John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 22:12:18 -0800 (PST)


James Rogers jamesr@best.com On Mon, 4 Nov 1996 Wrote:

>>After Turing machine A produces an output there will be a
>>delay before Turing machine B can use it, this delay is
>>proportional to the distance between A and B.

>The problem of copy latency is a physical one, not an
>informational one.

This delay is not a minor engineering consideration, it is built into the
very fabric of the universe. If information could not work in a physical
context it would be a useless concept. Information is not a useless concept.

>Nothing murky about this at all. This is a very basic
>theorem that has been proven in very concrete terms.

I've never heard of the "Information can not be moved only copied" Theorem
and I am not totally ignorant in such matters, but if it really exists please
tell me exactly what it means. Why it is concrete and practical if as you say
it has nothing to do with "the physical context"? How would our physical
Universe be the slightest bit different if it were untrue?

>Another interesting mathematically proven theorem of
>information science: It is mathematically impossible for an
>information agent (such as humans or computers) to prove that
>their information is synchronized with that of another
>information agent.

I not sure I know what you mean by "synchronized", but it is true that Godel
proved in 1930 that any mathematical system with a finite number of axioms
will be inconsistent or incomplete, some things are just undecideable. For a
few years after Godel made his discovery it was hoped that we could at least
identify those undecideable things, that is, statements that were either
false or true but had no proof. If we could do that then we would know we
were wasting our time looking for a proof and we could move on to other
things, but in 1935 Turing proved that sometimes even that was impossible.

>>Every time the telephone rings my stream of consciousness
>>is interrupted,

>Your consciousness is interrupted, but not terminated.

Exactly, and in a fast upload my consciousness wouldn't even be interrupted,
I wouldn't even know anything unusual was happening.

>There is no difference between originals and copies.


>the mechanism of self-awareness.

I'm delighted you uses the term "mechanism", a mechanism works by physical
laws not magic, we can experiment on a mechanism, we can see how it works,
we can duplicate a mechanism.

>Self-awareness allows a block of information to uniquely
>recognize itself without necessarily having any differences
>between itself and it's copies.

Huh?? This mechanism finds a difference between 2 blocks of information that
you admit have no differences! How on earth does it manage to do that?
What does it even mean?

>The monkey might bang out plays, but they would no longer be
>Shakespeare's plays because there would be no evidence in
>the universe that Shakespeare ever wrote a play. They would
>be random noise generated by a monkey pounding on a

"MacBeth" would never be random noise, even if a monkey produced it.

>How information is encoded is irrelevant to the information
>itself. Information *can* be encoded in two different ways,
>and usually is

Yes, the information doesn't know if it is a copy or not, and it doesn't

On Tue, 05 Nov 1996 Chris Hind <chind@juno.com> Wrote:

>Two atoms look exactly the same but that still doesn't mean
>they 'are' the same atom.

If the 2 atoms look and act exactly the same then you could exchange them and
it would make no difference. Atoms have no individuality, if they can't even
give themselves this property how can they give it to us?

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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