On 15 Feb 2011, at 01:42, Brent Meeker wrote:

On 2/14/2011 11:36 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
Programs are not written with physical instantiation in mind... even if eventually you run it.

Really?  Did people write programs before computers were invented?

If you abstract from Babbage quasi-computer, then yes. Combinators, lambda expressions, including universal one, have been written before computers have been builded.




What is important is the computation which doesn't care about the physical instantiation as such.

A program could be written to care about it's instantiation, but usually it's the programmer who cares.

We care about higher level instantiation. Theoretically and empirically we know that our lowest level instantiation is given by a sum on many histories.

Bruno




When I stop executing a program does it cease to exist ? And come back to existence the instant I run it ?

A program may be written on paper, punched on cards, or encoded in neurons.

Brent


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