Re: Quantum Computers [was Read any good books lately?]

Darin Sunley (
Tue, 17 Aug 1999 22:13:08 -0500 wrote:


> AIs can get into these funny kind
> of Schrodinger Cat superpositions where they believe two contradictory
> things at once, but people can't, and this could be used to claim that
> consciousness means something different for AIs.
> Hal

I talk with people who believe tow or more contradictory things at once fairly often. A lot of religions (or rather, religious people) are like this. "I believe Lord, Help thou my disbelief" and so forth. C.f. Orwell: doublethink.

Granted, an internally inconsistent worldview probably isn't the same thing as a quantum superposition of opinions, but who's to say. On evidence, Penrose notwithstanding, human consciousness doesn't seem to need quantum effects [Someone here I think pointed out that if this were the case, MRI scanners would be very very dangerous]. I agree that "consciousness" built around said quantum effects would be a fairly bizarre thing.

There's another item for that "Transhuman Purity Test" somebody made. Right after "Have you ever carked yourself into a planetary economy", "Have you ever carked yourself into a quantum computer - How many of you came out?" :)

Darin Sunley