[ExI] Meaningless Symbols

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 16 23:27:51 UTC 2010

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> claimed:

> you assume that digital simulations of whatever structures you 
> arbitrarily designate as atomic will in fact 
> work exactly like the supposed atomic structures you hope to simulate -- > which presupposes that the brain in actual fact exists as a digital 
> computer.

This is just not true.  You're saying that only digital computers can be simulated by digital computers.  It's trivially obvious that this can't be true.  We routinely simulate many processes that aren't in themselves digital (let alone digital computers), on digital computers. 

Your idea of simulation seems to be a very simplistic one, which ignores that there are many levels of reality, from the subatomic to the mental models that we create, and perhaps more beyond that.  

If I want to create a model of traffic flow, for instance, I could try to do it at a very low-resolution level with variables that represent groups of vehicles with something in common, of I could create a higher resolution model by representing individual cars, or I could go much higher, and create a model that captures things like weather conditions affecting the road surfaces, psychological states of drivers, mechanical differences between different vehicles, etc., etc.  

I doubt if anyone would argue that this highly detailed simulation would not be a good representation of real-life traffic, and of course it would be run in a digital computer.  Would you say that the traffic itself therefore must exist as a digital computer?  Just because the model works exactly like the traffic it simulates?

Ben Zaiboc


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