John K Clark (
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 09:36:42 -0800 (PST)


James Rogers on Thu, 12 Feb 1998 Wrote:

>Would it be accurate then, to model our consciousness like a very
>complex finite state machine with some very large number of possible

Yes. I'm absolutely certain we're Turing Machines, in fact, I'm not only
certain I'm pretty sure I'm correct too, but I'm not certain.

>As our consciousness cycles through the various states, driven by
>sensory input, two separate consciousnesses may fleetingly produce
>similar/identical states given identical sensory inputs? The paths
>leading to the momentary near-same states can be different as well
>as the paths leading out of the state (hence the inability to know
>what it is like to be someone else, even if you fleetingly produce
>a similar state),

It wouldn't matter what the true history of the two brains were or if the
path leading up to the merger were different, if they're in the same state
now then they must have exactly the same memories too. And the two brains
would remain in identical states forever, unless random factors intervene,
but I don't think randomness has much to do with consciousness.

For me to know exactly what it's like to be you you'd have to change my brain
into an identical copy of yours, but even then it wouldn't work because the
person experiencing the consciousness wouldn't be me it would be you.
James Rogers is not a thing that's conscious, James Rogers IS consciousness,
thus I can never experience your consciousness because if I could I wouldn't
be John Clark any longer, I'd be you by definition, so John Clark still would
not know what it's like to be James Rogers.

>Hmm... It seems that I've made consciousness look like a really
>complex stream function (like an RC4 PRNG).

In a cryptographic function a small change in input leads to a huge change
in output, consciousness can't be that sensitive or we'd be undergoing
violent mood swings every second.

John K Clark

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