X-Message-Number: 15045
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 15:02:10 EST
Subject: discreteness addendum

My brief remarks yesterday on uploading and discreteness in q.m. left out 
many considerations, so I just want to add a little bit.

Experience shows that energy is transferred in quanta or packets, discretely. 
However, the energy of a photon is hf, where h is Planck's constant and f is 
the frequency of the radiation. Apparently the continuum of frequencies is 
allowed; in addition, f is relativistic, dependent on the frame of reference 
of the observer. So in this sense energy is not always quantized or discrete, 
but can have any value rather than just a finite (or at least countable) set 
of allowable values. 

Also, of course, the ordinary momentum of a particle, mv, appears to allow a 
continuum of velocities. At the same time, the uncertainty principle does not 
allow unlimited accuracy of observation, which most physicists interpret to 
mean the particle does not POSSESS a sharply defined velocity (or position) 
at any time--before, during, or after an observation. In this sense, then, we 
apparently do have discreteness. 

My main point yesterday is not affected. A Turing machine (finite but 
unlimited sequential digital computer) is classical in its construction and 
behavior, even though it can calculate quantum mechanics. Since its 
capabilities are finite, it cannot generate a full set of Many Worlds future 
histories of any system, let alone an emulated person. It cannot describe, 
predict, model or imitate ALL of the possibilities latent in the initial wave 
equation (or equivalent matrix) of the system. It can only, at best, generate 
successive internal computer states corresponding to successive most-probable 
quantum states of the emulated system. The successive states of a real system 
are usually not the most probable ones, and any real system will very quickly 
diverge from its computer emulation. (Again, this does not speak to the 
question of whether the emulation has feeling--only to the question of 
whether the emulation is veridical in the sense of future history.)

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=15045