Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Krekoski Ross (
Date: Tue Mar 04 2008 - 11:17:32 MST

> Well, it has causal interactions in that you can stub your toe on it,
> but it doesn't have a keyboard and a monitor. It doesn't meaningfully
> interact with the outside environment, but the computer runs a
> simulation in which conscious beings interact with a virtual
> environment. This is really no different to the situation we find
> ourselves in, interacting with a subset of our universe but unable to
> interact with anything outside the universe. An actual Turing machine
> with a simple program enumerating and running every possible program
> (including the nonsense ones) would produce our universe, among many
> others, and we would be conscious even though we would be hidden in
> noise and beyond the reach of the beings running the simulation.

I disagree--- if the ones running the simulation have access to the
internal proceses of the machine, or have some way of deriving them based on
observations of the machine itself, they have the ability to derive the
simulated world as output, and consequently able to input.

As well, the actions of conscious virtual beings inside the machine will
subtly affect external aspects of the machine. specific bits change in
specific locations, for example. Again, if this is so, then there is all of
a sudden input and output, and communication with virtual beings is
possible. There is no 'outside the universe', so to speak.



> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

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