Free Will

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Re: Free Will

#8741  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 14, 2017 6:09 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
I have given examples in the past, of non-trivial decisions that can be freely willed. A few years ago, I mentioned the choice of FE college/university when you have had more than one offer. Of course, most decisions are not free will in action, but some (like the one I just mentined) can be.


Have you ever produced an example of a non-trivial decision that was anything but ammunition for justifying (or regretting) after the fact? Perhaps if you can avoid justification or regret, you can convince yourself your action was free, but then you better tell no one else that you freely chose it.

The moment of decision is madness.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#8742  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 14, 2017 6:10 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
John Platko wrote:Freedom does not require no constraints. Merely a viable set choices and the opportunity to choose from that set.


Always justified and only justified after the fact. That turns freedom into rationalization. I can see how some people get to that place.

So, you would chose a university/college of FE by sticking a pin in a board, then post-justifying it? :rofl:


I wouldn't apply to a school I didn't want to attend. Does that count? Again, that's inhibition, not action.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#8743  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 14, 2017 6:14 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
John Platko wrote:Freedom does not require no constraints. Merely a viable set choices and the opportunity to choose from that set.


Always justified and only justified after the fact. That turns freedom into rationalization. I can see how some people get to that place.

So, you would chose a university/college of FE by sticking a pin in a board, then post-justifying it? :rofl:


I wouldn't apply to a school I didn't want to attend. Does that count? Again, that's inhibition, not action.

More straw man arguments from you, I see. How surprising! :roll:
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Re: Free Will

#8744  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 14, 2017 6:16 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:

Always justified and only justified after the fact. That turns freedom into rationalization. I can see how some people get to that place.

So, you would chose a university/college of FE by sticking a pin in a board, then post-justifying it? :rofl:


I wouldn't apply to a school I didn't want to attend. Does that count? Again, that's inhibition, not action.

More straw man arguments from you, I see. How surprising! :roll:


No, just exposing another of your toy examples. Ruminate all you like. Repent at leisure.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#8745  Postby John Platko » Jul 14, 2017 7:12 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
John Platko wrote:Freedom does not require no constraints. Merely a viable set choices and the opportunity to choose from that set.


Always justified and only justified after the fact. That turns freedom into rationalization. I can see how some people get to that place.


:nono: Not always justified, i.e. sometimes there is no freedom - only justified when the conditions are met.
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Re: Free Will

#8746  Postby felltoearth » Jul 14, 2017 8:02 pm

The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?
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Re: Free Will

#8747  Postby scott1328 » Jul 14, 2017 8:05 pm

felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

The latter, if you accept that Romansh's incompatibilist formulation of free will (i.e non-contingent choice) is the only valid formulation.
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Re: Free Will

#8748  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 14, 2017 10:18 pm

We certainly retain a memory of the decision-making process we thought we were going through, but memory is kind of unreliable and so the rationale comes out after the fact. If one makes lots and lots of notes, one tends to get bogged down in later trying to see how the notes reflect the steps one really went through, and it just makes the rationalization that much more tedious. One does need that in order to be answerable to the boss. The result has to look good, whether it was 'free' or not. We could call it "deniable implausibility".
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#8749  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 15, 2017 3:16 pm

scott1328 wrote:
felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

The latter, if you accept that Romansh's incompatibilist formulation of free will (i.e non-contingent choice) is the only valid formulation.

Actually, the real answer is that it gives us a non-illusory, but limited free will, which only applies under the conditions that I have described numerous times in the free will threads (of which there are two, I believe).
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Re: Free Will

#8750  Postby romansh » Jul 16, 2017 3:00 pm

felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

I think we process information and retain information all the time. The processing of information is the following of an energy gradient.

I agree that that the mechanisms in the brain are very different but the brain mechanisms do follow an energy gradient; of course the oil drop did not follow the pH/energy gradient freely.

So the free part is the lack of recognition of the strings (energy gradients) or simply subtly redefining free will so as to be compatible with the energy gradients. Of course we have to be careful in redefining free will otherwise all sorts of unintended objects will have free will.
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Re: Free Will

#8751  Postby John Platko » Jul 16, 2017 5:34 pm

romansh wrote:
felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

I think we process information and retain information all the time. The processing of information is the following of an energy gradient.


:scratch: :scratch: :scratch: :eh: :what:

Care to show in detail how that works?

I need two avocados to make dinner, I have one avocado. How many avocados do I need to buy at the store?

Basic math 2-1=1.

Now show how the processing of that information is the following of an energy gradient. Are we talking joules? :roll:






I agree that that the mechanisms in the brain are very different but the brain mechanisms do follow an energy gradient; of course the oil drop did not follow the pH/energy gradient freely.

So the free part is the lack of recognition of the strings (energy gradients) or simply subtly redefining free will so as to be compatible with the energy gradients. Of course we have to be careful in redefining free will otherwise all sorts of unintended objects will have free will.
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Re: Free Will

#8752  Postby GrahamH » Jul 17, 2017 7:13 am

John Platko wrote:
Basic math 2-1=1.

Now show how the processing of that information is the following of an energy gradient. Are we talking joules? :roll:



It's a non-trivial task to produce such an account even for a basic binary adder circuit. Harder still for a decimal calculator and mind boggling at the level of speaking to Siri and getting an answer. Explaining the course of a river is also beyond such explanation at a detailed practical level. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's wrong.

Remember the domino logic? That is a way to think of computation as 'following an energy gradient. It could be quantified in Joules, if you like, although such a measure doesn't seem useful. It's the pattern of falling that counts, not the total drop height.
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Re: Free Will

#8753  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 17, 2017 8:17 am

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Basic math 2-1=1.

Now show how the processing of that information is the following of an energy gradient. Are we talking joules? :roll:



It's a non-trivial task to produce such an account even for a basic binary adder circuit. Harder still for a decimal calculator and mind boggling at the level of speaking to Siri and getting an answer. Explaining the course of a river is also beyond such explanation at a detailed practical level. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's wrong.

Remember the domino logic? That is a way to think of computation as 'following an energy gradient. It could be quantified in Joules, if you like, although such a measure doesn't seem useful. It's the pattern of falling that counts, not the total drop height.


David McC might try to tell you that if you had long enough to think about a problem, you'd always come up with the right answer. Even if you didn't get it right, the wrong answer is still freely chosen.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#8754  Postby GrahamH » Jul 17, 2017 8:28 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Basic math 2-1=1.

Now show how the processing of that information is the following of an energy gradient. Are we talking joules? :roll:



It's a non-trivial task to produce such an account even for a basic binary adder circuit. Harder still for a decimal calculator and mind boggling at the level of speaking to Siri and getting an answer. Explaining the course of a river is also beyond such explanation at a detailed practical level. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's wrong.

Remember the domino logic? That is a way to think of computation as 'following an energy gradient. It could be quantified in Joules, if you like, although such a measure doesn't seem useful. It's the pattern of falling that counts, not the total drop height.


David McC might try to tell you that if you had long enough to think about a problem, you'd always come up with the right answer. Even if you didn't get it right, the wrong answer is still freely chosen.



I got the impression that free will was about deliberating long enough to find the right answer. Doing the thing that stops the gun to your head killing you is free will, apparently. The wrong answer isn't free will, it's habit or instinct or ignorance or just bad luck.

That is rather the opposite of the religios notion of freedom as excuse for failure, where ignorance plays an important role.
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Re: Free Will

#8755  Postby John Platko » Jul 17, 2017 1:48 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Basic math 2-1=1.

Now show how the processing of that information is the following of an energy gradient. Are we talking joules? :roll:



It's a non-trivial task to produce such an account even for a basic binary adder circuit.


Non-trivial but doable for a specific binary adder circuit implemented in a specific technology. With computer simulation I can imagine how one can track how the energy slushes around. And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.

But that is very different than showing how the processing of that information is following an energy gradient in the general case as opposed to specific cases with specific implementations. I doubt if I used a binary adder in my brain to figure out I needed another avocado.

Actually, it seems to me that it would be pretty easy to design binary adders that could make the energy gradients go in different ways for the same problem by controlling: how the information is encoded, what technology is used, and the details of the circuit.



Harder still for a decimal calculator and mind boggling at the level of speaking to Siri and getting an answer. Explaining the course of a river is also beyond such explanation at a detailed practical level. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it's wrong.

Remember the domino logic? That is a way to think of computation as 'following an energy gradient. It could be quantified in Joules, if you like, although such a measure doesn't seem useful. It's the pattern of falling that counts, not the total drop height.
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Re: Free Will

#8756  Postby GrahamH » Jul 17, 2017 2:48 pm

John Platko wrote:
Non-trivial but doable for a specific binary adder circuit implemented in a specific technology. With computer simulation I can imagine how one can track how the energy slushes around. And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


'Imagine'? Well sure, I can 'imagine' that computer simulations and neural scanners could, in principle, track how the energy slushes around in a brain working out some basic arithmetic. Actually doing it in either case is going to be bloody difficult but the brain is surely many orders of magnitude more difficult. The question you would have to answer is whether either is actually impossible in principle, rather than 'imaging' it is impossible.
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Re: Free Will

#8757  Postby John Platko » Jul 17, 2017 3:04 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Non-trivial but doable for a specific binary adder circuit implemented in a specific technology. With computer simulation I can imagine how one can track how the energy slushes around. And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


'Imagine'? Well sure, I can 'imagine' that computer simulations and neural scanners could, in principle, track how the energy slushes around in a brain working out some basic arithmetic. Actually doing it in either case is going to be bloody difficult but the brain is surely many orders of magnitude more difficult. The question you would have to answer is whether either is actually impossible in principle, rather than 'imaging' it is impossible.


I said:

And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


But the same cannot be said today about how the brain figures out how many avocados I need to buy at the store. :nono:

I need not answer why it is impossible in principle, the one proposing there is meaning in their wibble needs to demonstrate why it is not merely wibble - good luck with that! :picard:
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Re: Free Will

#8758  Postby GrahamH » Jul 17, 2017 4:44 pm

John Platko wrote:
I said:

And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


Yes, you claimed that, but it's just your imagination, not something you can actually do or have done. You didn't offer any method for doing it. But still, your failure does not at all suggest it could not be done. Ditto for brains.
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Re: Free Will

#8759  Postby John Platko » Jul 17, 2017 5:24 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
I said:

And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


Yes, you claimed that, but it's just your imagination, not something you can actually do or have done. You didn't offer any method for doing it. But still, your failure does not at all suggest it could not be done. Ditto for brains.


It is in your imagination that I can't do it. It is not difficult to accurately model the electric potential energy changes in a binary adder circuit. But that is very different than showing how the processing of that information is following an energy gradient in the general case as opposed to a specific simple case with a specific implementation.

The original claim was:

romansh wrote:
felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

I think we process information and retain information all the time. The processing of information is the following of an energy gradient. ...


It's not up to me to substantiate that claim :nono: , that's for romansh to do. And I certainly have no need to refute wibble - which at the moment is where the claim stands.

:popcorn:
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Re: Free Will

#8760  Postby GrahamH » Jul 18, 2017 8:07 am

John Platko wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
I said:

And I wouldn't have to just imagine, I could actually detail the energy changes in the circuit if I had enough reason to.


Yes, you claimed that, but it's just your imagination, not something you can actually do or have done. You didn't offer any method for doing it. But still, your failure does not at all suggest it could not be done. Ditto for brains.


It is in your imagination that I can't do it. It is not difficult to accurately model the electric potential energy changes in a binary adder circuit. But that is very different than showing how the processing of that information is following an energy gradient in the general case as opposed to a specific simple case with a specific implementation.

The original claim was:

romansh wrote:
felltoearth wrote:The more I read this thread and the more I think about, free will without the capacity to retain or process knowledge would be a pretty poor survival strategy.
So then, does our capacity to retain and process knowledge mean that we possess free will or does our capacity to retain and process knowledge create an illusion of free will?

I think we process information and retain information all the time. The processing of information is the following of an energy gradient. ...


It's not up to me to substantiate that claim :nono: , that's for romansh to do. And I certainly have no need to refute wibble - which at the moment is where the claim stands.

:popcorn:


A inary adder is merely the simplest instance on what is proposed as a scale of complexity. As I stated, we can handle the deomino logic for simple arithmetic, but somewhere not far down the road we lose the thread. You position amounts to denying that the brain operates in any way comparable to the physics cascade of the dominos or transistor gates and you therefore reject romansh's claim. As I see it his claim is not unreasonable, on the face of it. A more complex cascade for sure and too complex for you or I to wrap our heads around in those terms, but you got nowhere with relating an interaction with Siri about recipes, ingredients, food stocks and where to buy avocados. Just because you can't do that does not invalidate the hypothesis. Given that evident difficulty romansh's inability to demonstrate it also does not invalidate his hypothesis.
I have no problem with you not accepting a hypothesis that cannot be supported empirically, We know brains are physical systems and we have some clues to how they 'process information' Every indication is that they as subject to the laws of thermodynamics as everything else, i.e they follow local energy gradients.

It's a different perspective and perhaps it's not a useful one but there might be something interesting about it.
Why do you think that?
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