Re: Belief, faith, truth

From: Norman Samish <>
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 15:51:06 -0800


Thanks for your response. I don't understand why you say my argument is not valid. Granted, much of what you write is unintelligible to me because you are expert in fields of which I know little. Nevertheless, a cat can look at a king. Here is what we've said so far:

(Norman ONE) My conjecture is that a perfect simulation by a limited-resource AI would not be possible. If this is correct, then self-aware simulations that are perpetually unaware that they are simulations would not be possible.

(Bruno ONE) This could be a reasonable conjecture. I have explain on the list that if we are a simulation then indeed after a finite time we could have strong evidence that this is the case, for example by discoveries of discrepancies between the "comp-physics" and the "observed physics".

(Norman TWO) Humans have not made the discovery that they are simulations, therefore the most PROBABLE (emphasis added) situation is that we are not simulations.

(Bruno TWO) This argument is not valid. The reason is that if we could be "correct" simulation (if that exists), then that would remain essentially undecidable. (Then I could argue the premise is false. Violation of bell's inequalities could be taken as an argument that we are in a simulation (indeed in the infinity of simulation already "present" in the "mathematical running" of a universal dovetailer, or arithmetical truth.)

(Norman THREE) I don't understand the part of "Bruno TWO" in parentheses - I'm not asking you to explain it to me. Are you saying that a perfect simulation would not necessarily discover it was a simulation? If so, I agree. This is supported in "Bruno ONE" where you said it was reasonable that if we are a simulation we would, in finite time, discover that this is the case. Therefore it seems to me that my statement in "Norman TWO" is correct - note my inclusion of the word "probable." Do you agree? Or am I missing your point?

Received on Sat Feb 04 2006 - 18:52:36 PST

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