Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Krekoski Ross (
Date: Sun Mar 02 2008 - 17:46:57 MST

> You would be relying on an evolved intelligence having at least some
> similarity with human intelligence, not an unreasonable assumption.
> But there is no reason why the written language of an alien species
> might not be, for example, based on the radioactive decay pattern of a
> sacred stone, in which case to us a message would look completely
> random.

When we realize that such is based on the radioactive decay pattern of a
sacred stone, we can start to look for signs of there being a coherent,
internally consistent logical system at work. It may be opaque to us
initially, but that is not to say that it is impossible to be determined by
human intellifence. If we assume that there is an infinite number of
internally ordered, opaque systems of intelligent communication, then we can
start to say that any arbitrary thing is the product of intelligent
communication, and the question of what constitutes intelligence becomes

> Similarly, an alien computer could seem to us completely rando. There
> need not even be a causal connection between the subcomponents of a
> computation. A virtual environment in which you experience Monday
> could be run on computer A, and then Tuesday run on (completely
> different) computer B in the Andromeda galaxy a billion years later at
> one billionth speed. As far as you're concerned, you experience Monday
> followed by Tuesday. You could be in a simulation in which every
> second of experience is implemented on different hardware, at
> different rates, different physical locations, in no particular
> sequence, and you would have no way of knowing it.

Yes, but I am talking about output of an intelligent system. not internal
processes, which as I mentioned, we know little about.

> The shorter the
> frames are, the more likely that a sequence of physical events
> isomorphic to whatever hardware/software combination you specify
> arises by chance.

yes, but thats not the point. You can have a random number generator
(assuming such a thing exists) that outputs an arbitrarily long string of
digits every n seconds. The number of molecular configurations in the human
brain, or even the number of potential n second long simulations of the
human brain is a vast but finite number, therefore eventually our random
number generator will output an accurate n-second long simulation of our
brain, but the number generator is not intelligent.

I dont see what you're trying to say.



> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

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