Re: Bruno's argument

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 16:35:39 +0200

Le 19-juil.-06, à 10:40, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> It seems to me trivially obvious that any sufficiently complex
> physical system implements any finite computation, just as any
> sufficiently large block of marble contains every marble statue of a
> given size. The difference between random noise (or a block of
> marble) on the one hand and a well-behaved computer (or the product of
> a sculptor's work) on the other is that the information is in the
> latter case presented in a way that can interact with the world
> containing the substrate of its implementation. But I think that this
> idea leads to almost the same conclusion that you reach: it really
> seems that if any computation can be mapped to any physical substrate,
> then that substrate is superfluous except in that tiny subset of cases
> involving well-behaved computers that can handle counterfactuals and
> thus interact with their environment, and we may as well say that
> every computation exists by virtue of its status as a platonic object.

I mainly agree with you, except perhaps that I would not go so quickly

"any sufficiently complex physical system implements any finite


"any computation can be mapped to any physical substrate",

I doubt long and deep (in Bennett technical sense) computation can be
mapped to *any* physical substrate.

This is important because consciousness should relie on infinite

But then I agree with, even if my mind (by chance) supervene on some
local piece of stuff, and even if this adds some weight to my
computational states, it will do so insofar as I will not see the
difference when surviving on some continuation of that computation
somewhere else. Eventually all notions of "somewhere else" should
themselves be explained from the UD, so...

> I say "almost" because I can't quite see how to prove it, even though
> I suspect that it is so.

We will come back on this. I must explain better what is a computation
in Platonia, sure.


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Received on Wed Jul 19 2006 - 10:36:45 PDT

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