How can Alice determine whether the strange little man in her apartment who claims to be her Programmer is telling the truth?
Recently, philosopher Richard Johns (left), whose work was profiled here at Mind Matters News in “A philosopher explains why thinking matter is impossible,” has now written a piece for Medium. In it, he explains why we cannot create a sim that is a conscious, rational being. He uses a dialogue between “Alice” and “The Programmer” to unpack the idea:
The dialogue begins with Alice returning from school to find a strange little man in her apartment. He seemed not to notice her entering the room, and remained seated comfortably in Alice’s favourite armchair, reading her own copy of Nick Bostrom’s “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?”.
“Who the hell are you?” Alice shrieked. “What are you doing in my apartment?”News, “Sims do not understand simhood” at Mind Matters News
Allegedly, he’s her programmer.
Richard Johns explains how you can know for sure that you are not his sim.