[FOM] Re: Potgieter on hypercomputation

Apostolos Syropoulos apostolo at ocean1.ee.duth.gr
Thu Dec 16 16:42:54 EST 2004

On Wed, 15 Dec 2004, Timothy Y. Chow wrote:

> In my opinion, saying that these results are "evidence that space and time
> are not really discrete but rather continuous" is highly misleading at
> best.  Lieu and Hillman discuss a method of experimentally probing the
> behavior of time at scales of 5.4e-44 seconds, the "Planck time."  Since
> 5.4e-44 is hardly infinitesimal, this says nothing about whether time is
> continuous or whether it is discrete at much smaller scales (if indeed
> "time" in the intuitive sense even means anything at much smaller scales).

If we can measure time intervals less that 5.4e-44 seconds, then quantum
gravity will collapse. Practically, this will mean that our present view
of the world will have to change radically. And of course this will mean
that, for example, recent theories that claim that black holes are the
ultimate simple computers (see http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0006105) will be
rendered meaningless. Whether hypercomputation is sci-fi or a "brave new
world", I believe it is too early to say.


*Apostolos Syropoulos                                          *
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