[Reader-list] Alternative software???

Pankaj Kaushal pankaj at sarai.net
Mon Dec 2 20:19:59 IST 2002

On Sun, Dec 01, 2002 at 04:33:57PM -0500, Are Flagan wrote:
> On 11/29/02 18:53, "Pankaj Kaushal" <pankaj at sarai.net> wrote:
> > 
> > First of all the question is not about either hardware or software
> > or that software is dependent on hardware. the later is just an
> > assumption people make or are taught by other people who dont understand
> > computing very well. The mail motive is to solve a problem and
> > if a turing machine can solve that problem then it is logicaly solvable
> > and then the implementation of it can be in hardware or hardware dependent
> > software or hardware independent but software dependent software.
> >
> What you are missing is the Turing breakthrough in modern computing -- the
> interplay between the problem, the algorithm, the Turing machine,
> software/hardware and the Universal. This can of course be configured in any
> of the ways you mention, but this discussion, along with the essay, was
> aimed at an elucidation of software, that is to say primarily one
> configuration of the set up. Turing never really made a distinction between
> hardware and software, except by adding the prefix Universal -- Turing
> Machines within a Universal Turing Machine -- suggesting that they are of a
> similar order, but stacked like Russian dolls. This point is reiterated in
> the essay by making some reference to the hazy distinction between software
> and hardware, while focusing on their limits and the operative desires and
> effects, so to speak, of software. Or, if you like, the function of your
> tautology -- "if a Turing Machine can solve a problem then it is logically
> solvable." To which my essay incredulously attempts to ask: because the
> Turing Machine (software/hardware) told you so?

Logically there is no difference in hardware/software not even a hazy one.

If we are doing any computation there has to be a non empty universal set, 
because there is no direct way to talk about individual objects and therefore
no way to assert that objects stand in certain relations to each other
we can make general statements about all objects in a "fixed" state called
the universe.

> No clue (so let's ignore that angle). There are many more problems
> unsolvable by a computer, such as chewing gum and walking at the same time
> (but it is nicely simulated in multitasking). The prospects of understanding
> computing (or software or hardware) cannot belong to math and logic alone,
> unless these are also recast within their own social and cultural and
> philosophical histories.

 I disagree, social, cultural and philosophical histories are subjective
 matters and every one has a different interepretation of it. different 
 historians can argue on different histories of a culture. math and logic
 is different because its all imagined and delivered, mass hypnosis in 
 a very orthodox form called education. 1+1=2 can i question that? ok
 that was a joke. consider a  non empty set X which has two sets A and B
 1. A x B the cartesian product of two sets would be same.
 2. it will be a subset of X 

 Similarly for many turing machines inside a Turing machine that
 machine is their universe. That does not mean there is no other

 universality of turing machine is not a concept by Turing but 
 is church's thesis. because the turing machines can carry out
 any computation that can be carried out by any similar type of
 automata and because automata seem to capture the essential features
 of a computing machine we take the turing machine to be the
 precise formal equivalant of the intutive notion of a algorithm.
 nothing will be considered an algorithm if a turing machine
 can not render it. church's thesis can be overthrown any day
 when someone finds out an alternative method to computing which
 would have to be acceptable by fulfilling the requirement
 "finite labour at each step" and yet would carry out computations
 that cannot be done by turing machines. 
> there is a dependency, and I have yet to run an algorithm that does not
> resolve its truth table, speaking here of limitations (my computer has
> crashed on occasion, though). What I vehemently seek to contest is the
> built-in arrogance that seeks refuge in the operations of the machine, in
> its concepts and functions, to render any other interpretations than those
> proffered by its devoted students foolish and clueless.

There is a theory that states: "If anyone finds out what the universe
is for it will disappear and be replaced by something more bazaarly
There is another theory that states: "This has already happened...."

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