On Nov 14, 2008, at 11:22 AM, Brent Meeker wrote:
> For a non-materialist it seems that an un-implemented
> idea or program is an incoherent concept.  So for the non-materialist
> there can be no such distinction as "implemented" or "not  
> implemented".

I can't answer for Bruno, but in my formulation, I would say that we  
can talk about "un-implemented" programs as long as we understand that  
we just mean "un-implemented in our particular world".

Imagine again the mathematical description of Conway's Life applied to  
the binary digits of PI. Somewhere within that description there may  
be descriptions of beings who have built their own computers (which  
would ultimately be made out of "gliders" and so on). In that mundane  
sense, those beings "perform computations" and "implement programs"  
within that world. Even if those beings accepted what I'm calling  
Mathematical Physicalism, they could still talk about un-implemented  
programs, but they'd just mean "unimplemented by us in this particular  

The same goes for "existence" and "non-existence". As a Mathematical  
Physicalist, I believe that "everything exists" (at least, everything  
that's mathematically describable). But it's still convenient to say  
things like "Unicorns don't exist", by which I just mean that they  
(probably) don't exist in my particular world. (And by "my particular  
world", I really mean the cloud of worlds represented by all my  
possible future states and all my possible past states. And so on.)

-- Kory

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