Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Krekoski Ross (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 18:38:16 MST

As a further point, yes, it would be difficult to divine the meaning of
'apple' without any other context. However I would make the point that no
message or signal is completely devoid of contextual information. I
commented on this at more length in the thread on isomorphism.



On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 11:28 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <>

> 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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT