Re: uploading, it even conceivable (the "wet" objection)

Jonathan Colvin (
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 01:17:51 -0700

Eugene wrote:
>>I am of the "wet" school of consciousness. And how can you upload
> >norepinephrine?
>Very easily, that's called molecular modelling. In fact you would
>probably have to reach down as deep as ab initio, to validate the
>higher-order models in overlapping strides. Some people have already
>coupled MD with QM for realistic enzyme models.

Aha...but now we run into another problem. If consciousness is an emergent property of "wet" other words, if the way we "feel" (as opposed to the mere computational aspects of our brain function) is dependent on the chemical aspects of our brain, then a computational model will not capture the "wetness" of our consciousness. You can model the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen on a computer, but it won't make a bang! Now I'm not entirely convinced that consciousness is "wet" but it seems to be a possibility that is quite neglected in AI discussion.

John Clark added:

>I'm not interested in chemicals only the information they contain, I want
the >information to get transmitted from cell to cell by best method and few >would send smoke signals if they had a fiber optic cable.

A nice leather-bound paperback and a floppy disk can both contain the exact same information, but the first is qualitatively different from the second. It is possible that the qualia of consciousness is dependent on its "wetness". You can simulate an explosion on a computer to an arbitrary degree of accuracy, but it will never produce a shock wave. Is consciousness more of a shock wave than a data representation? I'm not sure, but its what I intuitively "feel". I can't think of a critical experiment that can determine this, so it should be good for endless philosophical least its not as boring as guns good/guns bad :)

Jonathan Colvin

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