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Does Changing Configuration Make A New Machine? | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Does Changing Configuration Make A New Machine?
Authored by: PolR on Monday, July 23 2012 @ 02:12 PM EDT
Don't you and that Turing guy you keep referring to have some sort of a black box test where if you enter the same input into 2 black boxes and get different output, you conclude that devices inside the boxes are different?
I will know that something is different. But since it is a black box we don't know what the difference is. A showing that a new machine is made requires more than a difference between input and outputs because such results may be achieved without making a new machine.

In mathematical terms this black box view is conflating the concepts of functions, algorithms and machines. An association between inputs and outputs is called a function in mathematics. There are many algorithms for each function and the same algorithm may be used to implement several functions. In addition there are many machines which may implement the same algorithm and some algorithms are universal, they can compute all functions. A simplistic black box view misses these mathematical notions and fails to account for the full range of possibilities.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Does Changing Configuration Make A New Machine?
Authored by: wharris on Monday, July 23 2012 @ 02:46 PM EDT
This I think is getting to the key point of the article.

You claim that installing new software creates a new machine, as evidenced by
the changing values in memory (electrons moving in different directions if you
prefer, though that is a bit inaccurate).

If that creates a new machine, then so does opening a document after you have
installed a PDF reader. That changes memory in exactly the same way. Hit the
scroll bar. Memory has changed, creating a new machine. Wait a minute, and your
desktop clock if you have one will increment. This changes memory in exactly the
same way as installing (more accurately running) a program does.

If a new machine is created with each memory change, then new machines are
created billions of times per second, and the machine that finishes the program
is a different one than the machine that starts the program.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Does Changing Configuration Make A New Machine?
Authored by: PJ on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 08:45 PM EDT
I've been very patient with you. But now
it's enough. First, go research and find
out who "that Turing guy" is. Otherwise,
honestly you have no business discussing
what a computer is or isn't.

If you continue without doing that, I'll
just remove your comments.

Yes. I mean it.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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