On 04 Mar 2013, at 17:06, John Clark wrote:

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> As I've said before it's important not to confuse levels, a simulated flame won't burn your computer but it will burn a simulated object.

> No, that argument is bogus. There is only one physical level.

HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW?! And even if there is a ultimate reality level and not a infinite number of nested realities how the hell do you know that you've been living your like at that foundational physical level and not at another one? Nick Bostrom at Oxford wrote an interesting paper on this subject and concludes that there is a strong likelihood that we're already living in a simulation: This is from the abstract:

" This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed."

For the entire paper goto: http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

Not bad. This is based on computationalism. It is not original, and it is not entirely correct. With comp we are in an arithmetical emulation, no matter what, AND in a simulation made by our descendant, but the probability to wake up "there", from "here" depends on what we will do now. If we blow up the planet, it is will be small, if we teach comp and computer science to the kids, it will be higher, for example.

> It is entirely up to the programmer's whim how the laws of physics will work,


> or indeed if they are lawful at all in any given sim,

Yes, although a sim without laws would be a very dull simulation indeed and I don't see the point of making one.

Keep in mind that the Universal Dovetailer, or if your prefer the arithmetical laws entails the existence of all simulations, even the very dull one.

> Simulated flame can work for 10,000 levels of simulation, but not a single one of those simulated flames can access the physical level

True again, but that would matter little to you if you did not exist at the foundational physical level, and you might not.

> ...because they aren't real -

But you may not be "real" either, whatever that means.

> they are figures..symbols...facades engineered to fool our body's public senses.

And what makes you think something hasn't been fooling your body's senses from the day you were born?

> There is no such thing as real arithmetic.

I detect a pattern, whenever fact X contradicts your ideas you simply say " There is no such thing as X".

> It's all a simulation.

Could be.

The word simulation is ambiguous. Bostrom use it for a simulation made by us in some physical reality that he assumes. That makes sense with comp, but we are in all case in the simulations existing by virtue of the arithmetical truth, that we need to assume to even talk about computation and simulation.


> Only an eye or ear made of meat will be 100% satisfying - which is why the quality of the implants are crap.

When electronic ears improve and deaf people report that they are as good or better than meat ears will you admit your ideas were wrong? No of course you won't, you'll just dream up some new excuse for your ideas making incorrect predictions.

> Nobody has found anything in the human brain that didn't strictly follow the laws of physics either.

> That has nothing to do with the dependence of computer programs on a script.

Your brain's operation, that is to say your mind, cannot depart from the script that the laws of physics has written.

> we control physics directly and consciously.

Right, that's why I can fly, I just tell the law of conservation of momentum and gravity to stop working while I take my flight.

> I can predict that if that program doesn't work, it will never fix itself.

More than 20 years ago when my first computer's hard drive was not working properly the computer's defragmentation program would fix it.

> I can predict that if you don't write the program, one will not sprout from the realms of Platonia to fill the void.

For years computer programs have been able to write programs (compilers, assemblers and interpreters) in machine code after telling the program what you want using English words and a simplified grammar.

> I can judge that the quality among human experience varies widely and idiosyncratically.

No you can not, you have no way of knowing the quality of experience of your fellow human beings, all you can do is observe behavior and the same thing is true of a smart computer.

> There will never be an abolitionist movement or a machine- rights movement.


>The computer doesn't know the difference between two identical sets of data.

You cannot know the difference between "two identical sets of data" either, and the reason you cannot is because they are identical and so there is no difference. That's what the word means.

>> The human programer himself does not know what the computer is going to say next.

>That doesn't mean that a computer can begin saying things without a program which makes that possible.

A computer can't say things unless it has a program that enables it to communicate in the English language, and you couldn't say things unless you were educated in the English language either.

> So it data that is associated with an audio capture is automatically experienced by the computer as sound, wouldn't that mean that words we say into a microphone would be understood in every possible language?

I see a question mark but I have no idea what the question is.

> Examples of simulated products which are universally preferred to their original counterparts:

Simulated arithmetic. That's why calculator companies haven't all gone bankrupt, people buy calculators because they prefer the "simulated" product over the original counterpart, doing long division in their head.

> your theory of consciousness. An accident which can never aspire to be as great as cardboard. I guess it's better to be dead, so your body can be made into a Turing machine in the silent intangible void.

The words are all English and the grammar is also English, but I have no idea what the above means

> It's a mistake to hold consciousness to a standard of proof

Unless that consciousness is produced by transistors and not meat.

> all that we have is our senses


> intuition, experience, and reasoning.

Until very very recently nobody has had any experience whatsoever with smart machines, absolutely zero, so it's not surprising that our intuition in these matters stinks.

> and reasoning.

And unfortunately when intuition and reasoning come into conflict intuition nearly always wins. Why do you think religion exists?

> Evidence is for objects. We aren't objects.

What's with this "we" crap? I know I am not a object by direct experience but your consciousness is just a theory of mine and my theories have been wrong before.

> The compulsion to insist on evidence is part of consciousness, not part of nature.

You believe in truthiness, the belief that if you want something to be true strongly enough you can make it be true.


As for me I don't believe in truthiness.

  John K Clark

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