RE: consciousness based on information or computation?

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 10:17:24 -0000

OK the ocean is a kind of person if you want to call it that. The wave won't
get much comfort from thinking that *she* with her memories of chocolate,
will survive - she won't: another being in the same subset of the universe
temporally subsequent to the 'crash' will not see her any more. But of
course she continues to exist in prior-time regions of the universe, and she
continues to non-exist in theat her 'existence' in the first place was
purely a subjective phenomenon.

I'm thinking of Tegmark's and Schmidhuber's ideas that complexity is only
apparent when you see a subset of the simple reality, like the Mandelbrot
set. This ties in nicely with the Buddhist idea that it is only our
ignorance that allows us to see the world at all. Once you see the whole -
like the Mandelbrot equation - you no longer see the one little piece of the
set that you once thought so interesting and complex.

Note that, although I can't see why our consciousnesses are not 'immortal'
under MWI, that doesn't mean that I think we exist as separate entities
undergoing successive experiences in time. And it doesn't mean I think it's
good or desirable to be immortal.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marchal []
> Sent: Thursday, January 28, 1999 1:43 PM
> To: Higgo James
> Cc: ''
> Subject: RE: consciousness based on information or computation?
> > James Higgo wrote :
> >The anaogue is the wave in the sea: The wave thinks itself conscious and
> a
> >person, and screams with horror as it sees its fate is to be annihilated
> by
> >crashing onto the rocks. It does not understand that it is a part of
> >something bigger and more permanent.
> Once upon a time there was a little wave, thinking itself conscious and a
> person, screaming (indeed) with horror as it sees its fate is to be
> annilated by crashing onto the rocks.
> Fortunately the little wave was reading the everything list and learn,
> that some Everett & Co. discover there were actualy an infinity of oceans
> and that thanks to some tunneling effect she will survive crashing the
> rocks in some of theses oceans.
> She will survive ! With lots of his favorite memories (of love and
> chocolate for instance).
> ... And now, you (the same you who send a memorable mail on immortality
> through MWI), ask the little wave to be happy of the permanence of her
> apparent stuffy ocean ?!?!?
> ... Well, in any case, if "the" ocean is "conscious", I still don't see
> why he should not be considered as a (kind of) person.
> Bruno
Received on Mon Mar 01 1999 - 02:21:11 PST

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