[PD] Pd *is* a programming language!
moocow at ling.uni-potsdam.de
Sun Oct 1 14:40:06 CEST 2006
morning Mathieu, morning all,
On 2006-09-30 05:13:42, Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca> appears to
> Computability doesn't usually count input/output. The internet and pd
> are two examples of things relying heavily on input/output... except
> that you can also use pd without input/output.
what's a Turing machine without a tape? I imagine that you're seeing
the tape (or rather, that you're seeing computability theorists seeing
the tape) in its machine-internal role of (basically) Just A Buffer, but
there's got to be data on it at t=0 (ok, maybe just the empty string,
but that's still information in the most formal sense), i.e. when the
computation begins. I'll grant you that computability theorists (among
whom I count myself in a very minor, inexperienced, and somewhat
skeptical sort of way) tend to concern themselves with computability of
a program (ruleset, delta function, whatever) for *arbitrary* input,
which I will further grant is largely impractical; but hey, they're
As to how the data got on the tape in the first place, what restrictions
may or may not justifiably be placed on it, and what the feeds into --
well, maybe that's a computable function as well, and maybe it isn't.
Are you perhaps saying "input/output" to refer to the user interface,
i.e. the existence and (assumedly) freely willed action [on the input
tape] and (also assumedly) conscious perception [of the output tape] by
an autonomous end-in-itself, i.e. a human being? Well, free will is an
illusion anyways, so we can pretty much ignore that part of it (it may
of course still be a non-computable illusion, but there's some pretty
compelling data that it's pretty darned illusory). Similarly,
"conscious perception" assumes a consciousness in which the perceptions
arrive, and no one, but no one has yet been able to provide an argument
which convinces me that such a thing must exist (whatever ephemeral form
of existence it's supposed to have in the first place); and that
includes the Churchlands, Dennet, Fodor, and even Grand Master Noam (uh,
that's Chomsky, of course), for all of whom I have a great deal of
That having been said, I find it extremely soothing to assume that there
is in fact such a thing as a semi-independent consciousness, and that
one of 'em somehow participates in my very own neural activities.
Likewise, since it would otherwise be pretty damn lonely in here (cf.
Hume), I like to imagine that there are in fact other folks on the
planet also infused with such semi-independent ephemera; in fact, I
blithely tend to assume this of everyone I meet. Then for purely
practical (read: "normative", if you're so disposed) reasons, I've got
to assume that there is such a thing as free will, but the only bit that
I think might really represent a non-computable function is the "being
forced to suppose" part, cf. Kant "I think that ...", Quine & abstract
objects, etc., etc.
Apologies for the rant, just had to get that off my loosely connected
and causally participating ephemera...
Bryan Jurish "There is *always* one more bug."
jurish at ling.uni-potsdam.de -Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology
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