On Nov 24, 2008, at 5:26 PM, Brent Meeker wrote:
> Kory Heath wrote:
>> On Nov 23, 2008, at 11:24 AM, Brent Meeker wrote:
>>> Kory Heath wrote:
>>>> Or maybe I'm still misdiagnosing the problem. Is anyone arguing  
>>>> that,
>>>> when you play back the lookup table like a movie, this counts as
>>>> performing all of the Conway's Life computations a second time?
>>> Why shouldn't it?
>> Please see my recent response to Bruno. If we perform a complex
>> computation which results in placing the integer "5" into some memory
>> variable, and then later we copy the contents of that memory variable
>> to some other location in memory, in what sense are we re-performing
>> the original complex computation?
> That's different since, ex hypothesi, the original calculation was  
> complex.  So
> we can say just putting the answer, 5, in a register is not  
> repeating the
> calculation based on some complexity measure of the process.

But the Conway's Life calculations are "complex" in the sense that I  
meant the term. If we have a grid of cells filled with a pattern of  
bits, and we point at one particular cell and ask, "If we iterate the  
Conway's Life rule on this grid a trillion times, will this bit be on  
or off?", we have to perform a bunch of computations to answer the  
question. If we store the results of those computations, and then  
later someone points at that same cell and asks the same question, and  
I just look up the answer, I don't see how we can say that that act of  
looking up the answer counts as re-performing the original  
computation. Are you arguing that it does?

-- Kory

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