Thanks for your reply, Bruno...

> All this for reasons similar to those made by Everett in his many
> world papers. Have you read Everett ? (or at least Tegmark? or
> Deutsch?)

Just Tegmark.  I'm looking into the others...

> Is it more impressioning than the (binary) counting algorithm, which
> just counts: 0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, etc. It generates (after the
> first 1) every strings too. And you can implement it in a reversible
> way with a reversible universal turing machine.

Well, there may be some reasons to think that cellular automata are more
fundamental, computationally speaking, than even Turing Machines.  For
instance, a Turing Machine has a "moving" part (the read/write head) and
usually a complicated state transition table, perhaps requiring a physics
all its own.  While the cellular automaton has no moving parts at all - just
two states and the transition rule.

And consider the economy of its description.  Suppose you needed to send a
computer program to an alien civilization.  Describing the workings of a
Turing Machine might be a little tricky, while a few simple pictures can
convey the idea of a cellular automaton and its initial configuration.

Since CA can do everything TMs can do, and because of their simple
implementation, I tend to prefer them.

>> But the advantage here is that we can more easily envision the
>> existence of such a miraculous object like a minimal cellular
>> automaton than, say, a Universal Turing Machine. Cellular automata
>> naturally implement physical universes without any interpretation.
>
> How?  Implementations are interpretations.

Yes, I suppose so.  I simply mean that that the cellular automaton has a
direct mapping to 3D physical space.  It's just easier for me to envision.

>> The bits merely exist... and we can see them with our digital eyes
>> - and the patterns they generate.
>
> Where?

Well I suppose I was trying to be poetic.  :)  The cellular automaton, I
believe, exists in "Platonic Heaven" as you described it.  It really doesn't
matter.

> It is not the solution. It is the problem. Your type of approach
> like Schmidhuber's one is based on a naive association between the
> first person view and some third person description (brain, machine,
> automata). See http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m1726.html for
> an attempt to explain how non trivial the "mind body" problem becomes
> when the computationalist hypothesis is taken seriously.

Wow, that is quite some post.  =)  It's almost overwhelming.

Can you try to describe, in simple terms: what is the mind/body problem?
And how does it relate to cellular automata?

I always assumed that the automaton merely exists... and we (our minds and
bodies) simply emerge from the bits.

Thanks again for your thoughts,
Joel




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