[extropy-chat] Role of Observer is not Relevant

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Mar 28 14:40:11 UTC 2007

On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 11:33:33PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>      to do that, you need a) an appropriate physical system b)
>      appropriate
>      configuration c) an agent capable of that measurement. Of course,
>      in
>      some cases you can have all three in the same entity.
>    Would your counting program above satisfy requirement (c) by itself?

No, it is merely a) and b), it doesn't contain any logic for an agent.
You need a measurement (a comparison) and an alternate behaviour,
caused by two different measurements. For instance, an oscillator
driving a counter driving a comparator driving a bomb detonator would
qualify. (And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. 
Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the 
number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. 
Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that 
thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, 
being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand 
Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, 
shall snuff it.')

>    If so, why wouldn't the abacus not also satisfy requirement (c) in the
>    absence of an external interpreter?

Because the program so far does not meet such a criterion. 
The unobserved system abacus + illiterate human is no different.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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