Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

bigjeff5 comments on GAZP vs. GLUT - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 April 2008 01:51AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (166)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: bigjeff5 31 December 2011 12:53:01AM 0 points [-]

Right, I was arguing Roland's point, not Eliezer's, and I don't see where I disagreed with Eliezer in any way.

Roland just said the GLUT is conscious, which means by definition it isn't in a Zombie World, because the definition of a Zombie World is one that is apparently identical to ours, minus consciousness.

I'm not sure where I screwed the synthesis up here, Eliezer's post doesn't really come into it except for framing the subject of Zombie Worlds, GLUTs, and consciousness.

I was just saying if the GLUT is conscious then the Anti-Zombie position automatically wins the Zombie World GLUT argument, by definition. Perhaps I should have just said it exactly like that?

Comment author: dlthomas 31 December 2011 01:44:13AM 0 points [-]

Please reread the bit I quoted. I am not trying to be pedantic, and it's possible that either I am misreading you, or that you just didn't write quite what you'd intended. Speaking of the case where the GLUT itself is not conscious, which was the sole of my focus, it seems to me that you said that the thing that is "looking up the inputs in the GLUT" must be conscious. This seems to mean "thing that is performing the lookup operation", which is different than "thing that stored the data to be looked up." Did I misunderstand you?

Comment author: bigjeff5 31 December 2011 06:34:18PM 0 points [-]

I didn't misspeak, even though the argument I gave wasn't the exact same one that Eliezer gave it is essentially the exact same argument. The "rinse, repeat" was meant to suggest you keep going with it ad infinitum, and the very next step I came up with was the exact same as Eliezer's. It's a reference to washing directions on shampoo bottles, and I've honestly never had anyone get confused by it, so I apologize.

The point is, if the thing looking up the inputs (to continue where I left off) isn't conscious, then the thing that created the thing that looks up the inputs is probably conscious. If the thing that created the thing that created the GLUT isn't conscious (e.g. a true random code generator that happens to produce the GLUT that matches our universe) then the thing that chose that GLUT out of the multitude of others is probably conscious. This is exactly Eliezer's argument, unless I have completely misunderstood it, and if I have I would love to be corrected (I've only been actively engaged in this kind of thinking for a little over a year now, so I'm still very much a newbie). As it is, I don't see what is different in principal between my point and Eliezer's.

My point was in regards to Roland's argument, which was that he didn't mind the GLUT being consciousness in his Zombie World. I was attempting to point out that if the GLUT is conscious then the anti-zombie principle is automatically validated on the grounds that it's not a Zombie World in that case.

In order for epiphenomenalists to effectively argue the Zombie World using a GLUT, it cannot be conscious itself. Eliezer argued (in a nutshell) that if there was a conscious mind behind the creation of the GLUT, then the GLUT was simply a tool of the conscious mind, and that the GLUT wasn't actually running things, the consciousness behind it was. This is true regardless of where in the process the consciousness is, the point is that it is there somewhere and has a meaningful affect on the universe it exists in. Any world that his this kind of connection to a consciousness by definition can't be a real Zombie World.

If consciousness has no affect on the universe then it is meaningless. This has been my understanding of Eliezer's position throughout this entire series.