Re: Bruno's argument

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 11:14:43 -0700

1Z wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
>>1Z wrote:
>>>Brent Meeker wrote:
>>>>I'm considering rejecting the idea that a computation can be
>>>>distinguished from noise by some internal characteristic of the
>>>>computation. I don't think you can make the idea of "information hidden
>>>>in noise" well defined. By Shannon's measure noise is information.
>>>You can easily distinguish computation from noise using counterfactuals
>>Can you make that more concrete - an example perhaps?
> Counterfactuals come from the undertlying physics of the computation.
> Cups of coffee don't have any woth speaking about-- you can't force
> them into the same state twice.

Sorry, but I still don't understand the counterfactual aspect.

> Whether they are part of the "internal characteristitcs of a
> computation"
> depends, question-beggingly , ont what you mean by "computation".

I think I agree with that. I'm trying to come up with a non-question
begging definition of computation and I think the idea that a rock
implements all computations implies that computation can't be defined in
terms of some chracteristic of its sequence of internal states.

> If you think a computation is nothing but a string of 1's and 0's,
> counterfactuals
> will be very difficulty to find.

So you're agreeing with me that it's impossible to distinguish noise and
computation based their sequence of internal states (e.g. 1's and 0's)?

Brent Meeker

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 14:16:47 PDT

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