Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 19 Jun 1999 22:04:27 -0500 wrote:
> He seemed to lean towards what he called pan-proto-psychism, the notion
> that the world is full of specks of proto-consciousness. This is an
> actual physical phenomenon which, when put together in the right way,
> produces consciousness. Perhaps this is consistent with Eliezer's
> noncomputational views.

Actually, it isn't - I considered that and discarded it back when I was trying to figure out how to compute qualia. The problem is that if you removed the specks of proto-consciousness, everyone would act the same. The basic operations of a computer don't "act" on proto-consciousness, they act on data. In my model, if you shut off a human's qualia, ve would go into a coma or, more likely, just keel over and die.

Chalmers has a simple code to describe our positions. Chalmers codes contain three letters; each letter is C, computational, P, physical, N, neither. The code describes what it would take to simulate, produce, and explain consciousness. Dennett is CCC; computation simulates, produces, and explains consciousness. Searle is CPP; computation can simulate consciousness, but not produce or explain it. Chalmers is CCN; computation can simulate and produce consciousness, but not explain it. Penrose (and Yudkowsky) are PPP; physical laws simulate, produce, and explain consciousness.

My position is simple: No Zombies. Only single-letter codes are logically consistent. Every facet of consciousness we can notice, that we can *have a need to explain*, obviously influences our physical actions. If there's any quality of consciousness that doesn't influence our actions, nobody has ever written a paper about it. When you perfectly simulate something, you have explained everything about it and produced everything that exists in it.

Likewise, anything that affects our actions is a part of the laws of physics, and a physical theory that doesn't include it will be incomplete.

There are only two logically consistent positions: CCC and PPP.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way