Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Kelly <>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 14:42:30 -0700 (PDT)

On Apr 27, 1:42 pm, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> Are you thinking of something like a linked list in which each state, in
> it's inherent information, has a pointer to a previous (or future)
> state. And the existence of this link constitutes the "feeling of flow"?

Hmmmm. As a metaphor that works I think. Though the pointer is
explicitly in the "subjective feeling" of the state, and only
implicitly in the information that underlies that subjective feeling.

> I think it also entails allowing that conscious states have some
> duration in time, or form a continuum.

If consciousness isn't something that exists at any given instant of
time, then when does it exist? It exists "outside" of time? What is
a good analogy for how this would work?

> My problem exactly. But if we are no longer talking about information
> IN a conscious state, but rather information responsible for the
> conscious state then we have introduced the possibility of a whole
> physics (a brain, a world) that may be responsible for many things, only
> one of which is consciousness. In particular, it may be responsible for
> limiting the conscious states and for fitting them together in succession.

Not if information exists platonically. So the question is, what does
it mean for a physical system to "represent" a certain piece of
information? With the correct "one-time pad", any desired information
can be extracted from any random block of data obtained by making any
desired measurement of any physical system.

If I take a randomly generated one-time pad and XOR it with some real
block of data, the result will still be random. But somehow the
original information is there. You have the same problem with
computational processes, as pointed out by Putnam and Searle. The
molecular/atomic vibrations of the particles in my chair could be
interpreted, with the right mapping, as implementing any conceivable

So unambiguously connecting information to the "physical" is not so
easy, I think.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Tue Apr 28 2009 - 14:42:30 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:15 PST