X-Message-Number: 8216
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #8200 - #8202
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 21:13:55 -0700 (PDT)


To Perry: 
Your line of argument seems odd to me. Yes, neither Ettinger nor I can PROVE
that we are not simulations, or brains in vats, or even have consciousness...
if by PROVE you mean prove in the mathematical sense. But then mathematics
isn't the means by which we gain most of our information about the everyday
world. You can no more prove the opposite: that you ARE in a simulation, or
a brain in a vat. (And Mr. Clark cannot even prove ... in this sense of the 
world "prove" ... that he is a brain in a skull).

You have presented no more or less than a game with words. Yet this game 
seems to mean something to you. So just what does it mean and why is it
important to you?

To John Clark:
Given that we have a countable sequence of simulating computers, I agree that
there would be no issue about (apparent) speed. HOWEVER what about the
self-reference problem? After all, if I had a computer which simulated the
Universe, I would be interested in what it predicted. And if it could not
deal with its own prediction, everything would go haywire.

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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