On 14 Jan 2009, at 18:52, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

> Hi,
> 2009/1/14 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > 2009/1/14 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> >
> >> However a Turing machine is not just a set of states, it also  
> requires a
> >> set of transition rules.  So in the same abstract way that the  
> integers
> >> are ordered by "succession" the computational states of a Turing  
> machine
> >> are ordered.  Whether just abstract rules, without  
> implementation, are
> >> sufficient isn't clear to me.
> >
> > In an actual physical computer the transition rules are  
> represented by
> > the causal links between the states, so that a particular input will
> > reliably give rise to a particular output. But I return to my  
> question
> > about what would happen if there were a discontinuity in a  
> sequence of
> > states, so that s1 to s10 on m1 are causally linked, s11 to s20 on  
> m2
> > are causally linked, but there is no link between m1 and m2, i.e. m2
> > just happens to start in s11 accidentally. Assuming that s1 to s20
> > occurring in a single machine results is a few moments of
> > consciousness (which is to say, assuming that computationalism is
> > true), what would happen if the sequence is broken in the way just
> > described?
> I suspect something is lost.  You are thinking of the states as  
> abstract steps
> in a computer program.  But a computer program requires a computer  
> to run and
> the computer implements distributed spatiotemporal links.  In  
> general you cannot
> take even a digitial computer and freeze it in a instant of time,  
> call that a
> state, and restart it without any effects.
> I do not see a problem with that... a program can be freezed any  
> time... dump the memory to a file, on restart, load the dump file to  
> memory, put the instruction pointer at the correct place and you're  
> done. (well in practice it is a little more difficult, but you could  
> do it for *any* program). In the situation that Stathis describe,  
> causality is not broken in any way. S1->S10 run in computer 1, dump,  
> reload on computer 2 S11->S20 run in computer 2, the causal link is  
> given by the program that compute S1-S20 irrelevant on what physical  
> device it is running on... the causal link is the program and a  
> program is relative to a machine (abstract one). So a computation is  
> the set of a program and the machine that runs it. A state doesn't  
> exists by itself (state of what ?), and this is where Stathis is  
> wrong I think.

Stathis is not wrong but seems unclear on what a computation  
mathematically is perhaps.

Many miss Church thesis. The fact that there is a purely mathematical  
notion of computation at all.


> Regards,
> Quentin
>  Switches are in intermediate states,
> EM waves are propagating, electrons are diffusing - it is not a  
> static thing
> like a step in a program.
> In terms of Bruno's teleporter, one might say yes accepting that  
> there would be
> a one-time gap in consciousness (ever had a concussion?), but one  
> would probably
> hesitate if the there was to be a gap every 10ms.
> Brent
> -- 
> All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
> >


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