On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 8:14 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 22, 2013  Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
>
>>> >> There are only 3 possibilities:
>>>   1) Our brains work by cause and effect processes; if so then the same
>>> thing
>>> can be done on a computer.
>>>   2) Our brains do NOT work by cause and effect processes; if so then
>>> they
>>> are random and the same thing can be done on a $20 hardware random number
>>> generator.
>>> 3) Sometimes our brains work by cause and effect processes and sometimes
>>>  they don't; if so then  they can be done on a computer and a a $20
>>> hardware random number generator.
>>
>>
>>
>> > There are many other conceivable options.
>
>
> Many?
>>
>> > I'll try one. Not saying I believe in it, of course. My aim is to
>> > demonstrate that you are not exhausting the possible scenarios: We live
>> > inside a simulation created by ultra-intelligent beings in some external
>> > universe.
>
>
>  Then there are only 2 possibilities:
>
> 1) The ultra computer that simulates our world changes from one state to the
> other for a reason; if so then our simulated computers which change from one
> state to the other for a simulated reason can create a simulated simulated
> world that also looks real to its simulated simulated inhabitants.
>
> 2) The ultra computer that simulates our world changes from one state to the
> other for NO reason; if so then its random and there's nothing very ultra
> about the machine.

But the ultra computer I postulated is not a pure Turing machine. It's
behaviour can be influenced by entities external to our simulated
universe. In a sense this is a religious hypothesis, which I don't
like but cannot be disproved. Granted, it doesn't count as a
scientific theory in the Popperian sense. It's what Carl Sagan called
an "invisible dragon in the garage" hypothesis. But there's an
infinity of these and they are conceivable and can be true.

>> >  In this scenario, comp is false as far as we're concerned.
>
>
> Cannot comment, I don't know what "comp" is.

Come on John, we've been through this the other day. You do know.

>>   > I agree with Quentin, btw: causality has nothing to do with
>> computation.
>
>
> Nothing? Then I don't know what you mean by computation. What causal thing
> can we do but a computer can't?  It's true that Turing proved there are some
> real numbers, most of them in fact, that a computer could never find even if
> it had an infinite clock speed,  but we can't find those numbers either.

Alright, maybe "nothing to do" is too strong. Computation can be used
to model causality, but causality itself is a very problematic and
fuzzy concept. Computation does not require causality. It can be
defined simply in the form of symbolic relationships. It is not
related to causality in the same sense that arithmetics is not related
to causality. Unless you say something very contrived like "2 because
1 + 1".

Telmo.

>   John K Clark
>
>
>
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