Re: Emulation vs. Simulation

Date: Sat Mar 24 2001 - 09:43:51 MST wrote:

> Or more significantly, does qualia matter?

Does phlogiston, or vis vitalis?

I honestly don't get it. (Why people have such
a hard time understanding simulation, I mean). I
can simulate a physical system at atomic detail,
at least relatively small systems on a relatively
small time scale, with a precision tolerable enough
that biology doesn't get scrambled instantly. These
caveats are implementation deficits, and not of a
principal nature.

This applies to any physical systems, including the
rather specialized organ filling the space between
your ears. So if you simulate a cephalon (say, as
an disembodied head floating through a Quakescape)
at atomic detail, the redness of a blood spot on the
wall along with the whiteness of the whale is
somewhere in there, encoded as spikes cruising through
the anisotropic excitable medium of the brain.

Of course the simulated nuclear explosion doesn't melt
the polished aluminum bulkhead of a Cray T90 (at least
unless it's a part of the simulation), but the (imo hugely
overrated) "I" experience is a function of activity
patterns encoding information, aka bits. The chess computer
doesn't simulate playing chess, it does play chess. The
navigation software of the cruise missile does deliver the
payload to the target, in the real world. The simulated persona
as seen from first person position doesn't simulate the
human experience, it *is* the human experience.

So quit the angel-ceilidh-on-the-head-of-the-pin-discussion
thing, god knows there are enough more pressing problems at hand.

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