[extropy-chat] Role of Observer is not Relevant

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Mar 28 10:39:51 UTC 2007

On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 07:51:59PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

>    A simple program which counts to itself 

What does that mean? Would main(){int i;for(i=0;1;i++);} qualify as a
"simple program which counts to itself"? Or does it have to be
a machine vision package, and a robotic arm operating the abacus?
I can't parse the "to itself" requirement.

>    and is aware that it is

What does "aware" means in this context? Is it a boolean, and can
you give me a state diagram for it? Or is it a full-blown introspection
(and how would you implement that?)

>    counting to itself is implemented on an abacus by the programmer. The

Um, are you really talking about the abacus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacus

It doesn't do anything without a human operator, can't be programmed
and certainly can't do any loops. In case you're wondering, no, I'm
not being anal-retentive. You need some basic functionality for a
system to fly.

>    same program is implemented by an ignorant person following rules, and

Are you aiming for the Chinese room, perchance?

>    again, by fantastic luck, by the wind blowing the beads in just the

I don't know what your scenario is, but if it involves impossible
events, you can just drop it. Stochastical physical systems don't
build complexity, unless they reach into self-rep territory.

>    right way. Can the program be said to have been implemented in each
>    case? Is the program equally self-aware in each case?

You know, for a person that wouldn't the simple Hash Life 
observer model you're awfully demanding. 

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