Re: virus: Re: Rationality

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 16:52:00 -0000

>From: Alex Williams
>The meme <I'm conscious> needs absolutely no referent in the Real
>World(tm). Its just a very ingrained meme that affects a lot of the
>behaviours that your memetic emergence does. Its not delusion, its
>just not true, which is an entirely different thing.

Can't parse "that your memetic emergence does". Ignoring, and

What does "true" mean here (or anywhere)? If a meme is very
ingrained and affects many behaviours, and it's use is not
generally detrimental in practical terms, why should we worry
whether it's "true"? Surely what matters is, it's functional.

>If I write a program that insists
>that its conscious, how are you going to prove to /it/, not
>necessarily to an observer but to /it/ that its not?

If I really don't believe it's conscious, why would I want to
prove anything to it? This argument would only make sense
to someone who believed it *was* conscious.

>..consciousness requires only that the entity assert that its
>conscious. I don't see a catch.

I do. The 200 line "conversational simulator" I wrote years
ago will assert that it's conscious, but not even you will
believe it. And that's the requirement: that it convinces
someone. And even then, it has only met the requirement
for the people it convinces. How are you (in what you take
to be a more plausible case) going to convince the

Robin Faichney