Posts

Comments

Comment by gordon_wrigley on The Quantum Physics Sequence · 2008-06-11T10:58:18.000Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't suppose you could spend a post or two explaining in your nice easy to understand way exactly what it is a quantum computer is supposed to do and how this might impact the NP problems.

Comment by gordon_wrigley on Thou Art Physics · 2008-06-06T13:15:53.000Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think the core problem when talking about freewill is that at some level the notion of freewill just by definition requires a system where the mind exists out side of physics and manipulates it. It's seems like that's what people really mean when they say freewill.

I'm not sure of a good way to explain my thoughts on this. Lets try it this way, imagine you had an AI computer program. And it really was genuine strong AI, and you were quite happy to assert that it was intelligent, self aware and sentient. It thinks, it learns, it loves, it hates, it has doubts and fears it is a full and complete artificial personality. Now given that would you even think to ask if it had freewill? It seems to me that you wouldn't, instead you'd say "it's a machine of course it doesn't have freewill, we can dig up the code that makes all of that stuff happen".

Now what is the difference between the machine and the person, well really all your left with is that the person has freewill and the machine doesn't. So freewill is that which makes us more than just really spectacularly complex organic machines. And people who think that need to take a long hard look at their predecessors who asserted that the earth is the center of the universe and man is not a type of animal.