Pulling up the door you're standing on is known in the computer industry as "bootstrapping", which comes from the expression "to pull yourself up by your bootstraps".
Of course, over time, this has been shortened to "boot", as in "booting your computer". Initially, to boot a computer, one had to enter a small loader program inot the computer by flicking switches. Run the program, and this would a larger program from a disk or tape, which in turn would read in an operating system (or whatever and start it running). These days, this initial program is burned into a nonvolatile silicon chip, which loads and runs the first sector of the hard disk, and so on, so the tedious stage of entering the first program by hand is avoided. Can a conscious mind be understood completely by a conscious mind? This can be cast in terms of Cantor's diagonalisation argument. Goedel's 2nd theorem effectively says that arithmetic "cannot understand itself". However, the set of recursive functions is closed to diagonalisation, namely recursive functions exist that can emulate any other. Coming back to the original question - Bruno Marchal would probably answer yes, with repsect to the assumption of COMP. Robert Rosen (to pick a somewhat extreme opposing example) would probably argue no - that consciousness lies in a class of systems outside the computable set. Cheers On Wed, May 18, 2005 at 11:26:12AM -0400, John M wrote: > In AI we consider (certain) qualia (characteristics) of the mind to get > simulated by the machine, in first range those ones that are relevant to the > activities we are interested in, but really: a choice of only those we know > about at all in the model we have of human mentality. There is always more > to it and we disregard the rest of the totality (of course). > The billiard ball also has more to it than in our model's characteristics > of the toy we consider. That's the way we think. > > What brings to my mind the silly young peasant girl who worked in my > grandparents' home in the 30s and was sent down to the cellar made by my > grandfather with a horizontal trap-door covering the stairs down. She came > back desperate that the door does not open. > She was standing on it. The joke is on us: > > Are we not trying to explain our own consciousness, using our own > consciousness, the mind, using our mind, and the (rest of the?) world > 'objectively' - of which we are an intrinsic part of? > Aren't we standing on the trap door and try to lift it? > > Excuse my rambling, I am not against advamced thinking, just apply always > the notion of a humble insecurity: that's all I can think of with my limited > means and there always may be much more to it. > > Respectfully > > John Mikes > > > > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:33 PM > Subject: RE: a description of you + a description of billiard ball can > bruise you? > > > > Bruno's claim is a straightforward consequence of Strong AI; that a > > simulated mind would behave in an identical way to a "real" one, and would > > experience the same "qualia". There's no special "interface" required > here; > > the simulated mind and the simulated billiard ball are in the same > "world", > > ie. at the same level of simulation. As far as the simulated person is > > concerned, the billiard ball is "real". Of course, the simulation can also > > contain a simulation of the billiard ball (2nd level simulation), which > will > > equally be unable to bruise the simulated person, and so on ad infinitum. > If > > we take Bostrom's simulation argument seriously, we all exist in some Nth > > level simulation, while our simulated billiard ball exists at the (N+1)th > > level. > > > > Jonathan Colvin > > > > > > > > > Stephen: Your claim reminds me of the scene in the movie Matrix: > > > Reloaded where Neo deactivates some Sentinels all the while > > > believing that he is Unplugged. > > > This leads to speculations about "matrix in a matrix", etc. > > > > > > http://www.thematrix101.com/reloaded/meaning.php#mwam > > > > > > There is still one question that needs to be answered: > > > what is it that gives rise to the differentiation necessary > > > for one "description" to "bruise" (or cause any kind of > > > change) in another "description" if we disallow for some > > > thing that acts as an "interface" between the two. > > > > > > What forms the "interface" in your theory? > > > > > > http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/0001/0001064.pdf > > > > > > Stephen > > > > > > ----- Original Message ----- > > > From: "Bruno Marchal" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > > > To: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > > > Cc: <email@example.com> > > > Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:56 AM > > > Subject: Re: What do you lose if you simply accept... > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Le 17-mai-05, ? 09:56, Jonathan Colvin a ?crit : > > > > > > > >> Is it any > > > >> stranger that a blind man can not see, than that a > > > description of a > > > >> billiard > > > >> ball's properties (weight, diameter, colour etc) can not bruise me? > > > > > > > > > > > > It is different with comp. because a description of you + a > > > description of > > > > billiard ball, done at some right level, can bruise you. > > > > > > > > Bruno > > > > > > > > http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > -- *PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which is of type "application/pgp-signature". Don't worry, it is not a virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you may safely ignore this attachment. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- A/Prof Russell Standish Phone 8308 3119 (mobile) Mathematics 0425 253119 (") UNSW SYDNEY 2052 [EMAIL PROTECTED] Australia http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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