Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP): > > >>>>>Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the >>>>>record were different, then the sound coming out of the speakers would >>>>>also be >>>>>different. >>>> >>>>That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement >>>>about >>>>other similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well >>>>say, (print "Hello world.") contains an if-then because if the characters >>>>in the >>>>string were different the output would be different. >>> >>> >>>I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined. >> >>That's my point. Counterfactuals are defined relative to some >>environment/data/input >>which we suppose to be possibly different. It's not so much that it's not >>well >>defined, but that it's aribtrarily defined. So I think lz's point about >>intelligence >>requiring counterfactuals is the same as saying intelligence is relative to >>some >>environment - a view with which I agree. In the case of reproducing >>organisms the >>organism/environment distinction is clear. In a simulation it's not. > > > Sorry to keep returning to this, but it's important. I still don't see how > you can distinguish > between the conditionals in a computer program and the conditionals inherent > in any > physical system. A computer is a device set up so that input A results in > output B, while > input C results in output D. The conditional is inherent even if the C->D > branch is never > realised because it *could* be realised. But a rock is also a device set up > so that input > A results in output B while input C results in output D: if you push it on > its left side (A) it > moves to the right (B) while if you push it on its right side (C) it moves to > the left (D). The > rock has this inherent conditional behaviour even if the C->D branch is never > realised, > because it *could* be realised if things had been different.
OK, I take your point. But the movement of the rock right or left is not a property of the rock. The rock is not computing its motion. But by including spacetime, inertia, etc, I will grant that the system computes. And it has implicit if-thens because you suppose you could have pushed it the other way; even if you don't. >If you include the computer's > data in the program then it becomes an inputless system, a self-contained > simulation. If > you include yourself, the rock and everything else that might interact with > it in one system > you have a self-contained, inputless universe. Both the closed simulation and > the universe > (in the absence of CI type quantum randomness) are at least as deterministic > as what we > normally call a recording, despite all the conditionals, because it is rather > more likely that I > will change a recording than that God will intervene to push rocks around or > provide > computers with miraculous inputs. Right. So within this simulation you may say there are intelligent subsystems by making a somewhat arbitrary cut between subsystem and environment. This still seems different from a recording though. The recording is only of the paths actually taken, whereas looking at the program you can see other paths that could have been taken - just as you say the rock computes because you *could have* pushed it the other way. And in anycase there does seem to be quantum randomness. Brent Meeker --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---