Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):
>
> > > The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an unnecessary 
> > > complication. Suppose Klingon
> > > computers change their internal code every clock cycle according to the 
> > > well-documented radioactive
> > > decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we got our hands on 
> > > one of these computers and
> > > monitored its internal states it would seem completely random; but if we 
> > > had the Klingon manual, we
> > > would see that the computer was actually multiplying two numbers, or 
> > > implementing a Klingon AI, or
> > > whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid because 
> > > it's a dumb way to design
> > > a computer?
> >
> > I'd say that a defintion of "computer" that applies to everything is
> > useless.
>
> I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact with it.

I don't mean that if a  defintion of "computer" applied to everything
the *computer* would be useless.

I mean that if a defintion of "computer" applied to everything
the *definition* would be useless.

>  That would be the end of the matter unless we say that computation can lead 
> to consciousness, creating as it were its own observer. Are you prepared to 
> argue that the aforementioned Klingon AI suddenly stops being conscious when 
> the last copy of the manual which would allow us to interact with it is 
> destroyed?
>
> ...
> > I can say that a hydrogen atom can't compute an entire virtual
> > universe,
> > because there isn't enough "room".
>
> If you can map multiple computation states to one physical state, then all 
> the requisite computations can be run in parallel on a very limited physical 
> system.

Hmm. Including limitations in time?


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