there’s the uniquenesses to contend with

To what level of precision? A sketchy workable model is certainly possible, if not now, in the near future. But even with that, there’s the uniquenesses to contend with that might not necessarily fall into mathematical patterns.

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The trouble with binary though is an inherent limitation:
Law of Excluded Middle.

There’s a lot going on in that excluded middle. smile emoticon

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But our imagination has to be taken into account as well, as well as our fictions and fantasies. Otherwise, you’d have to have a separate realm for such things, for those things that do not reduce to binary form, otherwise you’d excluding an existing part of the Universe, and by exclusion, you cannot then call it a “Universal program”.

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That’s the thing. I don’t think we’ll get beyond the most BASIC of basic models, the equivalent of a crayon drawing in computer form, of the Universe. If we do, it certainly won’t be for a very very long time.

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But we already have algorithms that do some of that. But being able to imitate it doesn’t remove it. It’s just a working model that we understand. Without the subjective, it’s incomplete.

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Here’s an example: You don’t need a computer for this one:

Scripts.

People tend to follow unconscious scripts in day to day life.

They get it from roleplaying as kids, movies, watching the world around them. As kids become adults, they practice these scripts frequently. Many of our decisions are based upon these scripts that we learned young. We believe them to be “the way things are”.

But following a script does not invalidate free will.

You can predict a lot of people’s behaviors once you learn their patterns.

But it’s those that do not follow the scripts as much that prove the existence of free will.

It’ll be easy to get a computer to imitate stereotyped patterns. We do much of it already.

But get it to imitate my brain? You’d need a LOT of matching of unique analogies to get there, as I tend to be kinda weird. tongue emoticon

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It’s a thought experiment though. [pun not intended, although it fits]:

We don’t HAVE a computer to do that. It’s important to remember we’re dealing in fictions here.

What is _actually_ true at present?

We chose. Many of our choices are reduced heavily by constraints. [I mentioned scripts as one example of constraint – following stereotyped patterns – habits of ways of thought]… but there are others that could be used like drug or medical equipment or implants.

BUT: given ALL of the constraints, there’s still ‘something there’ that makes the choices.

This is where constructivist logic fails.

When we make choices, there are multiple overlapping considerations that go into play. Things we’re barely aware of, other thing we’re fully conscious of.

Our bodies play a huge part in our thinking processes a well.

Our intestines seem to a good portion of our thinking for us, for example.

But… I have a bias: I tend towards embodied cognition over “brains in vats” or “souls in bodies” or “software in biological computer”.

There may be strong computational elements but I think treating the social and environmental aspects as separate rather than interrelated parts of a whole that cannot be entirely separated… we’ll always be missing a huge part of how we function.

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Or in short: we have to be strongly aware of the metaphors and analogies that we’re putting into play when making considerations such as free will. Remember: We patterned the computer after our understanding of the brain, so by “back-analogizing” the brain-as-computer we’re doing it backwards.

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From a behavioralist standpoint, this is true. Skinner would be proud [and I’m actually a fan of his dedication to objectivity, although I think he took it too far].

It strikes me though that what you’re speaking of is habit vs conscious decision.

It’s hard for me to imagine having Cartesian free will without external influence though.

I’m a very hands-on, tangible person. I can do thought experiments to a point, but my mind has trouble putting a split between “what’s really here” vs a thought experiment.

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Well, anytime discussions of free will and the concept of free will being removed by an objective perspective, my mind goes right to Skinner and Behaviorism. I see the computational modelling of cognition as an extension of Skinnerism.

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Yes yes yes, I know you got a thing about the God thing. I’ll be honest: it was on purpose to draw out those who could overlook my choice of the word God vs those that couldn’t unsee it. A ‘tad’ trollish on my part smile emoticon

But here:

“Nature simply is”.

So is what it is, does what it does. Seems ok by me. People have said the same thing about God.

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I don’t think it must necessarily stand in opposition to the external.

We see it that way TRADITIONALLY of course: I believe that’s likely due to Plato and, well, most of 2500 yrs of Western Civ thinking.

But what about cooperating-with the external and the external cooperating-with the internal -in short, erasure of the barrier?

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