Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 23:27:04 -0700

Kelly wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 9:00 PM, Jason Resch <>
> wrote:
>> 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."

An untestable theory. But that's OK since if it's true it's also useless.


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Received on Sun Apr 26 2009 - 23:27:04 PDT

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