1Z wrote: > > Brent Meeker wrote: > > >>>Stathis Papaioannou >> >>Yes, that's roughly my idea. Of course you can't insist that a >>computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it >>does occasionally or potentially. > > > Most of the counterfactuals that make up a computation > are internal. There has to be some sense in which > it could have gone down the other branch of an if-then > statement (or that is must have gone fown the same one) > > >>In your example I would say that you >>can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going >>on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its >>environment (i.e. you). I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of >>the internal operations is relevant. For example, if you could see the >>movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was >>displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look >>at the dispaly screen you can. On the other hand, to the alien from >>alpha centauri, the screen might also look random. > > > The underlying physics of the thing will tell youwhether > it is capable of supporting countefactuals without > running a programme at all. There is something objectively > machine-like about machines -- complex , but predictable > behaviour.
But so far as we know all machines, all physical objects, are described by quantum mechanics and therefore are subject to random variations, i.e. they could have done otherwise. So I don't see how that helps in distinguishing computation from noise. Are you thinking of abstract computation - which of course can be deterministic if you rule out randomness in the abstraction? Brent Meeker --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---