A story about Python... sort of

Piet van Oostrum piet at cs.uu.nl
Tue Jul 8 22:29:25 CEST 2003

>>>>> "Russell Reagan" <rreagan at attbi.com> (RR) wrote:

RR> "Bob Gailer" <bgailer at alum.rpi.edu> wrote
>> Physically impossible? or impractical. If it can be solved by Turing
>> machine computation then it is physically possible, even though it might
>> take more time/resources than anyone cares to expend.

The Turing machine will only use a finite part of it, otherwise the
computation will not finish. However, you don't always now how big that
part will be.

RR> Or more time and resources than anyone has, which would make it impossible,
RR> for now.

Both problems can be solved by stopping when space is exhausted, waiting
until technique has evolved enough to upload the state of the computation
to the new extended hardware etc. 

Of course this still stops it when you (or your successors) have used up
the whole universe or have reached the end of the universe. In that sense
it could be physically impossible.
Piet van Oostrum <piet at cs.uu.nl>
URL: http://www.cs.uu.nl/~piet [PGP]
Private email: P.van.Oostrum at hccnet.nl

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