From: Lee Corbin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 22:45:12 MDT
> Lee wrote:
>> [Stathis writes]
>> > Now, suppose the first operator transfers the final state of his
>> > machine *as well as* every other possible state, again not telling
>> > which is which, and the second operator just happens to choose the
>> > right state to input. Is there interruption of consciousness?
>> No interruption. The last state on the Australian machine is
>> identical to the first state on the Vienna machine.
> Sorry for labouring the point but I intended that there be no overlap.
Ah, probably my error. Anyway...
> The Australian operator reads the last state S(n) of his machine, and
> transfers this information to the Vienna operator who works out
> (from knowledge of the machine's operation) that he must
> start up his machine in state S(n+1).
Well, I have utterly no problem with an overlap of simply two
states, nor can I imagine anyone having an objection. (BTW,
I will still get around to starting a "Repeated Experience" thread,
since at very least you, John Clark, and I will probably differ.)
> In this way the combined machines + operators can reliably carry
> out the same computations as a single machine.
I see. In other words, it's as though the Vienna operator, a
very smart dude, works out *himself* with, say, his pocket
calculator, S(n+1). Quite all right with me. I don't think it
ever matters where a computation is done, nor on what
hardware. Just so that it's a real computation, and so
sustains real causality and information flow.
> But if the Australian operator simply provides a list
> of all possible states, knowing but not telling which one is S(n),
> that seems to me exactly the same as providing no information at all;
> i.e. the same as if the Vienna operator knew nothing about the
> antipodean device and simply tried random states, one of them just
> happening to be S(n+1). How does this affect whether consciousness is
Very good question. In that case there is an infinitesimal interruption in
consciousness, because there was no genuine information flow or
causality, in other words, to me, not a real computation at all. All
possible things are tried in Vienna. I think I see where you are going,
but I'll let you deliver the next blow! :-)
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