X-Message-Number: 21092
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 07:46:07 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #21081 - #21091

For John de Rivaz: Good point about identity, though  I myself would
say that more than anything else it tells us that our ideas about
identity come not just from an understanding of physics but from 
our own values --- what we as individuals WANT to remain the same.
Basically what you are saying is that if we took physical identity
seriously, then the result would be next to useless.

for Michael C Price: No, if they can be built then quantum computers
will be more than just parallel computers. As someone who has spent
some time programming parallel computers, there would be some major
differences. So long as we and the external world do not interfere
in their calculations in any way, they can operate simultaneously
on ALL the possible states of their parts, which may be electrons
in one form or another. It's your final result that you read off
from them which comes out uniquely. 

Most of the literature on such computers is in physics journals, 
which you of all people ought to be able to read. If nothing else,
a quantum computer would be much more compact than a parallel
computer. Given that quantum principles were recently used to
actually build a quantum encoder-decoder, I am optimistic that
such computers can be built, though it will take some time.
The journal NATURE turns out to be a good source on major ideas
for how to make quantum computers.

And this bears on our repair after suspension a good deal.
It may take a large parallel computer to work out where our pieces
should be when we only know where they are. Quantum computers 
would help a lot in solving this problem, if only  because they
would be far smaller (no nanotech, just smaller) than any parallel
computer able to do that job.

             Best wishes and long long life for all,

                    Thomas Donaldson

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