Re: Bruno's argument

From: 1Z <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 11:25:19 -0700

Brent Meeker wrote:

> > Stathis Papaioannou
> Yes, that's roughly my idea. Of course you can't insist that a
> computation interact continuously to count as computation, only that it
> does occasionally or potentially.

Most of the counterfactuals that make up a computation
are internal. There has to be some sense in which
it could have gone down the other branch of an if-then
statement (or that is must have gone fown the same one)

> In your example I would say that you
> can only know that there is computation, as distinct from noise, going
> on if the computer, via the emulation code, can still interact with its
> environment (i.e. you). I don't believe the simplicity or complexity of
> the internal operations is relevant. For example, if you could see the
> movements of electrons in my computer, you couldn't tell whether it was
> displaying this email or just doing something random - but if you look
> at the dispaly screen you can. On the other hand, to the alien from
> alpha centauri, the screen might also look random.

The underlying physics of the thing will tell youwhether
it is capable of supporting countefactuals without
running a programme at all. There is something objectively
machine-like about machines -- complex , but predictable

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 14:26:19 PDT

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