[FOM] The Lucas-Penrose Thesis

John McCarthy jmc at steam.Stanford.EDU
Wed Oct 4 20:26:38 EDT 2006

> From: Robbie Lindauer <robblin at thetip.org>
> Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2006 13:01:25 -0700
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> On Sep 29, 2006, at 2:51 PM, John McCarthy wrote:
> >      Program: I can use any system you like, although mostly I
> >      use a system based on a variant of ZF and descended from
> >      1980s work of David McAllester.
> It is almost certainly not true that the program can "use any system 
> you like".  At least not any actual computer, and certainly not the 
> traditional turing machine.  Different actual computers have different 
> limitations.

My "any system you like" did not refer to imitating a specific person.
The systems the program offered to "Penrose" in the dialog were PA and
its extensions, ZF and its extensions, and other definite logical
systems "Penrose" might propose.

I'm not sure what Lindauer means by "Different actual computers have
different limitations."  If they are all universal, their limitations
are only in amount of memory and speed.

> But remember,this proposal is not a contest, this proposal is, 
> supposedly, a scientific hypothesis.
> It says "Formalism X is the formalism of person P."  There is no room 
> for peekaboo here.

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