X-Message-Number: 26049
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 10:55:21 EDT
Subject: simulating an argument

This is for latecomers--others have seen this stuff many times, although  
today I'll say something slightly different.
Francois repeats the notion that a digital computer, simulating a person  and 
his environment, would actually be a living person--from his viewpoint. 
I have dealt with several aspects of this in YOUNIVERSE, available on the  CI 
web site.
Again, very briefly, just one of the problems is as follows. 
The computer grinds out sets of numbers. Most of these sets represent  

intermediate calculations, but some of them represent the next calculated  

state of the simulated brain. The state sets are distinguished from the  others
by appropriate labels. 
Part of the problem is to ask, when does the simulation feel an experience?  
Is it at the "moment" that a label is attached to the latest set of numbers?  
Extremely dubious, since it takes a relatively long time to experience  
Also, a mischevious programmer might mix up the time labels, maybe keeping  

sets of numbers in temporary storage until (say) a year's worth of experiences,
 and then labeling the experiences in reverse sequence. Will the simulated 
person  then "experience" a backward life, with entropy decreasing? 
 Saying that Mickey Mouse is alive from the "point of view" of the  cartoon 
is not an argument, or even a good simulation of an argument. 
Robert Ettinger

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