Re: Consciousness is information?

From: John Mikes <>
Date: Sun, 3 May 2009 10:39:02 -0400

Stathis, and listers,
I cannot help: I read the text. (Not always, sometimes it seems too obtuse
for me even to 'read' it).
The Subject? ( Consciousness = information )
what happens to that darn 'information'? Oops, 'you' are AWARE of it!?
Meaning: you *DO* something with it (to "be - become?" aware). Who???? By
what factor (energy, process, function, etc.)? By what (who's??) initiation?
Oops: by *computation of course. *
Refer all the above questions to 'computation and add: who (what?) is
providing the computer? (St.: store-bought computer - is it a binary
embryonic, or a more advanced one, maybe an (unlimited!) analogue - whatver
that may be).
forget all those questions and live happily in Wunderland.

The nature of an applicable "INFORMATION" is still undecided. The 'bit' has
to be part of a program to make sense (to have 'meaning' - another term to
be questioned.) Maybe in a conscious software? (robotic?)
*Information and its meaning* are concept (observer?) related.
I am hung up on 'having a computer' and 'computation' (available?) that
still does not *DO *the computation, not even *operate* the computer.
And please, say 'energy' only, if you can tell what it is (not what it does
or how it can be measured). And the construct(?) that includes it all.
I am also hung up with 'function' (activity) and the 'observer' (self, "I")
what seems to be so natural in the nth level consequence using them.

John M


On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 3:00 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <>wrote:

> 2009/5/3 Bruno Marchal <>:
> > I think that if you take a real forest with birds, here and there, you
> > can interpret some behavior as NAND or NOR, but you will not succeed
> > ever in finding the computation of factorial(5).
> But you can interpret *any* behaviour as a NAND gate, in an ad hoc
> fashion. It doesn't even need to be consistent from moment. On a
> Tuesday 3 birds landing could stand for "1" while on a Wednesday 3
> birds landing could stand for "0", and on a Saturday it could stand
> for "1" again. In this way you could take the physical activity
> carried out by a store-bought computer calculating factorial(5) and
> map it onto the forest with the birds. Of course, this won't give you
> the answer to factorial(5) unless you already have the answer, but
> that just means that the computation is obscured, in the same way a
> message is obscured if encoded with a one-time pad that is
> subsequently destroyed and forgotten. In fact, even with the
> store-bought computer the computation is obscured if there are no
> intelligent beings around who can understand it. So, if the
> computation supervenes on the activity of the store-bought computer
> without regard for whether any external observer is around to
> understand, then it also supervenes on the activity of the forest with
> the birds. Other possibilities are that the computation supervenes on
> physical activity only when an external observer understands it (which
> poses difficulties for a closed virtual reality with its own conscious
> observers), or that the computation does not supervene on physical
> activity at all.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
> >

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Received on Sun May 03 2009 - 10:39:02 PDT

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