On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:25:06PM -0400, John Clark wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 , meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>  >> John Clark should get a kick out of this:
> >>
> >> http://www.scottaaronson.com/talks/
> >>
> >
> >  In computer science, we deal all the time with processes that are
> > neither deterministic nor random.
> >
> > An example is a nondeterministic finite automaton: if you’re in state s2
> > and you see symbol a, you could stay where you are or you could transition
> > to state s3.  But we don’t put probabilities on these two arrows: we just
> > say that either could happen.
> >
> If you don't use probabilities then you must follow where both paths go,
> and that is deterministic. If you wish to make use of true probabilities
> you will need to add a hardware random number generator attachment to your
> computer because in any computer that is not malfunctioning they will
> ALWAYS do things for a reason regardless of what program they are running.
> If your program calls for a change in state of your computer to happen for
> no reason you've got to have some hardware where things happen for no
> reason, like a hardware random number generator.
> The guy starts off by saying he was more interested in being entertaining
> than being correct, but I didn't find him to be either.
>   John K Clark
> Even more basic, when we design an algorithm, we don’t know which input
> it’s going to get, we usually don’t even know a probability distribution
> over inputs.  All we know is, we want the thing to work for ANY input.
> -- 

Whilst I would agree you calling him out on nondetermism is not random
thing, he does seem to have an interesting proposal, if you read
on. Its a shame I don't really understand it, because power point is
not really an effective standalone communication tool.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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