X-Message-Number: 26048
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 09:02:25 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: More for Francois Crevier

For Francois Crevier, once more:

The main problem with being a simulation run in a computer comes from
the simple fact that the simulating computer is in the REAL WORLD
and subject to all kinds of catastrophes over time, catastrophes of
which you will be totally unaware and have no control over, even
the opportunity to run away from them. (If you want to get into 
metaphysics you could always answer that we may be such simulations
already. But my answer to that is that I am not doing metaphysics).

I will add that reality is generally so complicated and sometimes 
unpredictable (at the time something happens) that actually making
such a simulation may turn out to be impossible. You'd have to 
simulate not just the person, but the world in which that person
lives and the people that he/she may meet and converse with, make
love to, hate, like, dislike, or have as boss or subordinate. The
problem grows too big: even if our simulating computer has nanosized
parts, it will end up eating the entire universe and asking for
more to do an accurate simulation. And, of course, all these parts
of the universe in which that person lives will have to appear

Finally, if we assume that computers manipulate symbols only, then
as a system for manipulating symbols it will run into Goedel's
Theorem --- while the world doesn't have to deal with Goedel's
Theorem because it is not a purely symbolic entity.

            Best wishes and long long life for all,

                Thomas Donaldson

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