Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Nick Tarleton (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 06:17:49 MST

On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 7:41 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <> wrote:
> But consider a special class of computations: inputless,
> self-contained virtual environments with conscious inhabitants. If
> these arise in noise, they're not going to pass any Turing test
> because by definition they cannot interact meaningfully with the
> environment at the level of their implementation. However, that we
> can't talk to them should not make any difference to the inhabitants
> in the computation themselves, who are intelligent with respect to
> their own environment. Such forever hidden and inputless computations
> must be occurring everywhere.
> I see this as a consequence of functionalism, and unlike Lanier and
> some others I don't see it as a problem for functionalism.

As far as I can tell, these computations will vastly outnumber
"simple" observers like humans, and most of them will observe
extremely chaotic, random environments, so you should expect to
observe a random environment; but you don't. This is puzzling.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT