Re: Conscious States vs. Conscious Computations

From: Youness Ayaita <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 06:54:26 -0700

Jason, let me split your ideas into two problems.

The first problem is to understand why and how observers interpret
data in a meaningful way despite of the fact that the data has no
unique meaning within itself.

On 26 Sep., 21:09, Jason <> wrote:
> 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.

If we invited an inhabitant of a strange universe to our universe
(e.g. to an interuniversal conference), he would most probably
perceive nothing but random noise (if his senses allow him to perceive
anything at all). He would feel like the image editor confronted with
an mp3 file. Though, the fact that we being humans perceive something
useful is self-evident since we are a product of evolution within our
universe. Useful interpretation of the environment has been a
necessary condition for survival. The successful analogy between an
observer and a computer program shows that the process of observation
has a computational character: The observer 'calculates' a meaning for
his perception in a systematic way (which was elaborated
evolutionary). We can formalize this similar to Russell and introduce
the map from descriptions to meanings as a property of the observer.

The second problem you address in your message concerns the embedding
of the observer in the universe's description (you write of "self-
aware substructres"). You give a very nice example:

> 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?

Before I'm writing an uncompleted answer, I'd prefer to read what the
long-time participants (Russell, Bruno and others) are thinking about
this point.


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Received on Thu Sep 27 2007 - 09:54:56 PDT

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