X-Message-Number: 11832
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 12:33:35 EDT
Subject: Crevier & book's behavior

First, Dr. Crevier's recent post shows irritation, so apparently I have 
sometimes been less than tactful. That was not my intention.

Second, the discussion seems to have passed the point of diminishing returns 
(which some think happened a long time ago), so it probably isn't useful for 
me to carry on with it much further here. 

But I'll make the following brief comments. Dr. Crevier wrote, in part:

>For example an inert book merely describing a mind could not be conscious, 
>because no such book could ever behave as if conscious.

Well, that depends on what "behave" means. The Tome could be used to control 
a robot, exactly as the Tape could. 

Remember, the Tome was written by the Tape. If desired, another simple 
mechanism could take the pages of the Tome, one by one (state by state) and 
feed them to the robot, with exactly the same results as if the Tape were in 
direct control of the robot. 

Or you could just add a page-turner to the Tome. As far as I can see, 
Tome-plus-page-turner would be fully equivalent to the Tape, with respect to 
any issues we have been discussing, and I see no implication of consiousness 
in either case, although we cannot yet completely rule out the possibility.

Finally, yet again, on the question of whether a system could be unconscious 
and yet behave as though conscious. If two systems "behave" exactly alike 
(except for quantum uncertainties) in every detail of their innards as well 
as externals, then the systems are identical except for location, and if one 
is conscious so is the other. But if their "behavior" refers only to external 
appearances as noted by an outside observer, that is a different story, and 
it is unquestionably possible for the observer to be misled. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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