RE: consciousness based on information or computation?

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 09:31:53 -0000

Wei wrote:

> It depends on whether you want to preserve the illusion of forward-flowing
> consciousness. If you don't, then you should expect to (I) experience
> exactly what you are experiencing right now. If you do, then you have to
> figure out how this flow actually works. There are two possibilities:
> either (IIa) some (most) threads terminate or converge into null
> experiences (corresponding to unconsciousness), or (IIb) that doesn't
> happen (maybe the threads merge somehow). In the first case you should
> expect to experience nothing. In the second case you should expect to
> experience immortality.
> (IIb) is probably most appealing to most people, but I prefer (on an
> intellectual level) (I) because it is simplest.
        James H replies:

        No, (IIb) is not what I think. I think both (I) and (IIb). There
is no 'natural flow of time', so a forward-flowing consciousness is doubly
meaningless. In my view, the overwhelming majority of threads end in 'null
experiences' but from any point you can possibly find yourself at on any
thread there will always be an 'escape thread' along which your
consciousness 'survives'. In a multiverse where everyhthing possible
exists, this absolutely MUST be true. The only question in my mind is
whether I will experience a smooth flow of consciousness, always along those
'escape threads'. Nothing I believe contradicts my experience or, to the
best of my knowledge, any generally accepted physical principle, once you
accept MWI.
Received on Thu Jan 28 1999 - 01:36:12 PST

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