Consciousness as computations (introduction)
Fri 10 November 2017
I've met a lovely philosopher recently, and we've been talking about very many things. One thing I would like to convince him of is that the currently known laws of physics don't forbid the implementation of a human mind (e.g. AGI/upload) in a silicon (or other suitable computing material) substrate.
I want to document my thoughts on how I justify going from the apple-falls-to-the-ground sort of physics, to fantacizing that, if the technology matures before my mindstate is wiped through senescence, I might one day live to see other star systems and inhabit virtual environments with radically different laws of physics.
My own thoughts and philosophies in life have been shaped by a number of people I've known, and authors whose works I've admired. In no particular order, for future reference:
- Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama
- Ian M Banks's Culture series on hedonism
- Greg Egan's books on life inside a machine and interacting with the world: e.g. Orphanogenesis, which is an extract from Diaspora.
- Richard Dawkins's Selfish Gene
- Daniel Dennett's Consciousness Explained
- Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth's Babboon metaphysics
- Hans Moravec's Mind Children
- Erix Drexler's Engines of creation
- David Graeber's book on the market economy and violence
- Nicholas Shaxson's book on tax havens
- Pete Walker's book on CPTSD
- Game theory (various authors) - I suspect it accounts for more than is normally expected ("rational" players doesn't always have to be assumed in some cases).
I'll have to check with the aforementioned philosopher to see if I have phrased the question in a mutually agreeable way before deciding where to go next.