Re: Emulation vs. Simulation

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 14:31:54 MST

Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> > > The end point of this would seem to be the realization
> > > that an inanimate collection of atoms *may* posess
> > > 'consciousnes' (*if* they are properly organized).
> >
> > Why do they have to be properly organised?
> Because it has to fullfill the look/walk/talk test and
> most of the material around me doesn't seem to do that.

You said, "this implies that an arbitrary collection of atoms,
organized in a sufficiently complex way that contains all of
the lookup 'states' a 'living' being will go through in the
time they are alive *is* conscious." Are you now saying that
it's only conscious if you can verify that it's conscious? If
not, why does the represented being care how the atoms are
arranged or even if there are atoms? Or, to take it step by
step, can I spread the atoms apart? By light years? There's
no communication happening between them so does it even matter
what order I put them in? And if that's the case, isn't it
enough that there *are* atoms? Do I have to create a
representation *at all*? (Let's take an example of a non-
static system: If I pull your brain apart, separating each
neuron by arbitrary great distances and not arranging them in
any particular order and, as luck would have it, they all
happen to fire in *exactly* the same way they would have had I
not committed this heinous act, would you experience
consciousness? If not, why not? What if we use non-specific
neurons? What if we use something other than neurons? What
if we operate at a lower-level than neurons? Isn't it enough
that there *are* neurons, or atoms, or matter, or whatever?)
And if you are saying that it's only conscious if you can
verify that it's conscious, why is that? What if I include in
its representation memories of your having affirmed it's
status as a conscious being, will it be conscious then?


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