Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Kelly <>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 14:14:12 -0700 (PDT)

On Apr 27, 3:08 am, Jason Resch <> wrote:
> Your position as you have described it sounds a lot like ASSA only
> without taking measure into consideration. I am curious if you
> believe there is any merit to counting OMs or not. Meaning, if I have
> two computers and set them up to run simulations of the same mind, are
> there two minds or one?

If the simulations are identical, then there is only one mind, which
exists in Platonia. The information in the computer simulation is
just a "shadow" of the actual platonic information. In reality, there
is no objectively existing computer running a simulation. There is
just your perception of this.

So, ultimately, I think there's no merit in counting OMs. Every OM
exists once, and only once, and they exist along a continuum where by
every variation is realized. Certain types of variation from one
instant to the next results in the subjective experience of the flow
of time. Variations "perpendicular" to this results in the subjective
feel of different personal identities.

See my previous reply to Bruno today for further details on white

> Let's say I devised an evil simulation in which a mind suffers
> horribly and is tortured, and I set the simulation to run each day,
> and at the end of the day reset the simulation to the initial state,
> such that after the first day, no new information or computations take
> place, but they are repeated. If given the choice, would you unplug
> the computer to stop the suffering of the mind in the computer, or
> having already been simulated once would you consider it
> futile/meaningless to stop it.

I would consider it futile or meaningless to stop it. Even if I
stopped you from running it the first time, even that would be
meaningless, because the horribly suffering mind actually exists in
Platonia, not in your computer simulation. Your feeling of having
"caused" their suffering is an illusion.

BUT, if there was no cost to me, I'd probably go ahead and stop you,
just in case I'm wrong.

> If the number of implementations of minds does not matter and if all
> experiences already exist, then would it not be meaningless to do
> anything?

Everything is meaningless. BUT, as it turns out, I have no choice in
the matter. My will is not free. Even if I'd like to just say,
"screw it, none of this matters, I quit", I still get up every day and
go to work. Why? Because I am not the master of my fate. I am not
the captain of my soul. This lack of real choice (i.e., free will) is
already clear from physicalism, but even more so with a version
platonism where all possible experiences must be realized.

But really I think we lost "meaningfulness" before we even got to

> All actions, whatever the consequence would be rendered
> neutral, having already happened somewhere. If no act of good or evil
> matter this philosophy leads to utter fatalism.

Correct. Though, utter fatalism is not necessarily as bad as it
sounds. It just takes a little getting used to.

> I don't consider something happening with 100% probability to be
> mutually exclusive with happening more than once. The question is
> whether or not that makes any difference to the observer(s?).

I don't think it makes any difference to the observers if, from your
perspective something happens to them 1000 times. What matters to
them is how many times it happens to them from their perspective. I
don't think that you having the experience of running your identical
torture simulation 1000 times has any significance whatsoever for the
entities being tortured.

There SEEMS to be a relationship between the observer moments, but in
fact there is not. In this respect it's kind of like the subjective
experience of the flow of time.

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Received on Tue Apr 28 2009 - 14:14:12 PDT

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