On 3/20/2013 9:41 PM, meekerdb wrote:
> On 3/20/2013 6:32 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
>> On 3/20/2013 6:37 PM, meekerdb wrote:
>>> On 3/20/2013 2:21 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
>>>> On 3/20/2013 4:07 PM, meekerdb wrote:
>>>>> On 3/20/2013 11:16 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>>>>>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320115111.htm
>>>>>> "We are examining the activity in the cerebral cortex /as a
>>>>>> whole/. The brain is a non-stop, always-active system. When we
>>>>>> perceive something, the information does not end up in a specific
>>>>>> /part/ of our brain. Rather, it is added to the brain's existing
>>>>>> activity. If we measure the electrochemical activity of the whole
>>>>>> cortex, we find wave-like patterns. This shows that brain
>>>>>> activity is not local but rather that activity constantly moves
>>>>>> from one part of the brain to another."
>>>>>> Not looking very charitable to the bottom-up, neuron machine view.
>>>>> The same description would apply to a computer.  Information moves
>>>>> around and it is distributed over many transistors and magnetic
>>>>> domains.
>>>>> Brent
>>>>> -
>>>> Hi,
>>>>     Let me bounce an idea of your statement here. Is there a
>>>> constraint on the software that can run on a computer related to
>>>> the functions that those transistors and magnetic domains can
>>>> implement? Is this not a form of interaction between hardware and
>>>> software?
>>> Sure, a program to calculate f(x) has to be compiled differently
>>> depending on the computer.  Some early computers even used trinary
>>> instead of binary.  But assuming it's general purpose computer then
>>> it is always possible to translate a program from one computer to
>>> another so that they calculate the same function (except for
>>> possible space limits).
>>> Brent
>>     OK, but let's zoom in a bit more on this. How much can the
>> translation (from one program to another so that they can calculate
>> the same (identity is assumed here!) function) exactly cancel out the
>> constraint that one physical machine places on logical functions that
>> could run on it? Surely we can see that is we consider an infinite
>> number of physical machines to cover the variation of physical
>> systems we can show that the computation of the function becomes
>> "independent of physics", but that is an 'in principle' proof of the
>> Universality of computations.
>>     Bruno rightly points out that this Universality can be used to
>> argue that computer programs have nothing at all to do with the
>> physical world and he uses that argument to good effect. I don't wish
>> to cancell out the physical worlds. I am asking a different question.
>> How much does a given physical computer constrain the class of all
>> possible computer programs? Are physical computers truly "universal
>> Turing Machines"? No! They do not have infinite tape, not precise
>> read/write heads. They are subject to noise and error.
> I agree, but the same constraints would also apply to brains.

    YES!!!!!! So, can we discuss this?



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