[ExI] The digital nature of brains (was: digital simulations)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 23:04:03 UTC 2010

2010/1/24 Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> --- On Fri, 1/22/10, Eric Messick <eric at m056832107.syzygy.com> wrote:
>> Most thermostats installed today are digital simulations of
>> analog thermostats.  They manage to get the job done anyway.
> Modern thermostats contain digital circuitry but they do not equal digital simulations of analog thermostats.
> To see this, imagine that you have an instrument for scanning objects to create digital simulations. You scan an analog thermostat and observe the resulting simulation on your computer. You will not see a real digital thermostat appear on your computer screen. Instead you will see a digital simulation of a non-digital object. That simulation will not have the properties of the original; it will not have the capacity to regulate temperature in your room.
> At best that simulated analog thermostat can regulate simulated temperature in a simulated room that you also create on your computer, and then only as a digital simulation of an analog thermostat, not as a digital simulation of a digital thermostat.

This is true, but you could hook up the simulation to a thermometer
and it would be as good as a digital thermostat or you could just have
the simulated thermostat regulate the temperature of a simulated room.
You could do the same with a simulated human: connect him to sense
organs or create a sufficiently rich virtual environment for him. In
either case he should be conscious.

Stathis Papaioannou

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