From: John K Clark (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Feb 22 2009 - 10:57:50 MST
On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 "Matt Mahoney"
> Where we get in trouble is to start with the existence
> of consciousness as an axiom. This invariably leads
> to absurdities and paradoxes.
Paradoxes? I can’t think of a single one; odd situations certainly, but
nothing logically inconsistent.
> Starting instead with the axiom that we are programmed
> to believe in our own consciousness avoids this problem.
I have no problem with that as an axiom, and there is nothing wrong with
programming, it often produces true output. If not we wouldn’t have a
computer industry. Or would you prefer the only alternative, that we
believed in things at random?
Apparently you don’t believe you are conscious, so how did you overcome
this universal programming; and how (subjectively or objectively, you
pick) would things be different if you were conscious?
> most people would argue that if you replaced your
> neurons one by one with equivalent circuits until
> your whole brain was in silicon, that you would
> never notice the difference.
And I agree with most people about that.
> And that this is somehow different than running
> a program that simulates you and then killing the original.
And I disagree with most people about that, in fact I have nothing but
contempt for the idea because they never even come close to explaining
what that “somehow” is. They can’t even coherently explain exactly what
the hell is so original about the high holy “Original” or exactly what
is being replaced in the dreaded “Replacement”.
> You can't argue that one is conscious and one is not.
And yet I agree completely with that point.
> given the source code of a program that allegedly
> models your brain, could you (rather than an expert)
> prove it actually does?
No I can’t prove it, but in real life we can seldom rigorously prove
anything of life or death importance. I can’t prove the John Clark of
now successfully modeled the John Clark of 60 seconds ago, I can’t even
prove that person actually existed way back then; but I have a hunch he
John K Clark
-- John K Clark firstname.lastname@example.org -- http://www.fastmail.fm - Accessible with your email software or over the web
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