Singularity Worship

John K Clark (
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 22:15:45 -0800 (PST)


On Fri, 13 Dec 1996 James Rogers <> Wrote:

>I *do* understand, in intimate detail, how a computer
>produces arithmetic results on the lowest level.

You have a very general idea about how it works but not for specific examples,
and God is in the details. A child would say, I know how a computer can do
arithmetic, you plug it in, turn it on, type in the problem, and that causes
the answer to appear on the screen. The child would be perfectly correct too,
as far as it goes. You and I have a little deeper understanding about what
is going on, but not deep enough.

>If we didn't, we wouldn't be able to build them.

You're saying that if we don't understand what a machine does we couldn't
design it. The same child could design a machine that will move an object in
water and create a turbulent flow. Do you understand turbulence?

>Studying art does not make one a great artist.

Well, sometimes it can do exactly that, but it all depends on how good a
student you are, how well you understand the subject of your study.

>I thought I read (in Scientific American?) that someone came
>up with an error correction protocol for quantum computing.

Yes, I wrote several rather long posts on this very subject in the past year,
if there is any interest I could re-send them.

John K Clark

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