[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Sat Feb 20 17:52:06 UTC 2010

On Feb 19, 2010 Mike Dougherty wrote:

> O.M.G. - so what you're saying is that it's not the mashed potatoes and gravy that has the consciousness

No. Although from an engineering viewpoint mashed potatoes and gravy may not be the ideal material to build a computer out of, theoretically it's possible and theoretically it could even be made intelligent. And of course intelligence is far harder to make than consciousness. 

> but that the thing that does have consciousness is powered by mashed potatoes and gravy.

That is not only possible it happens every day, except that the brain is not just powered up but is actually constructed out of mashed potatoes and gravy, and it happens by means of a PROGRAM; the very thing so reviled by Swobe.
> If we can find a way to scale that up, it could replace data centers all over
> the country.  We could just shovel potatoes and gravy into the hopper
> at the top and get useful computation out.


> That's fantastic.  I nominate JKC for some kind of prize.  

And you sir are a remarkably good judge of character. 

 John K Clark

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