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May 15, 2019

The Thesis on Consciousness and Experiential Realism: Digital Philosophy Perspective

Posted by in categories: alien life, computing, information science, quantum physics

A radically new view articulated now by a number of digital philosophers is that consciousness, quantum computational and non-local in nature, is resolutely computational, and yet, has some “non-computable” properties. Consider this: English language has 26 letters and about 1 million words, so how many books could be possibly written in English? If you are to build a hypothetical computer containing all mass and energy of our Universe and ask it this question, the ultimate computer wouldn’t be able to compute the exact number of all possible combinations of words into meaningful story-lines in billions of years! Another example of non-computability of combinatorics: if you are to be born and live your own life again and again in our Quantum Multiverse, you could live googolplex (10100) lives, but they all would be somewhat different — some of them drastically different from the life you’re living right now, some only slightly — never quite the same, and timeline-indeterminate.

Another kind of non-computability is akin to fuzzy logic but based on pattern recognition. Deeper understanding refers to a situation when a conscious agent gets to perceive numerous patterns in complex environments and analyze that complexity from the multitude of perspectives. That is beautifully encapsulated by Isaiah Berlin’s quote: “To understand is to perceive patterns.” The ability to recognize patterns in chaos is not straightforwardly algorithmic but rather meta-algorithmic and yet, I’d argue, deeply computational. The types of non-computability that I just described may somehow relate to the non-computable element of quantum consciousness to which Penrose refers in his work.

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