# RE: consciousness based on information or computation?

From: Gilles HENRI <Gilles.Henri.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 16:39:52 +0100

À (At) 14:42 +0000 2/02/99, Higgo James écrivait (wrote) :
>What do you mean 'in the first moments after the big bang' - that is a
>time-centric comment which makes no sense from the Archimedean perspective.
>Why should an integer, namely infinity, not represent the universe? I can't
>see why you need anything 'outside' the string - the string can just be a
>little bit longer, if you like.

I thought I explained why in my last message. Increasing the length does
not change the problem. The problem is that you cannot define a *canonical*
relationship between physical states of the Universe and N. Of course if
(!!) the space-time is discrete you can establish a bijection between them,
that is N is large enough to count all possible states. But as there is no
natural way of doing it (i.e. all numberings are equivalent), a particular
integer cannot be assigned "intrinsically" to a particular state. What I
meant is that if you have defined a bijection that assign our (3-D)
universe (for example at some Planck instant when you read this message) to
some number, say for exemple 10^(10^300)+1 (why not?) you could always
manage for choosing another numbering for which 10^(10^300)+1 is now
assigned to our Universe only two seconds after the Big Bang. So
10^(10^300) +1 does not contain par se an information about the presence of
humans and consciouness.

May be you find that our present Universe is so much different from that 2
seconds after the Big Bang that you could find a natural reason for which
10^(10^300)+1 applies more naturally to our state. But assume that a mortal
virus appears tomorrow that makes the entire mankind die. It will disturb
(very few) among 10^38 nucleons, a ridiculous number for the Universe. Do
you really think that 10^(10^300)+1 could not now denote this state by a
suitable choice of numbering? However , this state will be completely
different with regard to its consciousness properties.

>If, by saying 'consciousness does some kind of
>projection of the wavefunction over some macroscopic subcomponent',
>you mean that consciousness is an emergent property of certain small regions
>of the block universe, including a set of relationships between universes
>which we conventionally call 'time', then I agree with you.

That is exactly what I meant. I think we agree on this point!

Cheers

Gilles

Ps I just read Bruno's mail that may show me that I underestimate the power
of computations! I'll read it more carefully...
Received on Tue Feb 02 1999 - 07:43:08 PST

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