Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Jason Resch <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 13:11:00 -0500

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 4:37 PM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

>> Do you believe if we create a computer in this physical
>> universe that it could be made conscious,
> But a computer is never conscious, nor is a brain. Only a person is
> conscious, and a computer or a brain can only make it possible for a
> person to be conscious relatively to another computer. So your
> question is ambiguous.
> It is not my brain which is conscious, it is me who is conscious. My
> brain appears to make it possible for my consciousness to manifest
> itself relatively to you. Remember that we are supposed to no more
> count on the physical supervenience thesis.
> It remains locally correct to attribute a consciousness through a
> brain or a body to a person we judged succesfully implemented locally
> in some piece of matter (like when we say yes to a doctor).  But the
> piece of matter is not the subject of the consciousness. It is only
> the "abstract person" or "program" who is the subject of consciousness.
> To say a brain is conscious consists in doing Searle's'mistake when he
> confused levels of computations in the Chinese room, as well seen
> already by Hofstadter and Dennett in Mind's I.

Thanks for your response, if I understand you correctly, you are
saying that if we run a simulation of a mind, we are not creating
consciousness, only adding an additional instantiation to a mind which
already has an infinity of indeterminable instantiations. Is that

Does this imply that it is impossible to create a simulation of a mind
that finds it lives in an environment without uncertainty? If so is
it because even if the physical laws in one instantiation may be
certain, where some of the infinite number of computations that all
instantiate that mind may diverge and in particular which one that
mind will find itself in is not knowable?

The consequence being that all observers everywhere live in QM-like

Thanks, I look forward to your reply.


>> or do you count all
>> appearance of matter to be only a description of a computation and not
>> capable of "true" computation?
> "appearance of matter" is a qualia. It does not describe anything but
> is a subjective experience, which may correspond to something stable
> and reflecting the existence of a computation (in Platonia) capable to
> manifest itself relatively to you.
>> Do you believe that the only real
>> computation exists platonically and this is the only source of
>> conscious experience?
> Computations and their relative implementations exist only in
> platonia, yes. But even in Platonia, they exist in multiple relative
> version, all defined eventually through many multiple relations
> between numbers.
>>  If so I find this confusing, as could there not
>> be multiple levels?
> But they are multiple levels of computations in Platonia or
> Arithmetic. Even a huge number of them. That is why we have to take
> into account the first person indeterminacies.
>> For example would a platonic turing machine
>> simulating another turing machine, simulating a mind be consicous?
> A 3-machine is never conscious. A 3-entity is never conscious. Only a
> person is. First person can only be associated with the infinities of
> computations computing them in Platonia.
>>  If
>> so, how does that differ from a platonic turing machine simulating a
>> physical reality with matter, simulating a mind?
> You will have to introduce a magical (assuming comp) selection
> principle for attaching, in a persistent way, a mind to that "physical
> reality" simulation. The mind can only be attached to an infinity of
> such relative simulations, and this is why if that mind look at itself
> below its substitution level he will find a trace of those
> computations. Comp says you have to make the statistic on all the
> computations. So the Physical has to be a sum on all those computations.
> That such computations statistically interfere is not so difficult to
> show. That the comp interference gives the apparent quantum one is not
> yet discarded.
> I think you are not taking sufficiently into account the first person
> (hopefully plural) indeterminacy in front of the universal dovetailer,
> (or arithmetic) which defined the space of all computations.
> Does this help a bit?
> Bruno
> >

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Received on Wed Jun 03 2009 - 13:11:00 PDT

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