Re: on simply being an SAS (and UDA)

From: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 19:20:18 -0800

Russell Standish, <>, writes:
> > >I then asked you whether by digital device, you meant a "Universal
> > >Turing Machine". This is where I part company with you, as I suspect
> > >that (1-)randomness has something to do with free will.

Suppose a Turing Machine augmented with a true random number generator
(quantum, or whatever) produced consciousness while one with only a
pseudo random number generator (a deterministic, algorithmic, but
largely unpredictable generator) did not.

In cryptography we study pseudo RNGs which can be distinguished from
true RNGs only if certain problems can be solved which are thought
to be intractable. For exmaple, the Blum Blum Shub psuedo RNG can be
distinguished from true randomness only if an extremely large number
can be broken into its prime factors (the same problem underlying the
well known RSA cryptosystem).

It seems implausible that the ability to perform a calculation (factoring
a sufficiently large prime) which is thought to take more computing
power than is available in the universe would make the difference between
consciousness and its absence.

Received on Sun Jan 16 2000 - 19:22:17 PST

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