Re: Qualia and the Galactic Loony Bin
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 21:41:05 -0700

Harvey Newstrom, <>, writes:
> I submit that your pattern-model will not occur without a causal-model brain
> actually running the consciousness programming and creating the patterns for
> the pattern-model brain.

OK, this is basically a statement that you believe in the causal model but not the pattern model. I accept that.

> Your so-called pattern-model for consciousness is merely a snapshot of a
> causal-model brain at a specific moment in time. Your series of programmed
> patterns is merely an animated picture of a brain working. It is not a
> functional brain by itself. It can never input data and react. It can
> never do anything other than replay the pattern that is being animated. It
> is a movie of a brain being conscious, so it looks very much like a brain
> being conscious, but it fails any Turing Test. Ask the film a question. It
> can't answer until the causal brain makes a new film of a brain giving the
> answer. Then, when that film is played back, it will appear that the
> pattern brain has answered. The pattern-brain cannot meet the definitions
> of life or consciousness without having a causal-model brain standing in for
> it.

So what do you think about replays in the causal model, where the replay has actual calculations occuring? Suppose you have a brain and you give it a Turing test, asking questions and so on, and are satisfied that it is conscious. Now you (somehow) reset the brain to the original state and run it through exactly the same Turing test again, giving it exactly the same inputs so that the brain runs through exactly the same calculations and produces exactly the same outputs. Everything is as it was for the first run. The brain is calculating and communicating and causing and everything else, but it is doing it exactly the same as it did the first time.

Do you view this second run as conscious? If so, you need to read Emlyn's and Eliezer's messages which I referred to, which will challenge this view by showing that it is not so different from a situation which you have said is not conscious.

If you don't think this second run is conscious, although the first one was, I'd like to hear more about why you think that.