Re: Conscious States vs. Conscious Computations

From: Jason Resch <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 18:11:43 -0500

On 9/26/07, "Hal Finney" <> wrote:
> Jason writes:
> > A given piece of data can represent an infinite number of different
> > things depending on the software that interprets it. What may be an
> > mp3 file to one program may look like snow to an image editor.
> I'm doubtful that you could find a string of any significant length which
> both sounds like sensible music and looks like a realistic picture.

When I said snow I meant like snow on a TV (random garbage)

> even more doubtful that the enormous length of the data that would
> represent the brain activity associated with an observer-moment could
> be meaningfully interpreted as anything else.
> My guess is that sufficiently long, meaningful data strings have
> their meaning implicitly within themselves, because there is no
> reasonable-length program that can interpret them as anything else.
> Hal Finney

I agree that the data encoding an Observer Moment contains many instances of
self-relational and internally meaningful data structures, here is my
scenario: Some piece of advanced technology maps out the neural network of
one's brain, including which neurons are firing at the instance the brain
was scanned and then saves it as a file. Does this file on the computer
constitute an observer moment? Does duplicating this file increase that
observer moment's measure? Or for it to constitute an observer does some
software have to load the file and simulate future evolutions of brain
states in a manner consistent with how a real brain would to create a valid
observer moment?

If you believe the file alone creates an OM then a program which counted to
infinity would indeed iterate over all possible observer moments, the
problem is some program can interpret any data file as being any other
observer moment given the interpretation software uses the appropriate
"encryption" algorithm which could decrypt that data to be any other
observer moment, which is why I see data alone as meaningless without the
context of an algorithm that created/uses/processes it.


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Received on Wed Sep 26 2007 - 19:36:22 PDT

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