On Nov 6, 2005, at 2:34 AM, Russell Standish wrote:

On Sat, Nov 05, 2005 at 09:57:17AM -0500, Bob Hearn wrote:
However, one can easily imagine a perceptual 2D world existing for  
conscious entities. Even if there is no self-consistent 2D physics  
leading to atoms, planets, etc., one can computationally simulate  
Flatland (a la Abbott) or a Planiverse (a la Dewdney) in a 3D  
universe, with no requirement for a consistent micro-physics. (In  
fact the Planiverse is my simulation domain for my AI work.)

Assuming computationalism, I would argue that conscious observers
experiencing 2D environment are possible, but perhaps unlikely. Why?
Because 2D networks are highly constrained, and so it is difficult to
evolve complex structures in 2D. 3D and higher is not so constrained,
so evolution is possible.

I wasn't clear... I wasn't suggesting a simulation at the atomic-equivalent level, on the assumption that such might not be consistently possible. Instead I was suggesting designing or evolving intelligent creatures in a computer, in a 3D world, but creatures whose perceptual environment is a 2D world, simulated at some gross physical level. Conceivably even a human brain, suitably modified, could exist in such a perceptual environment, without realizing it was "really" a 3D entity.



Robert A. Hearn



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