A Story About Integrated Information Theory

Once upon a time, there was a pretty girl named Consciousness. She had hair of violets, reds and precious tinges of greens. Her eyes were black like subtle slips past event horizons.

Along came a man, not much interested in ladies, however pretty. But as he walked past the hall, and met gazes with this wonderful specimen, his first instinct was to think: “Okay what the hell is that thing? And why is it holding hands with physical systems?” He then realized that the lanky creatures in white jumpsuits that he called physical systems weren’t so much holding hands as they were rather fused with the girl, she was like a ghost that was merged with these beings to give them color and personality – a ghost that was always there, inside them like the whiteness of a star or the bounding inseparable from skin. He saw that all the previously morbid wankers that had been fused with her were now beautiful, sensual creatures to some degree or another. And sadly, the ugly cripples who had nothing to do with her remained as the physical systems he had always known – they scratched their arms in the corner, uttering no sound. “Okay, I can tell whether these physical systems have become girly, to what degree they are girly, and ahh… yes I can also tell what particular things they order at the cafeteria – what Experience they are having.” Soon enough, this bright young man, going by his initials IIT, even discovered who was the malevolent culprit barring the ascent of some of the pathetic creatures into the glamorous womanhood that others had manifested. -Spoiler Alert- The culprit turned out to be feisty midgets called causal properties that the physical systems carried in their sweater pockets. Every single physical system had been parasitized by these furry monsters, and only some were agreeable to the girl spirit.

In the realm of demigods, those who had created beings like IIT but not beings like Consciousness and the physical systems, there was much debate and curiosity as to the question of whether the girl could ever be explained. Giulio Tononi had created the detective IIT and let him loose on the matter by placing him in the school were the girls had been spotted. Yet another demigod, David Chalmers, argued that any attempt to explain the girl by using rags from the grey, smelly physical systems would incite the anger of the Hard Problem, a muscular douchebag that he had created in his lab with the specific purpose of guarding the sanctity of the precious ladies. Tononi knew of this bulky homunculus and was clever enough to give his creation a sleazy survival instinct.

Equipped with this self-preservation instinct, IIT didn’t gather rags to fashion a mockery of the girls and explain her thus. No, he didn’t want to get beat up. Rather, he acted like he had forgotten the physical systems had ever not worn lipstick and tight skirts. He accepted that there were genuinely beautiful persons meeting his eyes now. And then reasoned about what kinds of sweaters and mannerisms and postures must be hiding underneath to account for them.

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