On Mon, Jun 27, 2005 at 10:42:17PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:

> > No, it's not the same program.
> What do you mean?  I am postulating that it *is* the same sequence
> of code bytes, the *same* program. Do you know what I mean when
> I say that program A is the same program as program B?

An instantiated program is much more than a sequence of 
bytes -- it also has state. Most programs do not have much state, but some (AI,
specifically) are completely dominated by state. Another example is numerics,
say, CFD code (which is simple, in numer of lines of code) computing a large 
system (which is not, because it contains TBytes of live data).

The program is a really bad metaphor to describe intelligent observers. It is
cleaner to describe the observer by state, and an engine interatively
transforming the state. Whether the engine is mostly code or an ASIC, or a
block of molecular circuitry doesn't matter from that perspective. 

> It is this same, identical program that is running in two different
> places at "the same time" (pace relativity). Program A at location
> one is receiving input X and program A at position two is receiving
> input Y. I can't make it any clearer than that.

I understood you perfectly. No, it is not the same program. A chess computer
playing two different games are two distinct individuals. Two chess computers
playing the same game (down to the clock cycle and single bit of state) are
the same program.

Assuming the devices don't store state, they boot up into a defined state,
and then diverge either from system randomness or user input (abstractly, of
course they will immediately diverge from clock skew and I/O with the real
world, but it's only an illustration).

Formally they're both flashed with HyperChess V3.0.4, and sloppily we can
refer to them running the same program version. But these two systems are not
identical, unless synchronized.

> > You could say the space between your ears and mine enjoys the
> > same physical laws, though. Both the arrangement of matter
> > and the state of that matter (frozen-frame picture of spikes
> > and gradients, gene activity, etc.etc) are very different.
> Of course. That's because the Eugen program is quite different
> from the Lee program. Now, the Eugen 2004 (March 23, 12:00:00)
> program is also somewhat different from the Eugen 2002 program
> (March 23, 12:00:00), but they are *very* similar in many, 
> many ways. So many ways that we are justified in asserting
> that they are for all practical purposes the same person 
> (and the same basic program).

Biology doesn't make a clean distinction between software and hardware.
I agree there is similiarity/homology between me-former and me-today,
but that similiarity is difficult to measure at a low level. Synchronizing
spatially separate discrete systems and make measurements on bit vectors is
something relatively simple, at least in gedanken.

> Lee
> P.S. I had great, great difficulty in understanding anything
> that you had to say. I was not able to make most of it out.
> Perhaps you could add some redundancy to your tight prose?

Sorry to be so dense, sometimes I have to post under time constraints, in a
distracting environment. Will try to mend in future.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org";>leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
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