[extropy-chat] Fragmentation of computations

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Mar 27 12:29:39 UTC 2007

On Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 10:03:49PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

>    Indeed. But it gets weird when the observer is himself the product of
>    the information, bootstrapping itself into a self-awareness. Noise can
>    be seen to contain any information you want, if you look at it the

No, because you can't sample the machine phase space by noise. You'd
do much better with an enumerator, but these don't scale beyond a
handful of bits.

>    right way. A page covered in ink contains any given English sentence,
>    but in a trivial or meaningless sense unless some external observer
>    already knows the sentence he is looking for. However, what if a
>    particular English sentence had the property of being self-aware, in
>    the absence of any external observer? In that case, this unusual
>    sentence would indeed be lurking, self-aware but perfectly hidden, in
>    the ink-covered page. Similarly, if computations can be self-aware,
>    then self-aware computations must be lurking all around us in noise,

You still hasn't told us what a Hash Life observer + universe perceives.
It's a very straightforward system. Surely, it can't be hard figuring out
what it feels?

>    perhaps in elaborate virtual worlds, but never able to interact in any
>    way with the substrate of their implementation. The only way to avoid
>    this strange idea is to say that computations can't be self-aware.

No, the reasonable person assumes computation is reserved to a small subset
of all physical systems, specifically, to evolutionary designed systems and
their derivates (computers).

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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