problem

From: (unknown charset) Jacques M Mallah <jqm1584.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 18:02:59 -0500

On Mon, 25 Jan 1999, Gilles HENRI wrote:
> À (At) 15:33 -0500 23/01/99, Jacques M Mallah écrivait (wrote) :
> > Also, there is no such thing as input or output. These concepts
> >only apply when you predesignate one part of the universe as 'the system'
> >and the rest as 'the environment'. It is an artificial distinction,
> >not known to nature.
> Ok, this has to be refined. I agree with the last proposition. But this
> holds also for "brains", "consciouness", "computers", "measurements", and
> so on...So let us assume that we have conventionally adopted a distinction
> between a "system" and its environment", and that we are looking for an
> definition of when the system can be considered as "conscious" in the sense
> that we apply commonly to a human brain (does anybody have a better
> definition?)
> What I mean is that this property cannot be defined by considering only an
> abstract computation, string , and other mathematical object. The point is
> that the sense that we commonly adopt for the word "consciousness" is not
> directly related to some objective complexity, but rather to the adequation
> of mental objects to the outer world. The complexity is only a requirement
> for that adequation to be correct. Of course it is in principle possible to
> simulate adequately a brain by a computation, but this computation will
> take its meaning only with the help of a relevant "mapping" to an actual
> brain. I defy anybody to look at a list of 10^(what you want) digits 0 or 1
> and to say : "oh, that's a brain of somebody dreaming of (put here your
> favorite actress)". But that could be in principle possible by inspecting
> the state of a all neural cells and recognize those neurons that react to
> pretty images and so on. However this mapping requires also the knowledge
> of the connections to I/O devices, that are our only way to know the world.

        That's irrelevant. There is no external observer deciding what my
brain is thinking. There is only the internal observer - me - who is
having the conscious experience. The computation takes its meaning not
from what an external observer could say about it, but from what it's like
to be me, that computation.

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (jqm1584.domain.name.hidden)
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL: http://pages.nyu.edu/~jqm1584/
Received on Wed Jan 27 1999 - 15:05:13 PST

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