2012/8/15 John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com>

> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM, William R. Buckley <
> bill.buck...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>  > Regardless of your dislike for the term omniscience
>>
>
> I don't dislike the term, in fact I think I'd rather enjoy being
> omniscient but unfortunately I'm not.
>
> > the Turing machine can compute all computable computations,
>>
>
> Yes, and thus Turing proved that in general determining if a computer
> program will ever stop is not computable;
>
>  all you can do is watch it and see what it does.
>

No, all you can know is that no *general* algorithm (as you pointed out)
can solve that. And I have to say it again, it doesn't mean that a
particular one cannot solve the halting problem for a particular algorithm.
And unless you prove that that particular algorithm is undecidable, then it
is still possible to find another algorithm that could decide on the
halting of that algorithm.


> If you see it stop then obviously you know that it stopped but if its
> still going then you know nothing, maybe it will eventually stop and maybe
> it will not, you need to keep watching and you might need to keep watching
> forever.
>

It's obviously not true for *a lot* of algorithm....

Quentin


>
>   John K Clark
>
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