Dear Stathis and Bruno,
Stathis' reply is commendable, with one excessive word:
   "  r e a l ".  I asked Bruno several times to 'identify' the term
'number' in common-sense language. So far I did not understand such (my
mistake?) I still hold *'numbers'* as the product of human thinking which
cannot be retrospect to the basis of brain-function. (Unless we consider
BRAIN as the tissue-organ in our skull, executing technical steps for
our *"mentality"
- *whatever that may be.
My remark to Bruno: in my (agnostic?) mind 'machine' means a functioning
contraption composed of finite parts,
an ascertainable inventory, while 'universal machine' - as I understand(?)
the term includes lots of infinite connotations (references). So I would be
happy to name them something different from 'machine'.
I accept 'computation' as not restricted to numerical (math?) calculations
although our (embryonic, binary) Touring machine is based on such. I am
still at a loss to see in extended practice a 'quantum', or a 'molecularly
based' computer so often referred to in fictional lit. The "Universal
Computer" (Loeb?) requires better descriptions as to it's qualia to include
domains beyond our present knowledge and the infinities. (Maybe
"human"mind? which is also unidentified).
JohnM





On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 5:40 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 3:14 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > A quote from someone on Facebook. Any comments?
> >
> >> "Computers can only do computations for rational numbers, not for real
> >> numbers. Every number in a computer is represented as rational. No
> computer
> >> can represent pi or any other real number... So even when consciousness
> can
> >> be explained by computations, no computer can actually simulate it."
>
> If it is true that you need real numbers to simulate a brain then
> since real numbers are not computable the brain is not computable, and
> hence consciousness is not necessarily computable (although it may
> still be contingently computable). But what evidence is there that
> real numbers are needed to simulate the brain?
>
>
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou
>
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