Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Vladimir Nesov (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 06:47:50 MST

On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 3:41 PM, 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.

But it's not a statement about reality. When something is
'intelligent/conscious', it means that 'beliefs' that exist in this
structure reflect this property, and can be recognized and acted upon
by such system. When we talk about self-consciousness, we describe
this property of our makeup that we can observe, and this is a
statement about 'reality'. It is a category that can be used to
classify chunks of reality, and saying that certain thing is
'self-conscious' carves a subset from all possible things.

When you say that the same process (or *any* phenomenon whatsoever)
is implicit in random sequence, you identify the concept in question
with zero knowledge, saying that everything fits it.

Vladimir Nesov

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