Gilles HENRI <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes: > >If my brain can be simulated on a computer, it can provide me with a > >simulated environment as well. Does that count as "the environment" > >for your purposes? Or do you need to go outside the computer for that? > > > >Hal > > I think I already answered this question. A given machine can only simulate > a world much simpler than itself - obviously it cannot simulate itself. > With your brain you are not able to think of every people in detail: you > can only have very crude approximations of them. So you cannot emulate a > "whole society" (obviously computer games are much simpler than the real > life!) > A computer could compute a simple approximation of the real environment, > but not an environment including this computer itself. So the world it > would generate would be a (very) simplified version of our world, in other > words another world, lacking in particular this computer itself! And the > "you" you would try to simulate would also be an oversimplified version of > you, that you would probably refuse to consider as a "perfect copy" of you.
Even if we stipulate that a computer cannot simulate itself, and cannot simulate the whole universe which contains it, it would not follow that it could not simulate me. I am not in interaction with the entire universe. For one thing, due to speed of light limitations, nearby stars may have exploded, and I am not aware of them. More prosaically, I don't know what is going on on the other side of the Earth, or even outside the walls of this room. If I spent some time reading a book in a small, enclosed room, I would still be conscious. Wouldn't it be possible to design a computer which could perfectly simulate me during that time interval? Hal