Re: Emulation vs. Simulation

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 12:18:39 MST

On Tue, 27 Mar 2001, John Clark wrote:

> Robert J. Bradbury <> Wrote:
> >most human behavior is driven off of these types of tables and is
> >therefore rarely 'conscious'.
> ^^^^^^^
> I get stuck on the "therefore". The connection between look up tables
> and a lack of consciousness escapes me. Perhaps I'm just not
> conscious of the relationship.

While the brain has some lookup tables as has been discussed,
it doesn't seem (to me) to be 'conscious' if you remove all of
the active neural activity. A lookup table (potentially with
the addition of some fuzzy logic to keep them from getting
astronomically huge) has no 'activity' other than the
retreival of a stream of bits from the table and running
them through the output device (this is what I'm calling
a zombie, though others may call this other things).

My brain on the other hand, is conscious because I take
what is coming out of the lookup tables, an run a mini-sim
on the result of outputing that bit-stream. I observe
whether that result is desirable and if that evaluation
rates it as a 'good' behavior, I execute the program.

Now, why I said 'most human behavior' and 'rarely conscious'
is because we usually do not apply the process I've outlined
in the previous paragraph to much of what we do (brushing
our teeth, driving our car, etc.) We have a set of 'known good'
behaviors and almost always do precisely what the zombie does
which is send them to the output port(s) without looking
at them. In fact, we actually promote this 'zombie'-like
behavior as a significant human achievement because some
of the best sport performances in sports like diving,
gymnastics, ice-skating, etc. happen too fast for you
to run a conscious 'sim' and evaluate the result. We
achieve these states by running the 'sims' mentally
and in the real world over and over and over again
until they become 'known good behaviors' and can reliably
dumped from the lookup tables to the output ports.

The reason why many people look 'stupid' most of the time and
we all manage to look 'stupid' some of the time is because
we act unconsciously. Either we weren't paying attention to
'consciously' stop a 'bad' behavior from getting sent
to the output ports (e.g. "Now, why on earth did I do that?")
or we did not map the inputs onto the lookup table (perhaps
because we were not 'conscious' enough of the inputs to
verify them in sufficient depth (e.g. "Are you saying what
I think you are saying?" etc.).

If anyone want to study this further, I can recomend you review
the writings of the Russian mystic Gurdjieff.


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