Re: Artificial Environment Compute Power

Brent Allsop (
Fri, 7 Aug 1998 09:38:31 -0600

Joe Jenkins <> asked:

> Does not the fact that we can dream indicate that the compute power
> of our minds includes the compute power needed to run artificial
> environment simulations?

Forget dreaming for a moment! Everything we are consciously aware of while we are awake is a complete model or simulation of the reality beyond our senses entirely constructed of phenomenal qualia. That is why virtual reality works. The proper stimulation of our sensors via signals generated, not from reality, produces the conscious representation of the VR world.

There is no color, smell, sound, warmth... or pain beyond our senses; only the electromagnetic radiation, chemical content, acoustical vibrations, kinetic energy of molecules... and bodily damage our brains merely arbitrarily represent with such phenomenon. Obviously color, smell, sound, warmth, and so forth can also be caused by computer generated stimulation of the proper neurons and this proves they have nothing to do with what we usually think they are.

These differing phenomenon, the ones we sense and our conscious representations of them, though they do a good job of representing each other, are nothing like each other. One is the initial cause of the cause and effect perception process and is beyond our senses. The other is the final result and inside our brain. The fact that we can dream, or produce very similar conscious awareness worlds inside our brain without external input is simply yet more proof of this. What we experience or consciously know when we are not sleeping is at least as much proof of the representational power of our brain than what we experience in dreams.

If you consciously know something, whether dreaming or not; that, alone, is proof that your brain has the computational, or more accurately the representational power, to simulate whatever it is you know. If you don't know it, you must not be representing it. If you do know it, that knowledge is in your brain. The senses collect data and from this produce a gloriously phenomenal conscious world or as you called it an "artificial environment" inside your brain. You don't really know anything about what is beyond your senses. After all, for all you know, it might not really be there but only virtually so.

Brent Allsop