On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 8:05 AM, soulcatcher☠ <soulcatche...@gmail.com>wrote:

> What would you say about this setup:
>> Computer Simulation->Physical Universe->Your Brain
>> That is to say, what if our physical universe were simulated in some
>> alien's computer instead of being some primitive "physical" world?
> This setup doesn't sound very convincing to me:
> - I believe that simulated objects (agents) can't be conscious
> - I believe that I am consious
> => I'm not simulated and all the universe is not simulated.
> > And another interesting thought experiment to think about:
> > What if a baby from birth was never allowed to see the real world, but
> > instead were given VR goggles providing a realistic interactive
> environment,
> > entirely generated from a computer simulation.  Would that infant be
> > unconscious of the things it saw?
> This argument sound better, but still:
> 1. Goggles are not enough - baby learns via "active" interaction with the
> outside world, i.e. motor function matters and you should provide baby with
> a "full-body armor" that completely simulates the environment and makes
> interaction consistent (so haptic, proprioceptive and visual experiences
> don't contradict each other). But that's hard and maybe impossible - you
> can't (or can?) completely prevent the "contaminating" influence of the
> world - for example, you should feed the baby.
> 2. The most important is that baby has nervous system that evolved for a
> very long time and already somehow encodes "external symbols". You just
> substituting "real" input with "virtual" input but that virtual input is
> already properly encoded and speaks the symbolic "language" that is grounded
> in real world and comprehensible by baby's brain.
> 3. Baby, itself, is real and made from matter and, maybe, "real baby in VR"
> != "virtual baby in VR". In the other words, there is a special class of
> "real" Turing machine implementations that posses the meaning grounded in
> the environment.
Maybe we have definitions for what is meant by simulation.  I say this
because of your last comment about meaning needing to be grounded in an
environment.  Within realistic computer simulations there is an environment
which encodes many of the same relations we are used to.  Concreteness of
objects, Newtonian mechanics ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae6ovaDBiDE ),
light effects ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvI1l0nAd1c ) etc. are all
embedded within the code that informs the simulation how to evolve, just as
the laws of physics would in a physical world.  Do you see the meaning of
physical laws being somehow different from the programmed laws that simulate
an environment?


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