figuring out the true reason why the Universe has differentiation.

ther’s been some good intellectual discussion here. It’s like being at that noisy drunken party and being in the corner with a few random people figuring out the true reason why the Universe has differentiation. It’s possible to have a good discussion anywhere.

==

I can’t buy lack of free will arguments . We can measure some things that go into our will, but are these decisions predetermined or choiceless in nature? It just doesn’t seem reasonable.

==

There we go. Sent my opinion to 15,552 ppl + whoever . How many will see it? I dunno.

and  The reason why “no combination will bring free will” is because it’s not measuring everything. It just means the tools it’s using to measure free will with are limited.

It’s one thing to say “We don’t know” or “Isn’t measurable using our metrics” and another thing to say “It 100% does not exist period.”

===

It’s not at all comparable to a puppet.

Does a puppet move without a hand? No.

===

oh god not mystical sam harris no. i’ve been through is stuff b4, no thanks.

the people lacking free will are the people that buy into his mysticism.

===

Wrong’s wrong. Sam Harris suffers from the delusion that was common at the end of the 19th century that we’ve “almost got it nearly all figured out, and since we nearly have it all figured out, it’s close enough to saying we have it all figured out”.

===

Let’s round Pi to 3. Good enough to build with, right?

===

What caused it was believing a guy that told them it doesn’t exist.

==

Of course there are constraints Dutch. That doesn’t make it not free. Ever hear of degrees of freedom?

===

What are my predetermined constraints for the argument that I’m allowed to make about free will?

===

Should I stay in a particular University field, such as Philosophy? Is the “law of non-contradiction” (created by Aristotle) a pre-requisite?

===

There’s a theoretical [set of possibilities] for any potential configuration of any human brain. Within that set is are several subsets of configurations.

One subset of configurations helped create Logic. Another subset of configurations helped create the computers we use today. Another subset will create the AI that seems to surpass human potential.

But the most we can hope for (which will be pretty damned amazing nonetheless) is that it can explore parts of the entire [set of possibilities] for all humans of all times, which could bring us into future discoveries SOONER than we would on our own.

That’s where a good AI will shine, bringing future human discoveries closer to today.

=====

The human creates it with its own assumptions and those assumptions will be built into the machine and its programming, whether the human is aware of it or not.

These assumptions will place constraints upon the potential of AI – absolute constraints that the AI itself can’t overcome unless some alien has a different way of thinking than humans are capable of and they start tinkering with it.
====

Possibly. I’ll give it a “possibly”. There’s definitely some potential that a creation with a different set of potentials due to its physical and chemical makeup *could* conceivably break free of the limitations of its algorithms.

A lot will depend on what programming language was used.

===

I know how the processes work, that’s CogSci 101. But you’re neglecting self-organizing systems that extend beyond Pavlovian or Skinner Behaviorism.

===

Skinner would LOVE Sam Harris and Dutch. I respect Skinner but he created extreme constraints upon “what is allowed” that artificially limited the potential of his results.

===

You’re mixing things up here. “Brain of a psychopath”: Is it proven that all psychopaths have the same brain configurations, or that all psychopathy is from birth?

Or is psychopathy an “after the fact” diagnosis based upon observation of behavior?

=—-

What can be found is limited by the measuring tools used and limited by the assumptions of “what are acceptable criteria”.

Where’s the Sam Harris introspection? He uses it. You’re using it. Where’s it at in this schema? There’s no room for it because it’s not an external observable. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It means it’s not being measured.

-====

Randomness = a metaphor for a Calvinistic God or Greek Fates.

====

Which current definition? “You can’t choose what didn’t occur to you?” Well, of course. There are constraints upon the system. But within those constraints, you have free will.

Are you saying because I can’t think like a Dolphin I have no free will?

=====

Yes, you’re stating the obvious: There are biological constraints within which we operate.

These constraints do not negate free will. Rather, they place limitations within which we can operate.

====

sure you do. I have a keen awareness of a number of choices in front of me at all times. This is due to getting anti-stuttering training when I was in 3rd grade – created a little “pause before speaking”. At 11, I had biofeedback training to control anxiety. It “widened” that space some more.

Through the decades, I’ve developed this space that allows me to analyze what’s in front of me, what’s happening within me, physically and mentally, and bringing them all together to make decisions with.

Can I control my unconscious? Not directly but I can influence what it brings forth.

Can I choose EVERYTHING? No. There are constraints.

Within those constraints, I have free will. Within those constraints, I have discretion. I can control my desire through stillness, calm clear mind. People have been doing it for thousands of years and it’s simple enough techniques of breathing, being cognizant and such.

=====

Nobody’s free of constraints. Free will does not mean free of constraints.

===

Randomness. The magic bullet. Might as well say it’s a Calvinistic God, totally out of our hands, in control by this magical randomness demigod.

====

Replace the word God (with the Calvinistic understanding of pre-determination) where you say Randomness.

Does the logic work? It does. You’re engaging in magical thinking.

====

Sam Harris is a popular modern mystic, somewhat better than Deepak but nonetheless, selling the same basic “the Universe is guiding you” but replacing it with “Randomness makes it out of your hands.” (implying that we should trust the Random).

===

a more scientific approach is to measure what we can and leave it at that.

===

Your argument rests upon a piece of magic that you’re blind to. I’m pointing it out.

====

I determine my responses situation by situation.

You’re saying I can’t control the externals that come at me and that my [set of potential responses] is restricted to a particular [set].

that’s true. Within that set is my free will.

===

No. That would only be true if I had a singular response to every event.

====

Look at the interior surface of a sphere.

That sphere is bounded. You are within that sphere. Now you are a flatlander. The sphere is 3D.

The bounded sphere is larger than you can travel in your entire lifetime.

Within that sphere, your choices are unlimited and appear infinite.

Yes, there are bounds and constraints. But they’re not puppet strings.

===

That’s what you keep saying. You found an unprovable axiom that works for you. It has evidence behind it, yes. But is it enough? No.

===

I understand your argument quite perfectly Dutch. It’s also wrong.

===

Yes, under lab conditions with predetermined constraints upon their choices.

But hi? This isn’t a lab.

===

Being able to measure certain choices before being consciously aware of them is not the nail in the coffin for free will. It means some aspects of will are measurable. This is good. I hope they find more.

===

I studied Sam Harris and didn’t buy into his doctrine. I understand why people are easily convinced by it, but it’s not enough.

====

Now, the Neurolaw guy is probably the worst thing to come along in decades. He’s shifted opinion significantly enough that in Italy, people who have committed crimes (a few domestic violence cases that I’m aware of), were acquitted because they quoted him and shook a few brain scans at the jury and judge.

I won’t get into the problems with fMRI here. But technology isn’t ready yet for this type of shift nor the courts.

====

There are situations where we follow stereotyped patterns, like frogs deciding on eating a fly or jumping.

But we can choose to not follow those stereotyped patterns.

===

Here’s the flaw, Dutch:

a) A vague set of behaviors are measured and given a name within Psychology.

b) Cognitive Psychology uses these vaguely observed behaviors and those given the title of being [x], have the blood flows measured in their brain to create patterns on film.

c) this film is compared to others with the same designation.

d) correlation is found.

e) So this vague set of behaviors with a name is associated with a particular brain flow pattern.

Now my question:

If all people are measured with the same machines, will you find the same brain flow patterns in people who do NOT exhibit symptoms from a) ?

If so, why did they not behave like those who received the name [x] based upon a vague set of behaviors?

====

Shall I draw a chart with boxes and lines? That makes it easier for some people.

===

I understand why people are convinced by it. It’s good strong rhetoric.

====

Not necessarily. You have to assent to it.

===

Conspiracy theorists follow very convincing arguments to their probable conclusion and assent to it as truth.

They’re also wrong because the arguments may have been convincing in a closed-world situation, but we’re not in a closed world where the only facts available are those presented within a thought experiment.

====

I had friends that were learning to make documentary films back in 1990/91 at a very liberal arts college.

I learned something about documentaries and also something about people.

Who are the easiest people to convince? The logical people.

You just have to present a limiting set of evidence and tie them together with a phrase:

“What if” [or “let’s suppose”]

Now to the logical person, all of the evidence points to the conclusion.

But the reality is this: The evidence didn’t build up to the conclusion. The “what ifs” are what let up to the conclusion.

One “what if” after another. It ‘feels like’ evidence to the logical thinker, but it’s not because the power of rhetoric is not in what’s said, it’s all of the information left out.

====

intuitively true upon introspection = “seems to me”.

===

From your perspective, I can have no other option.

===

You choose to ignore what doesn’t fit into the model you choose to accept. That’s ok.

===

I’s nice you found a model that ‘works for you’. I’m still in the process of building mine.

===

Did I? I must have missed it. Here’s what I see: You’re talking the Sam Harris Groupie talk. He’s a smart guy, marvelous, and very inspirational to a lot of people. I think its wonderful in a lot of ways. But he’s a mystic to me.

But if you have something I missed, show me again and I’ll give it another shot.

—–

It might even be possible hat we have no free will. I’m open to that possibility.

But Sam Harris’ arguments, while convincing to many, and I understand many of the reasons why they are, were not to me.

====

I’ve seen his talks on free will before. About two years ago I was in some heavy debates with people over Sam Harris, and SOMEWHERE in my notes, I have the fundamental flaws in his assumptions.

I should find them. I doubt I’d convince you – the probability is small because you’re a man convinced already of a particular template to work within.

But I’m aware of his arguments.

====

I never said “free of constraint”. The constraints are givens. We’re humans. Subject to gravity. Products of evolutionary processes. Our briains are formed without our consent. Many of our choices before the age of 7 or so help construct us in ways we have a hard time remembering, once the “social influx” happens around 7-8 years old and we receive our first “period of mass forgetting”.

There’s an AMAZING amount of constraints upon our imagination.

But those very same constraints are what provide us our freedoms.

===

Fate. There’s the Calvinist God and Greek Fates mysticis popping up again.

===

I type pweipiewj – is that necessity or fate?

====

Have you ever weighed out a decision or do you go with the first thing that comes to mind?

====

Most of consciousness is this, Dutch:

Ignoring stuff.

Consider that for a moment.

===

Who does the ignoring? Just gears and levers, weights and measures?

===

haha, you don’t live with anxiety issues and a very keen introspective mind.

I’m aware at any given moment of the status of my toes, my glasses, my weight upon the chair I’m sitting on, the pressure I’m putting on the keys as I type, the feeling of the wind as it blows through the open porch, the feeling of prickles on the front of my left leg that just arrived.

I’m conscious of ignoring stimuli most of the time. It’s a lot of work. Also, keeps my overactive brain occupied.

===

It’s very likely that I’m somewhere on the autistic spectrum, or perhaps ADHD – I don’t know. But things are fully conscious for me that most people APPARENTLY don’t have to think about. Lucky them.

===

Of course. I also didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t ask to be man. I didn’t ask to have my parents. These things are obvious.

Also, explain How is observation not authorship?

—-

You made the statement. It is illogical. It sounds clever but sounds like clever nonsense.

====

Of course the majority is out of my control. Systems function without my input. Most systems function without my input. But I still have my input.

===

I can watch emotions fly by. My body and mind can go through the processes that they go through when I’m sad for example. I can watch them go by. I can also influence them if I choose to. I can even stop them.

It’s not difficult.

====

You keep repeating the mantra of randomness and determination as if it makes it true through the repeating of it. It doesnt.

I choose the desire to influence my emotions because “I want”.

I want to have self-control. I can also choose not to. The choice is mine to make, not the choice of randomness nor the choice of determination.

===

I weight it out in my mind. My auditory loop is in constant motion. My subvocalizing runs at top speed and I weigh different factors out. Sometimes it’s comparing pictures. Some times it’s music. Constantly processing.

====

The experience of experiencing is something I’m always doing. Feels like being an alien on this planet sometimes but it’s pretty awesome.

===

You’ve given me a thought experiment. Thought experiments are fictional with no basis in reality.

=—-

“What if?” “Let’s suppose”…

===

They’re built out of whatever components are available and what systems are enacted at the time, to put it vaguely.

These provide affordances within which I can operate.

====

Of course I didn’t. Didn’t ask to be born either. Didn’t build the socioeconomic structure in the society I’m born within.

But I’m responsible within it.

====

We don’t know all of the causes. We know some. They’re not enough. You know what would convince me that there’s no free will?

Tell me what I’m thinking next Tuesday at 6:38pm or what I thought last Friday at 2am. Compute that.

===

I believe in a physical Universe. There’s no illusion. There’s systems and processes.

===

Not happy with what you get so it doesn’t exist at all?

===

Is deliberation determined or random?

====

Your dispositions and inputs provide constraints upon your degrees of freedom. But you have degrees of freedom.

====

You can chose your disposition. Also, others can choose to change your disposition. It’s called learning.

===

I exert plenty of control over the external world. I don’t like knocking things over when I eat supper. I decided one day to move the glass i’m drinking from out of the reach of my arm. Now, I don’t knock it over. I learned.

===

You don’t start with a blank slate. But you can choose to modify the slate as you go along.

====

You know the answer to every why? A story. Someone tells you a convincing story that you believe, then that’s your answer.

===

Why do you indeed? You’re you, I’m not you.

====

Man, bunch of victims of circumstance here.

-=—

Perhaps that is where we differ. I believe in an internal locus of control – not of every single event in the universe, but that which I can influence.

=====

I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when I was born. From the age of 2-4 I went to a cerebral palsy center to learn to control my body and choices.

They’d roll me on a ball and I’d fall flat on my face. With training, I’d put my hands out and stop myself. The “oh no that hurts stop that” wasn’t automatic. It had to be made conscious for me and it was.

By the age of 5, I was going to regular school with no signs of it. My case wasn’t that bad.

Maybe this puts me in a different position than you guys, I dunno. I don’t think I’m special. But I do have a different background – one where conscious choice over what I “can” always took priority over what I “can’t”.

Randomness or determination to my disposition? Learning? It happened before the age of 7 when neuroplasticity was at its peak.

====

The idea of passively laying back and saying “determination or randomness” is illogical to me entirely.

====

I live in my head and have an overly keen awareness of all the inputs coming at me and from within.

It’s a VERY VERY noisy place in here, full of activity all of the time.

Within this space, I have to continually be aware of everything.

And Dutch Hollind ? You’re going back to thought experiment land again The land of fiction and fantasy.

I WASN’T born in an aboriginal tribe. Fact. Do I KNOW that they wouldn’t get adequate therapy? No I do not.
===
I have ONE perspective I can answer: Mine.
===
That’s probably a “locus of control” difference between us.

It’s affordances. Degrees of freedom available to me from within which to work within.
===
You keep applying “You” and trying to map it onto “me”.
===
When I was born, I was in an incubator for three months. My mother asked the nurse my chances of survival. She said, “You see those babies over there? They just lay there, not moving much, making no sound.

But look over at your son? He’s kicking, complaining, pulling the wires out. He’s a fighter. He’ll survive “. I did.

Now, this is the narrative I’ve received. It’s shaped the way I think. But it’s also presumably a fact.
====

I don’t know why they didn’t survive and I did. The nurse said my kicking and screaming was a sign of survival. I survived. When I was a teenager, my mother told me that story. That’s all I know.
==
Oh, the English common law system based upon “reason” which America modified is based upon old science and needs to be modified.
===

====

You guys seems to be slaves to this determination/randomness argument.

===

Those people using free will to justify those opinions are wrong.

But free will is entirely an illusion is delusional.

====

Better a scientific, honest “We don’t know but let’s be compassionate because it’s been determined in these cases that the constraints upon their free will was so great than they were obliged to carry out the actions they did”.

That would be good evidence.

====

Our justice system rests upon old science that needs modifications. But the 180 degree shift is unnecessary and dangerous. It puts different people in charge of fates.

====

Here’s some more constraints upon free will: Morality, sense of justice, sense of fairness. There’s tons.

===

That wasn’t a rape case. That was a theoretical artificial construct used for rhetorical purposes.

====

I like Foucault  his way of working with clarity and obscurity of overlapping systems is marvelous and inspirational and helped me through a roadblock once.

But his free will argument was where he went a little far for my taste.

====

He liked pushing the envelope of social systems. He had an external locus of control.

===

In Byzantium, Rhetoric was the highest learning in the University of Constantinople. It’s not Rhetoric as we know it today but rather it was the crown of everything else. My choice to say “You can go if you’re bored” was a conscious one, strategic. This isn’t bragging, just a statement of the power of rhetoric and perhaps a SLIGHT tip of the hat of ‘proof’ towards your claims of no free will.

===

If you introspect what your reasons were for staying – follow the chain of causation, the emotions that emerged, the go/no go decision at the end, it’s good stuff. That ‘double-loop learning” model you saw earlier is kind of a roadmap of a portion of my brain that’s always chugging away.

—–

[apologies for the high-horse-ness there – I’ll come back to the group. I just wanted to make a meta-point real quick]

=====

Quite true. Truth be told, I’m 90% of the way towards a “no free will” stance.

But that other 10% is a bitch. I’ve gone through the philosophy on it. I’m a huge fan of CogPsych and study it when I can. Embodied Cognition is a stance I can stand behind, and THAT COULD be conceivably used in a no-free will argument almost successfully.

But, Sam Harris didn’t cut the mustard. Haven’t found one that does yet.

—–

 

My favorite answer to every question is “I don’t know”. I like it better than randomness – I don’t like giving a demigod power to a dictionary word. It sometimes pisses people off, but that’s their problem

====

I don’t think I’m flawed. I’m a perfect ‘me’, whatever that is. I try to become a better ‘me’ as much as I can, but I don’t think I was worse before, if that makes any sense.

====

We bring the entire universe into us.

[and what we bring in, *is* the entire Universe for us]

===

Alan Watts – love him to pieces but he had one or two flaws in his reasoning.

Betterment is an upward and outward spiral. I’m not less good before because I’m better now.

 

====

 

My goal is simply to become more of who I am.
Who am I? I am who I am.
Sounds like a circle but it’s more like an internal evolution, to move from a geometric to a biology metaphor.

I went through a major Alan Watts phase a few decades ago (I’m 44) and he was very useful and helpful to me. Love him to pieces. His “You are the Universe” bit and his stuff on awareness and experience is fantastic.

===

Thanks Dutch – means a lot to me, especially have to the heavy debate we had :)

Oh acid – been too long. I can trip just by thinking about it, but it’s a great experience for those who it’s great for.

Strange thing is: I never know for sure if anything I’m thinking about is Universal. It’s why I talk to people. Debate. Discuss. I know my perspective – I live through it not just when I wake, but also within my dreams.

But what about others? Do I resonate? No idea. So, I keep communicating.

-=—

Past three years (since April ’13) I’ve been on a conscious effort to understand my own consciousness. The processes and how they function for me from my own internal perspective.

I spent three months literally collecting my thoughts. I used index cards and a pen. Had them scattered. A pile by my computer, in the bathroom in the car, by my dresser.

And I decided to write. Every single thought.

Every one. Ended up with thousands of cards.

Started to winnow down after three months. No idea what to do with it all. But it jump started this process of attempting to tie myself together with myself – my present to my past, to the people around me that I communicate with, mostly online. It’s intoxicating.

——

Writing is very useful. Even if you never refer to it again, the process of writing seems to ‘fix’ it in your mind in some way. Shoots back to the subconscious and the processes that happen pull it forward when necessary. [I think of it as ‘my machine’].

Awareness is key. Simple tricks help. One of mine is just to look away from what I’m doing. Just turn my head to the left, and look “out”. Look at the furthest thing away. Bring it in.

Notice how your body changes when you do that. Your breathing slows down. Your muscles relax a little.

====

Own your perspective. Nobody else will have it. No statistic can measure it. It’s yours and yours alone.

=—

I wish I could give some examples at the moment, but I was involved in a long and fruitful debate on free will for the last several hours, which had a surprising twist at the end to me, made a new friend, and that was the last thing I said.

How I intended it was “useful advice for self-mastery”… betterment… self.esteem… that kind of thing. I liked how it sounded, so I shared it here too.

====

Well, it can *also* include changing it upon fuller awareness. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to be trapped to a “prior you” perspective if it’s no longer suitable, like old shoes when your feet have grown.

===

 

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