On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 07:42:11PM -0400, spudboy...@aol.com wrote:
> In a way, professor, Marchal, you seem to be on the side of Stephen
> Wolfram, who once wrote about there being no need to ever do SETI,
> because, if we wanted to know advanced Extra Terrestrial
> technologies, it would be far, simpler to generate algorythems (sp)
> that contain these unknown civilizations. I tried to search and see
> if Dr. Wolfram eloborated on this strange, proposal, but seemingly,
> he did not. I am clueless, over what bit-stream one would run, and
> on what type of computer, we'd require to accomplish what Wolfram,
> once proposed. Perhaps Wolfram was just hand-waving, and merely
> exercising his imagination?
> Mitch

That was pretty much the gist of his weighty tome "A New Kind of
Science". I must confess to not having read it - there's plenty to
criticise in it, but also some valuable gems too, from accounts of
people who have.

I would disagree with Wolfram on this point. To search the space of
computational algorithms (or cellular automata, being Wolfram's
favourite computational multiverse) would have to be at least as hard, if not
harder, than searching the physical space we live in. That is why I
wouldn't abandon the Large Hadron Collider in favour of a Supercomputer
costing the same amount of money.

Anyway - check it out if you're interested. There's also plenty
written about NKS - it was a rather controversial book, largely due to
the lack of citations, and the somewhat megalomaniacal way that SW
promoted it.


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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