Re: Conscious States vs. Conscious Computations

From: John Mikes <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 11:41:25 -0400

Youness, your initial remark touches a valid point. I would go a bit
further, even further than Hal's reply which still addressed the topical map
within the Jason-idea - and deeper into Jason's well crafted position and
considerations in computer science thinking.
Remember, when the human mind was a "steam-engine"? then later it was a
"telephone-switchboard"? Now it is "computer" with the image in mind of that
embryonic contraption IBM et al. fabricate in binary primitiveness. Would
have Leibnitz, or Plato imagine a computer-based OM? of course not. Why do
we assume that NOW we have reached the ultimate in omniscience? that our
present toy is representing "all"? Do we have any criticism for the new
gadget coming about in the 25th c.? Are we denying any advancement?
(This list 'humbly' agreed in views representing a century ahead, Bruno's: 2
centuries, - the reason why I suggested the 25th c. 'new gadget' which may
be just as unforeseeable for people before its arrival as was a computer and
its workings before Charles Babbage.)
Those 'strings' in a 'software' are our present limitations for (wider?)
meanings that may go way beyond the 'perceived reality' of today. Which is
itself partial and incomplete.
I appreciate the 'present level' inventiveness and the discussions about
(logical?) incompleteness found in such, but always in mind that the
'position' is early 21st c. and prone to changing.
Jason wrote:
"A given piece of data can represent an infinite number of different
things depending on the software that interprets it...."
The unidentified 'information: "bit" in our binary machine, (0 or 1).
Strings identify it better, still applicable to any relation if in
'reasonable' length.
As Hal wrote:
"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."
Where I feel the 'doubt' to represent unlimitedly related meanings by
strings, that are representing only ...'meaning implicitly within
Infinite length strings maybe a solution, but maybe also an impractical

John Mikes

On 9/27/07, Youness Ayaita <> wrote:
> 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.
> Youness
> >

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Received on Thu Sep 27 2007 - 12:27:38 PDT

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