Re: Free will/consciousness/ineffability

From: Neil Lion <>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 13:28:58 +0100

----- Original Message -----
From: Marchal <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 4:59 PM
Subject: Re: Free will/consciousness/ineffability

> >Because the state of a computer exists at a level at which it can be
> >perfectly known, copied or changed.
> Yes but the computer itself can not find this level in a provable way.
> This is not obvious (search for benacerraf in the archive).

This is true, but the current state of a computer can always be represented
within a finite string. Perhaps the computer cannot ever realize this, as
the description will be a part of the computer (ad-infinitum), but as long
as I see myself as seperate from the process of the computation, I can
objectively describe it in a 'total' manner - I can always describe all the
constituent parts that satisfy the circumstance of my definition of a
computer. It is by definition, finitely realizable, which isn't really true
for things that really exist in the objective world. In reality, I am not
completely seperate from the computer as an actual physical object, but it's
like an emulation of a computer running on a 'real' computer; code running
on the emulated computer, makes no more sense to the actual physical
computer its based on than any other arbitrary program would. A physical
computer makes no more sense to the 'cosmos' than does any other arbitrary
arrangement of objects.

> >Let's say we take a snapshot of a consistant conscious computer that's
> >been evolved to a certain point. It's possible for me to have created an
> >identical computer from nothing, without having the need to evolve it.
> >Now the first evolved computer, is consistant and may even have an
> >accurate set of memories, reflecting where it is now, and where is has
> >etc... However, the second created machine, which is in *exactly* the
same state
> >as the first, has a set of false memories, that we know that it has never
> >actually experienced. Its only resort, on the basis of its
> >'infallibility' is that it did in fact experience them, but in the
platonic (timeless)
> >world and not in our own. The consistancy of the computer has not been
> >contravened, as perhaps it would have been (as you have said previously)
> >if I had simply changed its memory; yet its inner certainty of memory is
> >fallible.
> I agree and that is why I believe that IF we are machine THEN we are
> immaterial machine. We have never leave Plato heaven if you want.
> Now I don't believe "copy of material universe" exists in Platonia.
> Appearance of physical universes emerges on the computational histories.
> To explain appearnance of lawfulness we need to take into account
> *ALL* computational histories.

So is a physical computer an immaterial machine, or is it just an example of
an immaterial machine, that does actually exist in somewhere in Plationia,
or is it neither? Seeing that there is no rigerous way to define what
actually constitues a physical computer, and what does not, does it make any
sense to say "my desktop computer" has become conscious? As the entire
universe is eventually connected, I could prob. show and almost infinite
number of such machines, just by choosing arbitary points in space to
represent the various units of my computer.

>>I agree that there is a problem translating from first person experiene to
>>third person reality. However, I believe that memory is a first-person
>>experience, as opposed to something that is 'out-there', in the
>>'third-person', that has a physical explanation/theory that is more
>>fundamental than the actuality of the experience.
> This confirms what I say, you reason quite correctly. Now comp is
> my working hypothesis (I don't care at all if comp is true or false).
> What I say is that IF comp is true then the apparently 3-person
> physical phenomena are in reality the result of interference and
> partial sharing of many number theoretical machine anticipations.

OK, so memory may be a first person experience to us, but would it be a
first person experience to an actual physical computer? All the parts of a
physical computer are mutually exclusive and rely on a specific physical
organisation, existing in the third-person in relation to each other.
Therefore, there is no real sense in which the physical computer is in the
first-person with regards to anything. It is always going to perceive its
memory in a third-person sense. It perhaps is justified to say that that
although this computer specifically is not conscious/1st-person, it is an
example of an equivalent that does exist somewhere in the platonic world or
in the multiverse, and so in a certain sense, is conscious, but this seems a
bit dubious.
Received on Tue Oct 02 2001 - 05:35:58 PDT

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