Re: Bruno's argument

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 23:29:34 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent meeker writes:
>>>>I don't think "intelligence" is meaningful without an environment with
>>>>which it can interact. The same for computation: what distinguishes
>>>>computation and noise is a context in which it interacts with its
>>>What about an intelligent, conscious being spending its time dreaming?
>>>Stathis Papaioannou
>>You're hypothesizing an intelligent being and then asking me if it's
> Is it a contradiction to hypothesise an intelligent being which only dreams?
>>It a computatation only "dreams" then how could you know whether it was
>>intelligence, or just noise?
> We wouldn't know, but the computation itself would know if it were conscious,
> creating its own observer. If we say that noise contains hidden information
> that may be true in a trivial sense, but it's meaningless: information hidden in
> noise is not accessible to anyone and is no different to no information at all.
> But if the information hidden in noise is a conscious computation, then it *is*
> accessible to someone: itself, by definition. If you don't like this conclusion
> then you have to either reject computationalism (as John Searle does using
> this argument) or impose ad hoc limitations on it, which amounts to the same
> thing.

I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
computation. I don't think you can make the idea of "information hidden
in noise" well defined. By Shannon's measure noise is information.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 02:31:54 PDT

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