Re: :Weird mysterious ineffable stuff

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 16:18:32 -0500

Green Sound wrote:
> Although the state transitions of a Turing machine are pre-determined, I think
> that it is the interaction with a quantum indeterminate world that will produce
> sentient qualities. In other words, the ineffable stuff has nothing to do with
> the machine. It has to do with quantum selection in the environment that the
> machine causes.

The necessity of environmental training for intelligence is bull. Our brains evolved in an environment where certain kinds of information could be stored as "invariants" of the environment, so our sensory systems wire themselves up by reference to that information. That information could as easily be stored in the genes directly, and if we hadn't been able to rely on the environmental invariants - thus obviating the necessity - we would have.

The concept of total dependence on environmental wiring, and certainly the idea that things like self-awareness or qualia could be a product of interaction with the environment, is simply part of the bankrupt Standard Social Sciences Model that has been thoroughly debunked by Tooby and Cosmides in the _The Adaptive Mind_.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way