X-Message-Number: 11927
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 01:51:17 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: :Turing tome interactions, universal language, list splitting

Thomas Donaldson, #11915, writes:

>Sorry, but I've given in to temptations to talk about the Turing Tome.
>It's far from obvious to me that it must be conscious (in whatever sense)
>of any arbitrary person to still count as being conscious (if, that is,
>we assume that a Turing machine is conscious). I'm not aware, myself, of
>most of the human race. So why must a Turing Tome be able to respond
>(by definition) to any other arbitrary person?

It would not have to, repeat, would not. After thinking about this, I think
feeling and consciousness could arise in a system closed off from its
surroundings and put through predictable steps. BUT, if a system DID have
interactive capabilities, and behaved appropriately, it would tend to
strengthen the feeling that there was true consciousness, in a doubtful case.

On Bob Ettinger's discussions on a universal language, I find myself in
strong general agreement. Perhaps many readers have seen the movie
*Contact*, in which aliens let us know they are out there by transmitting
the prime numbers, encoded as a series of pulses. Through such simple means
a channel of communication might be opened between two highly intelligent
but very alien (relative to each other) civilizations. With further
exchanges the two would increasingly understand what each other was trying
to say on many subjects. I don't buy the argument that there would be
*advanced, intelligent* aliens so alien they would not understand basic
mathematics. Advanced cultures, really advanced, scientifically and
technologically, are not arbitrary, at least I don't think they would be,
but all must have certain understanding and knowledge in common.

On splitting the list, I would be interested in knowing more about what
physically is involved in hosting a filtered list. This is something very
new to me. I have offered to help, because I am partly responsible for the
dissatisfaction some have expressed with the "philosophical" postings,
though I also think they have value and are relevant to the immortalist
themes we are pursuing here. And I also think that, really, someone who
especially wants this kind of message filtered out would be the best to do
the filtering. Make sense?

Best to all,
Mike Perry

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