Re: Singularity Worship

Sean Hastings (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 22:28:02 -0600

John K Clark wrote:

> >James:
> >The computer is a tool designed to do deterministic
> >computation. If you are foolhardy enough to try to do a
> >non-deterministic computation on a computer, you do so at
> >your own risk.
> All algorithms are deterministic but not all algorithms are predictable. If
> it's foolhardy to write or run the above program there is no way to tell
> you're a fool in a finite amount of time. If it has not stopped at one
> trillion perhaps it will stop at a trillion and two. It may have been running
> for 10 billion years but that tells you nothing, 10 billion years is no closer
> to being an infinite amount of time than one second is. It could stop in the
> next 5 minutes, it might stop in another 99 trillion years, it might never
> stop. There is no way to tell.

There have been computers turned loose on problems that were thought to
be non-deterministic, like proving Fermat's theorem. And Viola! after
the N zillionth step they stopped with a solution. Someone probably has
one running right no to prove that no even number greater than 4 is not
the sum of two primes.

--Sean H.
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