On 22 Jan 2013, at 12:36, Roger Clough wrote:

Hi Bruno Marchal

You said:

"God, matter, consciousness are never computable"

Is that because the above are nonphysical ?

Matter is physical, by definition, yet non computable. This follows from the UD Argument.

If consciousness is not computable, can ideas be computable ?

Yes. Most of them are (the programs, the monads).

I'm totally lost. I don't even understand how ANYTHING other
than numbers can be computable.

Strings of letter are not number, but the operation of concatenation is computable ( a + baba = ababa). Look at your computer, you see mails, letters, etc. Not number, yet all what you do with your computer (like sending a mail) are computable operation.

Suppose you do a computation. You get a number or a bunch of numbers.
How can you say what they mean ?

By remembering the definitions, the axioms I am assuming, etc. I don't see the problem. If you refer to the qualia, this is explain by the peculiarity of the logic of machines self-reference: when machine introspect they can understand things, without completely understanding the understanding process itself. It is normal, but it needs a bot of computer science and mathematical logic to get the complete picture.



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