Re: Emulation vs. Simulation

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 03:44:41 MST

At Wed, 28 Mar 2001 21:58:38, Hal Finney wrote what
may be a devastating critique of just about everything
that I have been saying in this thread about lookup
tables. For the time being at least, I have no answer
to a number of points that he has made. Anyone who is
really interested in all this lookup table jazz: I
refer you to his post, rather than just simply quoting
the entire thing.

He does, though, in addition, come at the question from
the direction of "playback":

> But for a playback, the question is harder. Suppose we play back an
> experience of drinking orange juice. We know that there is or was a
> conscious entity which had that experience. What we want to know is,
> when we replay it, does it have that experience again. We want to know
> whether it is having the experience right here/now during the playback.
> We know the experience itself exists or existed, but we want to localize
> it in space and time. We want to know whether it exists in that region
> of spacetime where we are doing the replay, in addition to its existence
> in the region of the first run-through.

Yeah, well, I have also thought a lot about playback. If
we accomplish the playback by getting all the atoms back
into (a suitably near) configuration, and letting it happen
all over again---or equivalently, we run the same program,
then there cannot be any question but that the experience
occurs again too.

But if playback means simply creating a sequence of
representations of the states, that's completely different.
That's analogous to saying that it's immoral to let a
movie projector run (especially in an auditorium where
no one is present) showing an atrocity. The suffering
that occurred during the real atrocity is not captured
by the motion picture, which only captures photons
reflected by various surfaces during the incident, and
some sounds.

The whole lookup table scenario was entirely equivalent
(in my mind) to this, but maybe that was a stretch.

Lee Corbin

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