(urth) 5HC : Skinner, Turing, Laplace, and Thread Necromancy

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 20 01:46:37 PST 2005

Maru said:
>Have you ever heard of a replicating von Neumann machine?  I mention them 
>because they  at first sight
>to suffer the same reflectivity problem as LaPlace's demon.

No, you misunderstand the problem with the demon. The demon is not 
"practically impossible", it is logically impossible - any solution to it 
would require the breaking of the same logical laws that are required for 
you or I to think about the problem in the first place.

>But if you do not like that explanation, consider a demon equivalent to an 
>angel: it can be any size it wants.
>And since by default this universe is continuous, the demon can make as 
>many brains as he wants and fit each in
>an infinitely small space. Now, since the demon has a visible head and 
>presumably brain for me to converse with
>and receive predictions from, it follows that it posses infinite amount of 
>brain; I suspect an infinite brain could
>contain and hold that 'infinite regress'. In fact, an infinite number of 
>infinite regresses.

It can continue to make brains to its heart's content; those brains will all 
be present *within* the universe and thus require representation. The 
computational ability of the demon is theoretically infinite, but it is an 
infinity that is a sort of order of magnitude smaller than the infinity that 
would be required to calculate itself into the picture (along with the 
universe, of course). This will always be the case; any addition of "brains" 
increases the complexity of the universe accordingly.

-- Civet
"1   The world is all that is the case."

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