Re: Emulation vs. Simulation

From: Jim Fehlinger (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 05:57:06 MST wrote:
> Not to be a dick, but I have Edelmann's & Tonini's A Universe Of
> Consciousness, as well as Stewart Kaufman's Investigations. Both of these
> works leave a lot to be desired. They are not as physicalist as I feel they
> need to be...

I haven't read the Kauffman, but I can understand why you might
have that impression of _UoC_. It's more abstract and mathematical
than Edelman's earlier books, but it contains two very interesting
points. One is the necessity, in biological science, to come up with
a definition of "information" that does **not** rely on there being
a conscious observer (or homunculus) for whom the information is, well,
informative! The phone company doesn't have this problem -- Claude
Shannon and his pals at Bell Labs were concerned with bandwidth
and noise and so forth in communication channels where there
was always assumed, very sensibly, to be a human being speaking into
one end and another one listening at the other. The other thing
is that E. & T. attempt to give what comes down to a **geometrical**
definition of qualia, as a particular configuration, in an N-dimensional
space, of neuronal groups related to each other by means of
"functional clustering" and "mutual information", which E. & T. give
definitions of in terms of statistical entropy.

If you want physicalist, you'd be better off to start with
_Bright Air, Brilliant Fire_.

Jim F.

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