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

Eric Messick eric at m056832107.syzygy.com
Sat Jan 30 07:08:39 UTC 2010

Stathis writes:
>This seems to be the main problem with the Chinese Room Argument.
>Searle assumes that because the human doesn't understand Chinese, the
>Chinese Room doesn't understand Chinese. He counters the systems
>critique by modifying the experiment so that the man internalises the
>symbol manipulation protocols, i.e. so that the man is now the whole
>system. But that just indicates that he doesn't understand the systems

Yes.  The question I have is: why is the systems view so hard for
people to see?  Is there a difference in brain structure between those
who understand it and those who don't?  It doesn't *seem* all that

The framers of the Constitution took a systems view of government
which seems to be beyond the understanding of the average voter.  The
result is an enormous waste of life, liberty, and capital.

Nanotechnology development faces huge hurdles, apparently because
really good scientists can't grasp the systems view.  That may cost us
a frightful amount.

The very problem we've been discussing could cost the lives of
billions of people who fail to get uploaded because of a lack of

That's why I've been responding to this thread despite the fact that
the hopelessness of it was apparent long before I first posted.

>>Of course the brain is a digital computer. Since everything is a
>>digital computer, brains are too.

>I think he means that the brain, like everything else, is computable,
>a statement of the physical Church-Turing thesis:

Perhaps, though it's a really funny way of saying it.  I mean, is a
rock a digital computer because you can simulate it with one?  Not a
very useful term in that case.


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