Russell Standish, <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, writes: > > >I then asked you whether by digital device, you meant a "Universal > > >Turing Machine". This is where I part company with you, as I suspect > > >that (1-)randomness has something to do with free will.
Suppose a Turing Machine augmented with a true random number generator (quantum, or whatever) produced consciousness while one with only a pseudo random number generator (a deterministic, algorithmic, but largely unpredictable generator) did not. In cryptography we study pseudo RNGs which can be distinguished from true RNGs only if certain problems can be solved which are thought to be intractable. For exmaple, the Blum Blum Shub psuedo RNG can be distinguished from true randomness only if an extremely large number can be broken into its prime factors (the same problem underlying the well known RSA cryptosystem). It seems implausible that the ability to perform a calculation (factoring a sufficiently large prime) which is thought to take more computing power than is available in the universe would make the difference between consciousness and its absence. Hal