Kelly Harmon wrote:
> So I think the possibility (conceivability?) of conscious computer
> simulations is what throws a kink into this line of thought.
No, that's why I wrote "...relative to an environment". In Moravec's
thought experiment the consciousness is relative to simulation. From
outside it might many entirely different interpretations, like the stone
that calculates everything.
> I'll quote Hans Moravec here:
> "A simulated world hosting a simulated person can be a closed
> self-contained entity. It might exist as a program on a computer
> processing data quietly in some dark corner, giving no external hint
> of the joys and pains, successes and frustrations of the person
> inside. Inside the simulation events unfold according to the strict
> logic of the program, which defines the ``laws of physics'' of the
> simulation. The inhabitant might, by patient experimentation and
> inference, deduce some representation of the simulation laws, but not
> the nature or even existence of the simulating computer. The
> simulation's internal relationships would be the same if the program
> were running correctly on any of an endless variety of possible
> computers, slowly, quickly, intermittently, or even backwards and
> forwards in time, with the data stored as charges on chips, marks on a
> tape, or pulses in a delay line, with the simulation's numbers
> represented in binary, decimal, or Roman numerals, compactly or spread
> widely across the machine. There is no limit, in principle, on how
> indirect the relationship between simulation and simulated can be."
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