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My belief will pay rent as follows: I no longer expect by default to find computers inside any mechanism that exhibits complex behavior. For clarity let me rephrase the discussion, substituting some other engineering concept in place of "model".
RichardKennaway: Hey guys, I found this nifty way of building robots without using random access memory!
Vladimir_Nesov: WTF is "random access memory"? Even a rock could be said to possess it if you squint hard enough. Your words are meaningless. Here, study this bucket of Eliezer's writings.
The substitution is not equivalent; people are more likely to agree whether something contains "random access memory" than whether it contains "a model".
I think philosophers could easily blur the definition of "random access memory", they just didn't get around to it yet. A competent engineer can peek inside a device and tell you whether it's running a model of its surroundings, so the word "model" does carry some meaning regardless of what philosophers say. If you want a formal definition, we could start with something like this: does the device contain independent correlata for independent external concepts of interest?
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