Stephen, Liz, On 18 Jan 2014, at 00:02, LizR wrote:

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On 18 January 2014 11:39, Stephen Paul King <stephe...@provensecure.com> wrote:Dear John,I invite your comment on a statement and question: There is notobservable difference between "X is non-computable" and "there doesnot exist sufficient resources to complete the computation of Y".Are X and Y effectively the same thing, everything else beingequal? If there is a difference that makes a difference, what mightit be?In other words, is anything non-computable because of sometheoretical reason, rather than "merely local geographical" ones(which might cease to be restrictions if, say, our local evenhorizon expands, or we construct wormholes to other universe) ?Surely the halting problem?

`Of more easily the totality problem. It is more complex than halting,`

`and thus more easily shown to be non computable.`

`Let me do it here, as I promise to Stephen. It is almost a direct`

`consequence of Church thesis.`

`I recall that a function (from N to N) is said TOTAL computable if you`

`can explain in a finite set of words, in one formal language, with a`

`decidable simple grammar, how to compute it on each (cf TOTAL) natural`

`numbers, in a finite time, and this to a sufficiently dumb person.`

`Church's thesis: there is a universal language L in which all TOTAL`

`functions can be described/coded, and my language "lambda calculus" is`

`such a language.`

`Theorem: Church's thesis entails that L describes more than just all`

`TOTAL functions.`

`Proof: suppose that L describes only the TOTAL functions. We can`

`lexicographically order all programs in L (due to the clear decidable`

`grammar) p0, p1, p2, p3, .... Let us call f_i the function computed by`

`p_i`

`Then we can define a function g such that g(n) = f_n(n) + 1. Indeed we`

`can even program it in L. (To compute it on n, generate the list up to`

`p_n and apply p_n on n, then add 1. As all f_n are total, this gives a`

`total function (everywhere defined on N).`

`So that function g as some program p_k, and thus compute some function`

`f_k belonging to the list (L is universal).`

`But then, let us apply g on its own code k, we have g(k) = f_k(k),`

`given that g = f_k.`

`But we have also that g(k) = f_k(k) + 1, by definition of g. So f_k(k)`

`= f_k(k) + 1.`

`And, by totality, f_k(k) is a number. So I can subtract it from both`

`side in the preceding equality, and we get`

0 = 1. Contradiction.

`So either L is not universal (and Church is wrong), or f_k(k) is not`

`defined, and f_k is not total.`

`Then if you look in "lambda calculus", you can empirically observe`

`that f_k(k) is indeed not defined: p_k does not stop on k. Making`

`Church thesis consistent.`

`So if Church thesis is true, and if some language L is truly`

`universal, the list of its programs p_i will go through all total`

`computable functions (by universality), but will also go through many`

`NON TOTAL functions.`

`And, the key point, you will not been able to use any program to`

`distinguish the code of the total function from the code of the non`

`total one.`

`Why? Because if that was the case, you would be able to filter out the`

`non total function from the list of all programs p_i, and you would`

`get a computable enumeration (list) of all, and only the total`

`functions, and the diagonal above would again conclude that 0 = 1.`

`So the attribute of a code "computing a total function" cannot be`

`computable. QED.`

OK? (you have to read this with pencil and paper!)

`This was a constructive proof, leading to a meaningful predicate`

`("TOTAL") being not computable.`

`Thi entails a strong form of incompleteness: no effective theory (with`

`checkable proofs) can ever decide if some arbitrary code is the code`

`of a total, or not, function.`

`(Note that a far easier, but non constructive and less informative,`

`proof is given directly by Cantor theorem. The computable functions`

`are codable, making them enumerable, but N^N, the set of all functions`

`from N to N is NOT enumerable by Cantor theorem.`

So almost all functions from N to N are not computable.) Bruno

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