[extropy-chat] cryonicist living life in reverse

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Mar 14 06:38:53 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> On 3/14/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> > For otherwise, we might just find random patches of dust already existing
> > between the galaxies, and by looking at them the right way, discern
> > sequences of states congruent to a thinking, feeling being. About as
> > silly as Hillary Putnam's proof that rocks perform computations. 
> The motion of the dust particles is certainly causally related, and dust cloud
> is also increasing in entropy with time.

Certainly.  But that's hardly sufficient for computation.  But I interrupt...

> Functionalism says that a computation can be multiply implemented, and
> the experiences of any ensuing mind is substrate-independent. In principle,
> even with your constraints, there seems to be no reason why a dust cloud
> can't think. 

The ability to think is an extremely carefully crafted artifact that doesn't
just come about by accident; it took evolution a long time to come up
with thinking beings.  Perhaps I'm not understanding your argument.

> Putnam and Searle have used the rock example as a reductio ad absurdum
> against functionalism.

Oh, so *that* was what was going on.  Thanks for the explanation.


Stathis Papaioannou

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