[ExI] Meaningless Symbols

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 17 19:26:58 UTC 2010

--- On Sat, 1/16/10, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:

> You're saying that only digital computers can be simulated by digital
> computers. 

Yes. More precisely, if I simulate a digital computer or program on a digital computer then I do not call that thing a simulation. I call it a copy. But as you've gathered I do not believe real brains exist as digital computers. I can in theory simulate them but I cannot copy them.

> 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. 

Yes we certainly do simulate many non-digital processes on digital computers, but those simulations never become more than mere simulations. 

I've used the water simulation as an example: a computer simulation of frozen water only appears solid, and a simulation of water in liquid form only appears liquid, and so on. They appear to have these properties but they do not actually have them. Computer simulations of things never equal the things they simulate, except that you may choose to imagine so.

Just as computer simulations of ice-cubes will have no real property of solidity, computer simulations of human brains will have no real property of consciousness, except that you may choose to imagine so.



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