Fred:
> Your cellular automaton demos look pretty neat, but how can you 
> tell if they are conscious or self-aware? Do two of these interact 
> in a social manner? 

Well, in the 3D version there must exist (if these automata are indeed 
minimal) configurations that look just like you and me discussing 
this very topic.  I consider that proof enough that they are 
self-aware.  (In the 2D version there are just pictures of these 
entities.)

> Do they interact with the programmer?

No.  There is no programmer.  These automata are simply "out there",
waiting to be discovered.  Anyone can discover them.  And the 
inhabitants of cellular automata worlds can reason about the 
automaton they live in.  That's as close as they can get to talking 
with a programmer.

> (A scenario where reality is 'put up' is entertaining, but it 
> would be more convincing if a sign were received from beyond, so 
> to speak.). 

Though I don't expect them to convince anyone else, I have received 
all the signs I need.  I conclude that in fact this world is 'set up' 
for us to topple down!  (Yes, I realize it's statements like these 
that jeopardize my credibility. :)

 Joel

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