Russell Standish wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 24, 2006 at 07:20:20AM -0800, 1Z wrote:
> >
> >
> > Russell Standish wrote:
> > > This is the way I put the argument in my upcoming book. You can also
> > > read the Universal Dovetailer Argument in Bruno Marchal's SANE04
> > > paper.
> > >
> > > \item That a description logically capable of observing itself is
> > >   enough to bootstrap itself into existence. Let me speak to this by
> > >   means of an example: The C programming language is a popular
> > >   language for computer applications.  To convert a program written in
> > >   C into machine instructions that can execute on the computer, one
> > >   uses another program called a compiler. Many C compilers are
> > >   available, but a popular compiler is the GNU C compiler, or gcc. Gcc
> > >   is itself a C language program, you can download the program source
> > >   code from http://www.gnu.org, and compile it yourself, if you
> > >   already have a working C compiler. Once you have compiled gcc, you
> > >   can then use gcc to compile itself. Thus gcc has bootstrapped itself
> > >   onto your computer, and all references to any preexisting compiler
> > >   forgotten.
> >
> > No, gcc chasn't bootstrapped **itself**  -- it has been bootstrapped by
> > another
> > compiler ("if you already have a working C compiler"). You can use gcc
> > to compile itself only if it has already been compiled. Gcc cannot
> > bootstrap
> > itself on a computer without a compiler.  what you have said serves a
> > loose
> > illustration of self-bootsrapping, but it is not an actual expample of
> > it.
> > In fact there are no strict examples of self-bootstrapping -- of
> > something starting
> > up ex nihilo.
> >
> > if it is possible for systems to bootstap themselves (or for
> > simulations
> > to be equivalent to realities) we should be able to observe it, and we
> > don't.
> > That is equally true even if we assume the observed world is already
> > a simulation -- "simulations" (ie second-order
> > simulations-within-the-Great-Simulation) don't
> > become "real" (ie first-order simulations)
> >
>
> The trouble is, I don't really know what you mean.

I mean that you do not fulfil the promise of the first sentence:
"that a description logically capable of observing itself is
 enough to bootstrap ITSELF  into existence."

The examples you give are not examples of programmes bootstrapping
themselves,
in any strict sense; they are of programmes being boostrapped by other
programmes, or by other
copies of themselves.

>  It doesn't matter
> what the original compiler is to bootstrap gcc.

If it's not gcc, gcc is not bootstrapping itself.

> Therefore a Plenitude
> of compilers will surely bootstrap gcc - or more fully gcc is
> bootstrapped on all of them.

If a Plenitude exists, nothing needs to be bootstrapped. But that
is in any case assuming what needs to be proved.

> The problem comes in trying to distinguish reality from simulation. It
> just can't be done.

Assuming that I am real, I can easily tell what is a simulation
relative to me. Even if I am a simulation, my Sim City is clearly a
simulation-within-a-simulation.The relative difference is obvious.
Perhaps you mean that I cannot tell absolutely that I am real.
Well, I could always employ the idealists favourite weapon:
Occam's razor.

-
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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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