RE: Bruno's argument

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 21:45:35 +1000

Peter Jones writes:

> There is a very impoertant difference between "computations do
> not require a physical basis" and "computations do not
> require any *particular* physical basis" (ie computations can be
> physical
> implemented by a wide variety of systems)

Yes, but any physical system can be seen as implementing any computation with the appropriate
rule mapping physical states to computational states. Attempts are made to put constraints on what
counts as implementation of a computation in order to avoid this uncomfortable idea, but it
doesn't work unless you say that certain implementations are specially blessed by God or something.
So at least you have to say that every computation is implemented if any physical universe at all
exists, even if it is comprised of a single atom which endures for a femtosecond. That's an absurd
amount of responsibility for a little atom, and it makes more sense to me (although I can't at the
moment think of a proof) to say that the atom is irrelevant, and the computations are implemented
anyway by virtue of their status as mathematical objects.

Stathis Papaioannou
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Thu Jul 27 2006 - 07:47:39 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:11 PST