Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 16:28:32 MST

On 04/03/2008, Krekoski Ross <> wrote:
> I hope you dont mean what I think you do by self contained...
> It would be almost akin to saying "I have an apple in front of me, it has no
> properties and does not interact causally with anything in the universe, but
> its definately there."

I have a computer in front of me of bizarre alien manufacture which
simulates a day in the life of an apple. I don't understand its
architecture and there is no I/O which would allow me to test it. The
aliens all died when their sun went nova after they launched the
computer into space. Even if we could find some sort of pattern in the
internal workings of the computer it is impossible to assign meaning
to the pattern, just as it would be impossible (not just very
difficult) to divine the meaning of the English word "apple" without
any other information. So, does the computer still simulate the apple?

Stathis Papaioannou

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