X-Message-Number: 11674
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 10:33:01 EDT
Subject:	more on isomorphism

Date:	5/4/99 7:24:24 AM US Mountain Standard Time
From:	Ettinger

I had said that if a computer could contain an emulation, then a book could 
too, based on the principle of isomorphism.

Mike Perry writes:

>To my thinking, consciousness, whatever it is, involves some sort
>of ongoing process. 

Then we agree on this--although it remains to reconcile this with the notion 
that history is a succession of quantum states, with nothing in between. 

>It isn't present in a static artifact that undergoes no
>significant change over time. This would rule out a book  being conscious,
>even if it is the kind of book that can model the passage of time, for
>example, by the changes described on successive pages (as in a history or a

First, isn't this a rather clumsy, ad hoc, retrospective compromise with your 
general principle of isomorphism? Any principle that requires patchwork 
bandaids is surely suspect.

Second, although a running computer beats a book in that it changes over 
time, still it does NOT change in a realistic way, does not e.g. do more than 
one thing at a time, which is often essential in a living being. Certainly it 
can model simultaneous changes, just by using appropriate labels, but a book 
can do the same. 

Third, if you agree that isomorphism fails (at least in part) because 
consciousness must bind time, then why doesn't it equally fail because 
consciousness must bind space? A computer, running or not, fails just like a 
book fails to hold objects in physical or geometrical relationships, and 
merely uses symbols or labeling to suggest these relationships. If 
isomorphism isn't good enough for time, why is it good enough for space?

I am encouraged that Dr. Perry understands my criticism of isomorphism, and 
will do my best to evaluate his further reactions fairly.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=11674