Re: UPLOAD: advocatus diaboli

Damien Broderick (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 14:47:06 +1000

At 10:32 AM 1/12/97 -0600, Eliezer wrote:

>Are you the same guy who was complaining about Java breaking

We'll never know, E., until you start adding attribution. Is it a problem
with yr software?

>One Turing machine can simulate a communicating and competitive society
>of them. (With, of course, no probability of any of them ever getting
>out.) Parallel, serial, RAM, tape - all can be simulated by the One
>True Basis of Computation... the Turing machine.

Kauffman's AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE, pp. 276-7:

`What would happen, McCaskill had wondered, if one made a soup of Turing
machines and let them collide; one collision partner would act as the
machine, and the other partner in the collision would act as the input tape.
The soup of programs would act on itself, rewriting each other's programs,
until... Until what?

`Well, it didn't work. Many Turing machine programs are able to enter
infnite loops and "hang". In such a case, the collision partners become
locked in a mutual embrace that never ends... This attempt to create a
silicon self-reproducing spaghetti of progams failed. Oh well.'

BTW, `sentience' is feeling, not intelligence, certainly not self-reflexive
consciousness. Poul Anderson long ago coined `sophonts' for what earlier sf
writers called `sentients', but I don't know the adjective.

Damien Broderick