Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 18:23:06 +0200

On 27 Apr 2009, at 06:40, Kelly wrote:

> On Apr 26, 12:47 pm, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
>> No, I think you're missing my point. Consider your analogy of
>> fitting
>> together images to make a complete picture. You present this as a
>> spatial representation of the sequential flow of consciousness. Now
>> suppose your spatial elements have zero extent - they are "spatial
>> instants", i.e. points. What fits them together?
>> It appears to me that you are implicitly supposing that information
>> in
>> the brain (say in it's structure) can be associated with an instant
>> of
>> consciousness and hence allow it's position in the "complete
>> picture" to
>> be determined. But it would not be a legitimate move to use
>> information
>> that was not in the instant itself. And that's what I find
>> implausible,
>> that there is significant information content in a conscious
>> interval of
>> infinitesimal duration.
> So, we have two things represented by a puzzle piece.
> 1) The contents of an instant of consciousness...which is the "image
> fragment" on the surface of the piece.
> 2) How that instant of consciousness relates to the instants that
> preceeded it and follow it...which is the piece's position within the
> larger picture
> And you have two seperate questions about information and conscious
> states.
> A) What information is responsible for a conscious state
> B) What information is IN a conscious state.
> And I think your questions focus on 02 and B.
> So, as for 2...there is no actual relationship between the instants.
> They fit together based solely on the first person subjective feeling
> of flow, which undoubtedly involves some sort of short term memory.
> Part of the feeling of an instant is how it is related to the previous
> instant.
> As for B, I'm not sure this matters, as it's really a seperate
> question from A. So I am saying consciousness is information, but I'm
> not saying it's the information that describes the particular things
> that you're conscious OF at any given instant.
> If I write down the details of what I'm conscious of AT this moment,
> that information isn't the information that caused my conscious
> experience OF that moment.
> Conscious experience is tied to A. Not B.
> B has no special significance. I'm not sure what it even really means
> to talk about the information in a conscious state. How much
> information is in the feeling of anger? How many bits describe the
> subjective experience of seeing red?

The interesting, informative, thing consists in relating A and B.
This is my taste. I expect from a "theory of everything" to explain
the miracle making me felt to succeed regularly to make a cup of
coffee when I am in the state of dreaming or wanting or expecting ...
a cup of coffee, and not only the coffee occurs but soon after,
regularly, I smell it, I drink it, I enjoy it. How good dreams
happen, how bad dreams happen, how can I play the game in a way which
satisfy most good willing universal machines. I need a theory which
should be correct on what universal machine can do and think
relatively to their most stable and probable dreams ... I am a long
term researcher, but a practical one though.

All theories are hypothetical, but some theories (questions). I just
propose the comp question to nature. From your post I can guess you
stop at the step 03 of the Universal Dovetailer Argument (UDA).
So you have indeed the necessity to abandon comp to maintain your form
of immaterialist platonism, but then you lose the tool for questioning
nature. It almost look like choosing a theory because it does not even
address the question ?



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Received on Mon Apr 27 2009 - 18:23:06 PDT

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