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Author Topic:   Is the future inevitable?
ProtoTypical
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Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 46 of 109 (774245)
12-15-2015 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Tangle
12-14-2015 9:10 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
could choose to do something or not on the toss of a coin - there would then be a 50% chance of the two worlds differing.

If you flip a coin and it is heads and then you flip the coin in exactly the same way again it will also be heads because you did it the same way. Identical is identical. Don't you think that we could get a machine to always flip heads?

Eh? It's already been said that electrons are identical. Is there only one of them then?

Identical entities do not behave differently from each other. There can only be one thing at one place at one time. So 2 things that are identical in every respect except for their location in space and time are not identical in the same way that a back wound universe would be identical to itself.


This message is a reply to:
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 47 of 109 (774246)
12-15-2015 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by caffeine
12-14-2015 1:25 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Would you prefer 'conguent' to 'identical'?

No I think that if we want to describe 2 things that are the same in every respect then identical is the word.

Wasn't all the talk of quantum physics and hidden variables supposed to demonstrate that they would (diverge), because particles behave non-deterministically at a quantum level?

That is the argument but I am asking how we can possibly know that given that it is impossible to reproduce any experiment that is affected by the time at which it is conducted.

I admit that I do not understand how Bell's Theorem proves that there can be no undiscovered variables. I mean how do we exclude dark matter or dark energy or gravity waves or neutrino interference or things that we have not discovered as possible confounders? As we bring our atomic clocks to an accuracy of 1 second in 200 million yrs doesn't this speak to some serious consistency in the way that molecules behave?


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 48 of 109 (774250)
12-15-2015 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Jon
12-14-2015 9:46 PM


Re: Two Points...

Only science can answer the question of whether the Universe we inhabit is deterministic and whether we ourselves, and other living sentient beings, have the ability to overcome such determinism

It surprises me that the idea of free will was even considered by the likes of Bell and Einstein when they were doing their sums. It strikes me as a bias to be worried about the ramifications of a deterministic universe on the concept of human free will when researching the nature of determinism.

Anyway, I am not sure that a perfectly deterministic universe destroys free will or personal responsibility. A random number generator uses rules to produce random numbers.


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 Message 45 by Jon, posted 12-14-2015 9:46 PM Jon has responded

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 Message 49 by Jon, posted 12-15-2015 9:26 AM ProtoTypical has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 109 (774251)
12-15-2015 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by ProtoTypical
12-15-2015 8:51 AM


Re: Two Points...
A random number generator uses rules to produce random numbers.

Meaning they're not really random.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by ProtoTypical, posted 12-15-2015 8:51 AM ProtoTypical has responded

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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 4.3


(1)
Message 50 of 109 (774252)
12-15-2015 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Jon
12-15-2015 9:26 AM


Re: Two Points...
Meaning that they are unpredictable.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Jon, posted 12-15-2015 9:26 AM Jon has responded

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Tangle
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Posts: 5252
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 51 of 109 (774257)
12-15-2015 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by ProtoTypical
12-15-2015 8:19 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
PT writes:

If you flip a coin and it is heads and then you flip the coin in exactly the same way again it will also be heads because you did it the same way. Identical is identical. Don't you think that we could get a machine to always flip heads?

Then all you've done is predetermined the worlds by definition. That isn't the question. If you eliminate all possibility of randomness in both universes, then of course everything pans out the same. That was made clear right at the beginning. You've just defined it away - It's hardly a puzzle worth proposing.

And of course, if I flip a coin in an absolutely identical way in both universes then there is no free will.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by ProtoTypical, posted 12-15-2015 8:19 AM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 109 (774263)
12-15-2015 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by ProtoTypical
12-15-2015 9:29 AM


Re: Two Points...
Meaning that they are unpredictable.

No they aren't. There are rules that determine which number gets generated next. Know those rules and you can predict the next number.


Love your enemies!

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 Message 50 by ProtoTypical, posted 12-15-2015 9:29 AM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2732
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 53 of 109 (774273)
12-15-2015 12:41 PM


here we go again....
Identical universes hmmmmmm.

Does identical universes open the can of worms of stochastic drift and QM uncertainty principle, multiverses, probabilities and etc...
Its a crap shoot, (heh) see what I did there?

I believe the universe is deterministic but it is so incredibly complicated in how every single event sparks zillions of other events on and on. It is for all intents and purposes indeterminate.
As far as human free will is concerned, it has been shown that the thing in your brain sitting in the "consciousness" chair, that you call YOU is actually not in the driver seat instead is directed by our subconscious brain. But that's ok too because the time between choices and choice is a few seconds so we get to maintain the illusion of being in charge. We may be like machines operating in a deterministic world that through cause and effect manipulates how we interface with reality. This sounds rather like there is no free will. But I contend it is just a matter of how you look at it. The ghost in the machine may reside within the quantum world.

What intrigues me the is the idea of the brain possibly being a quantum computer. So far no experiments bear this out. The hypothesis is that there are quantum level entanglements in the microtubules of our brains resulting in consciousness.

The jury is still out on this one, but it is one of the last bastion of hope the free willers myself included.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/...ill-vs-programmed-brain


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

Replies to this message:
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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1360
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 54 of 109 (774283)
12-15-2015 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by 1.61803
12-15-2015 12:41 PM


Re: here we go again....
As far as human free will is concerned, it has been shown that the thing in your brain sitting in the "consciousness" chair, that you call YOU is actually not in the driver seat instead is directed by our subconscious brain.

It has been asserted; it has not been shown. I find these experiments unconvincing of anything, as the idea that we're able to report the moment at which we decide to act with accuracy measured in fractions of seconds is absurd. I suspect that the conclusion is right, but don't see how this experiment is supposed to demonstrate it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by 1.61803, posted 12-15-2015 12:41 PM 1.61803 has responded

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 Message 56 by 1.61803, posted 12-15-2015 6:04 PM caffeine has responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1360
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 55 of 109 (774288)
12-15-2015 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by ProtoTypical
12-15-2015 8:20 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
I admit that I do not understand how Bell's Theorem proves that there can be no undiscovered variables.

I've been trying to read some about Bell's theorem, and whilst I'm a bit confused it seems that it doesn't. What it is supposed to prove is that there can be no undiscovered local variables. If, however, your extra variables allow an event somewhere to have a causal effect somewhere else in less time than you could travel between the two at the speed of light, then such an undiscovered variable is not disproven. It has been suggested, for example, that information could be passed through higher dimensions in which two points are close to one another, despite being distantly separated in normal space.

I'm struggling to grasp this, so I may have badly mangled the above!


This message is a reply to:
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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2732
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 56 of 109 (774297)
12-15-2015 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by caffeine
12-15-2015 2:12 PM


Re: here we go again....
Hi Caffeine,

Here is more recent paper published in Nature April 2008
here

It seems to indicate at least seven full seconds of lag time before the conscious mind is aware and decides to do what the subconscious tells it to do.

Another article published 2013.
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/15/6217.abstract
Click on PDF to read the paper.

This may not be the end all of proving no free will, but it does seem to do more than mere assertion that the conscious mind is driving all our decisions and that the subconscious is doing it a full seven seconds before our conscious mind gets the memo.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by caffeine, posted 12-15-2015 2:12 PM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11855
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 57 of 109 (774298)
12-15-2015 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by caffeine
12-15-2015 3:23 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
I've been trying to read some about Bell's theorem, and whilst I'm a bit confused it seems that it doesn't. What it is supposed to prove is that there can be no undiscovered local variables. If, however, your extra variables allow an event somewhere to have a causal effect somewhere else in less time than you could travel between the two at the speed of light, then such an undiscovered variable is not disproven. It has been suggested, for example, that information could be passed through higher dimensions in which two points are close to one another, despite being distantly separated in normal space.

That sounds like a cool place for free will to stem from in a deterministic universe. Like, our sentience comes from a higher dimension, man.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by caffeine, posted 12-15-2015 3:23 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11855
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 58 of 109 (774299)
12-15-2015 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Jon
12-15-2015 11:13 AM


Re: Two Points...
Meaning that they are unpredictable.

No they aren't. There are rules that determine which number gets generated next. Know those rules and you can predict the next number.

I remember having this discussion in college when we were using computer programs to simulate Brownian motion, which used a random number generator. We talked about if it was possible or not for a computer to generate random numbers, and the answer I came to was: "pretty much, but not really".

The professor talked about a hypothetical student who pointed an analog video camera closely at his lava lamp, converted the feed into a digital image, and then used values from the pixels in that image as the source or the stream of digits for his random number generator.

So we were looking at Brownian motion. It would be safe to call the outputs of an RNG like that to be "random numbers", even if technically they're not truly random in the strictest of senses.

I'm not saying this solves the problem of determinism. But if Brownian motion is a real thing, and it can be modeled with very simple computer programs that have random numbers generated, then that indicates that there is randomness in the universe despite the nitpick that a computer can't technically produce a random number.

The alternative is that the hidden variables that are causing Brownian motion are also controlling the computer programming behind random number generators, which isn't plausible.

If we don't know the rules behind the light output of the lava lamp (i.e. unpredictable), and we're confirming Brownian motion, then isn't that random enough to be considered real?


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Percy
Member
Posts: 16328
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 59 of 109 (774300)
12-15-2015 7:20 PM


Real Random Numbers
Hotbits

--Percy


    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 60 of 109 (774317)
12-16-2015 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Tangle
12-15-2015 10:49 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
If you eliminate all possibility of randomness in both universes, then of course everything pans out the same. That was made clear right at the beginning. You've just defined it away

I don't think that randomness and determinism are mutually exclusive. You know those lottery ball machines. The results from the lottery ball machine are totally random and totally subject to the laws of cause and effect. We say that the results are random but any sufficient intelligence could theoretically predict the results. Randomness refers to our ability to predict and not to uncaused events.

Say that we film one of those lottery ball machines. Say that we wind the film back and play it again. Will the results be any different the second time we watch the film? Going back in time is like rewinding a film and not like running the same experiment for a second time.

What if we wound the clock back by one attosecond? Could the next attosecond possibly play out any differently? The notion that an uncaused event can have an effect in a causal universe is the same as the notion of a supernatural entity that pokes his head in the window from time to time.

- It's hardly a puzzle worth proposing.

It is really a question of free will so how about this arrangement. When we create an AI that behaves in a manner indistinguishable from the average human, will it have the quality of free will?


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 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 12-15-2015 10:49 AM Tangle has responded

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