Strong SI Knowledge

Doug Bailey (
Mon, 28 Sep 1998 9:32:56 -0400

Allen wrote:

> In other words, even if it can't explain to us - due to our
> lack of ability, not its - how it can reach a conclusion on how
> to do things, if it indeed can come up with such conclusion and
> they _work_, then it is sane. In this case, the scientific method
> would indeed evaluate its model of the universe (or whatever other
> way it is using to get things done) as being valid.

I think the scenario you've described above would only work with Weak SI knowledge, i.e. knowledge that is way beyond our current level of scientific knowledge but could be acquired by us on our own given enough time and effort. It is hard to appreciate, by definition, how completely odd, strange and "beyond" Strong SI knowledge would be. I'm wondering if any such knowledge might exist because to do so it would have to be forever beyond our ability to grasp. If we can understand it (a prerequisite to validating it or not) it would be Weak SI knowledge. Strong SI knowledge is so strange we can't even speculate what it might be like other than to say its totally beyond us. Such statements mirror religious perspectives on divine minds and powers a bit too much for me. I don't think there is any evidence that would direct us to conclude that Strong SI is possible. Of course this is the whole problem. The evidence, Strong SI knowledge, is beyond our ability to appreciate or recognize. Thus, my original query stands, "How would we ever know a SI was a Strong SI?"

Doug Bailey