Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
>
> > Computer programmes contain conditional (if-then) statements. A given
> > run of
> > the programme will in genreal not explore every branch. yet the
> > unexplored
> > branches are part of the programme. A branch of an if-then statement
> > that is
> > not executed on a particular run of a programme will constitute a
> > counterfactual,
> > a situation that could have happened but didn't. Without
> > counterfactuals you
> > cannot tell which programme (algorithm) a process is implementing
> > because
> > two algorithms could be have the same execution path but different
> > unexecuted branches.
>
> Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the 
> record were different,
> then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be different.

Exactly. And if non-phsyical systems (Plato' Heaven) don't
implement counterfactuals, then they can't run programmes,
and if Plato's heaven can't run programmes, it can't be running us as
programmes.

> > Finitism doesn't imply stasis. New frames could be popping into
> > existence
> > dynamically.
> >
> > > If time is continuous then in a linear universe movement is the
> > > result of a series of static frames of infinitesimal duration.
> >
> > Likewise.
> >
> > > There is no room for movement within
> > > a frame in either case -
> >
> > There is room within an infinitessimal frame. dx/dt is not necessarily
> > zero.
>
> No-one knows what dx/dt is.

We can handle it mathematically. If we make dt exactly equal to zero,
everythign stops working.

Either a process is broken into non-zero sized slices,
in which case they dynamism is still their, or it is
broken into 0-sized slices, whoch doesn't work mathematically.

>  It is the smallest non-zero number, or the reciprocal of the
> largest finite number. If there is room for movement within an infinitesimal 
> interval then
> it can by definition be divided up further - it isn't an infinitesimal 
> interval.

infinitessimals can be divided into further infinitessimals.

> However, this is
> straying from the original point I wanted to make, which is that whatever 
> reasons there
> might be against block universe theories, continuity of consciousness is not 
> one of them.
> Every digital computer has clock cycles during which nothing actually 
> "happens", and it is
> the conjunction of these cycles which makes the program "flow". There is no 
> way from
> within the program to know what the clock rate is, if there are pauses in the 
> program, or
> if it is being run in several parallel processes. You might argue that it 
> would not be possible
> to run the program at all without a causal connection between the steps, but 
> the fact
> remains, discontinuous framesd during which nothing changes give the illusion 
> of continuous
> motion.

Given some external apparatus -- you need a movie projector
to show a movie -- so this cannot be applied to the universe as a
whole.

> Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________
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