Re: Bruno's argument

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 15:08:45 -0700

1Z wrote:
> Brent Meeker wrote:
>>1Z wrote:
>>>Brent Meeker wrote:
>>>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
>>But so far as we know all machines, all physical objects, are described
>>by quantum mechanics and therefore are subject to random variations,
>>i.e. they could have done otherwise.
> That applies to your PC. How often does it randomly crash ?
>>So I don't see how that helps in
>>distinguishing computation from noise.
> You can't tell the difference between doing something
> random once every day and doins something
> random billions of times a seconc ?
>> Are you thinking of abstract
>>computation - which of course can be deterministic if you rule out
>>randomness in the abstraction?
> we construct machines to rule out randomness within
> certain limits.

And evolution constructs brains to be essentially deterministic for the
same reason. So is it your theory that any deterministic sequence of
states constitutes computation and the reason a rock doesn't instantiate
computation is that, at the microscopic level its state changes are
dominated by quantum randomness?

This thread started with a discussion of what computation could be
counted as intelligent - or Stathis prefers "conscious". Does your
distinction entail that intelligence (or consciousness) is deterministic?

Brent Meeker

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 18:10:49 PDT

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