Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Kelly <>
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 20:19:51 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 9:00 PM, Jason Resch <>
> In fact I used that same argument with Russell
> Standish when he said that ants aren't conscious because if they were
> then we should expect to be experiencing life as ants and not humans.

Did you win or lose that argument?

I've heard that line of reasoning before also. Doesn't it also
conclude that we're living in the last days? If there are more
conscious beings in the future than in the present, then we should
expect to live there and not here, so there must not be more conscious
beings in the future? And also it predicts that there are no
significant number of (conscious) aliens? Because if there were, we
should expect to be one of them and not a human?

Sounds like over-use of a good idea. In this case it ignores all
other available information to just focus only on one narrow
statistic. Why should we ignore everything else we know and only
credit this single argument from probability? Surely, after studying
ants and humans, the knowledge that we gain has to alter our initial
expectations, right? But that isn't taken into account here (at least
not in your one line description of the discussion...ha!).

I think the problem with Russell's ant argument stems from trying to
use "a priori" reasoning in an "a posteriori" situation. There is
extra information available that he isn't taking into consideration.

Probably the same applies to the Doomsday argument and aliens. There
is extra information available that isn't being taking into account by
SSA. Pure SSA type reasoning only applies when there is no extra
information available on which to base your conclusion, I think.

> However, in your theory you explain that there are always "next
> moments" to be experienced, if you were to wager on your next
> experience would you guess that it will be random or ordered? If you
> say ordered, is that not a contradiction when the random experiences
> so greatly outnumber the ordered?

I have no choice in the matter. Some of me are going to bet random.
Some of me are going to bet ordered. When you come to a fork in the
road, take it.

Really and truely, I think the best rule of thumb is to bet the way
that leaves you looking LEAST FOOLISH if you're wrong. Usually
that'll be "ordered".

> Perhaps in your theory "next" and "previous" OMs aren't really
> connected, only the illusion of such a connection?

Right, that's exactly what I'm saying.

> Would you say you belong to the ASSA or RSSA camp?
> Or perhaps something different entirely?

I guess something different entirely. I'm saying that the only rule
is: "Everything happens. And sometimes, by sheer coincidence, it
makes sense."

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Received on Sun Apr 26 2009 - 20:19:51 PDT

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