On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
"A simulated flame will do anything your simulation proscribes. That's
> why it's not real."
A simulated flame will do things that you can not predict and will surprise
you even if you are the one who wrote the simulation program. Even in a
universe where quantum mechanics did not exist and everything was 100%
deterministic very often we wouldn't know what we are going to do next
until we actually did it; nor could an outside observer predict our
actions. And this quality of unpredictability is not limited to human
beings, machines have it too. Machines can surprise both themselves and
outside observers even in a fundamentally deterministic world.
It would only take you about 5 minutes to write a program to look for the
first even number greater than 2 that is not the sum of two prime numbers
and then stop. Will the machine ever stop? The machine doesn't know, I
don't know, you don't know, nobody knows. Maybe it will stop in 5 seconds,
maybe it will stop in 5 billion years, maybe it will never stop. If you
want to know what the machine will do you just have to watch it and see.
The same is true for a simulation and the same is true for us, we often
don't know what we are going to do next until we actually do it.
> "A picture of an apple is not an apple. Even a fancy animated picture."
A picture of an apple IS an apple, in a fancy animated universe.
"Information cannot cross any levels on it's own. Cartoons don't wander
> off the TV screen and move into the spare bedroom."
That is true, nouns can't cross levels on their own, BUT adjectives can and
you are a adjective, you are not matter, you are the way matter behaves
when it is organized in a Craigweinbergian way. Adjectives are information
and information can be processed. I'd even go so far as to say that
although there are differences information is as close as you can get to
the traditional concept of the soul and still remain within the scientific
"there is no difference between simulated arithmetic and real arithmetic"
"Because there is no real arithmetic."
I don't know what that means. When I use my hand calculator I expect it to
perform real arithmetic, I don't even know what simulated arithmetic is.
"or [a difference] between simulated intelligence and real
> "That's a religious faith in my opinion."
How can that be religious faith when it can be investigated with the
scientific method? Just ask a series of questions to a person, a machine, a
man from Mars or whatever and judge the quality of the answers, use the
same criteria you've used every day of your life to judge if the various
fellow human beings that you meet in your activities are smart or dumb. I
don't see where faith enters into it.
"If I make a movie where the actors address the audience as Jim, and then
> have a screening where I invite only people named Jim, then I have
> simulated intelligence without any real intelligence at all."
Would that really fool you? I don't think so. All I'm saying is that you be
fair, whatever method you use to judge the intellectual firepower of your
fellow humans, and you must have some way, use that same method in judging
the smarts, or lack of them, in machines.
John K Clark
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