Re: poly: Infinite calculations in an open universe?

From: Damien Broderick <>
Date: Wed Dec 10 1997 - 04:36:35 PST

At 02:58 PM 12/9/97 -0800, Hal wrote:

>Next, an infinite number of guests come along. Again the manager finds
>space, this time moving the person from room 1 to room 2, from room 2 to
>room 4, from room 3 to room 6, ... from room n to room 2n.

>In the case of the computation, suppose every time you solve one problem
>you generate 10 new ones. [etc]

Forgive my unmathematical quibble, but since quantum computers are physical
devices, I wonder if there's a real-world difficulty in instantiating the
construct? In this world, an infinite number of guests can't really be
accommodated by that classic device, because at a certain point in the
sequence, guest 462,963,1172,090,375 will have to follow the bellboy down
the hall at greater than the speed of light to get to her new room. Or am
I being laughably concrete in my thinking? (The problem could be
sidestepped, I guess, if we allow an infinite amount of time for the
transfers between rooms, but that's not a great help in a real-world
application, I assume...)

Damien Broderick
Received on Wed Dec 10 01:37:07 1997

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:29 PST