Re: Are we in a simulation

From: Eric Hawthorne <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 01:24:26 -0700

My corollaries to:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from

1. Any sufficiently detailed and correct reality simulation is indistinguishable from reality.

2. Any artificial consciousness which communicates in all
circumstances within the range of communication behaviours of
conscious humans, is indistinguishable from a human consciousness.

Further to 1.
Because reality may be a set of "programs" selected
from the plenitude of all possible state changes, a
programmed simulation of it, if it was really any good,
would essentially "be" reality. In fact, there is perhaps
a law that any completely precise simulation of reality
is identical to reality, by definition.

Further to 2.
The qualia of consciousness (i.e. the "feeling" or
"experience" of consciousness and how sense data "seem"
to us) are only explainable to other conscious beings
through communication and observable behaviour.

The "only but compelling" reason to assume that others
experience "essentially the same" kind of qualia that
you do (their red is like your red) etc. is that the
simplest theory would say that since our brains are similar,
and, since communication assures us that the behaviours
of our minds (yours and mine) are similar, then the
qualia are also similar. A theory that postulated
substantial differences in qualia-experience for different
people would be hard pressed to explain why it is different.
You don't have to "explain" why "qualia-experience" is similar
from person to person. That's just the simplest (and thus the
default) theory.

Since all qualia of consciousness, and all other results
of consciousness, are only explainable to or able to be
made evident to other conscious beings via communication
and other behaviours (i.e. through patterns in I/O), we might
be forced to say that it is impossible in principle to prove
the existence of anything in human consciousness that is different
than the consciousness of an artificial mind that communicated
and behaved indistinguishably from a conscious human (in
all kinds of circumstances, contexts.)

Consciousness's only manifestation outside itself is via
I/O. If the I/O patterns are indistinguishable, it is simplest
to say that the "consciousness" processes themselves are
essentially equivalent.

I fall twisted.
I lie at a strange angle.
I stand corrected.
The punchline came out of nowhere.

    "We are all in the gutter,
     but some of us are looking at the stars."
          - Oscar Wilde
Received on Tue Jun 10 2003 - 04:24:30 PDT

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