Entropy 2005, 7[4], 221-233
ISSN 1099-4300

A Computer's Arrow of Time

L.S. Schulman

Physics Department, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699-5820, USA
E-mail: schulman@clarkson.edu

Received: 15 April 2005 / Accepted: 20 September 2005 / Published: 6 October 2005

Abstract: Some researchers believe that the psychological or consciousness arrow of time is a consequence of the thermodynamic arrow. Some don't. As for many issues in this area, the disagreement revolves about fundamental and undebatable assumptions. As a contribution to this standoff I consider the extent to which a computer---presumably governed by nothing more than the thermodynamic arrow---can be said to possess a psychological arrow. My contention is that the parallels are sufficiently strong as to leave little room for an independent psychological arrow. Reservations are nevertheless expressed on the complete objectivity of the thermodynamic arrow.

Keywords: time's arrows; two-time boundary condition; causality; cybernetics; computers.

PACS codes: 05.70.Ln, 89.75.-k

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