Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Tue Mar 04 2008 - 07:05:27 MST

On 04/03/2008, Krekoski Ross <> wrote:

> When Stathis mentioned that it had no input or output, I assumed that it was
> not causally interactive with anything.
> If it has causal interaction, then I take back the statement that its not a
> useful question.

Well, it has causal interactions in that you can stub your toe on it,
but it doesn't have a keyboard and a monitor. It doesn't meaningfully
interact with the outside environment, but the computer runs a
simulation in which conscious beings interact with a virtual
environment. This is really no different to the situation we find
ourselves in, interacting with a subset of our universe but unable to
interact with anything outside the universe. An actual Turing machine
with a simple program enumerating and running every possible program
(including the nonsense ones) would produce our universe, among many
others, and we would be conscious even though we would be hidden in
noise and beyond the reach of the beings running the simulation.

Stathis Papaioannou

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