Re: Determinism

Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 01:36:26 BST

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    On 15 Apr 2001, at 19:06, Aaron Agassi wrote:

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: <>
    > To: <>
    > Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2001 6:10 PM
    > Subject: Re: Determinism
    > > On 15 Apr 2001, at 17:56, Aaron Agassi wrote:
    > >
    > > >
    > > > ----- Original Message -----
    > > > From: <>
    > > > To: <>
    > > > Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2001 5:23 PM
    > > > Subject: Re: Determinism
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > > On 15 Apr 2001, at 5:42, Aaron Agassi wrote:
    > > > >
    > > > > > Since I hold Superdeterminism necessary and sufficient for
    > > > > > freedom, my position, precisely, is that omniscience would
    > > > > > narrow down choices to the one optimal decision. Never the
    > > > > > less, this would be, indeed, empowering, of course.
    > > > > >
    > > > > Such as which one of the two perfectly suited values one should
    > > > > use to solve a given quadratic equation? Degrees of perfection;
    > > > > hmmm. Perhaps you're ready to count fractal iterations of angels
    > > > > on the heads of pins.
    > > > >
    > > > I have already answered that for you:
    > > >
    > > > An omniscient mathematician would not only have every sufficient
    > > > answer to the equation, but would also predict every real world
    > > > ramification of the choice. Which value takes up less space on the
    > > > black board. Which value helps the best illustration of the
    > > > principle under examination. Which response will be deemed
    > > > cleverest to impress that cute mathematician of the appropriate
    > > > sex. And so on.
    > > >
    > > But the only condition set was "which solved the equation." Your
    > > other ones are being pulled out of thin air.
    Yes, it is. The ONLY stipulation was a value that would solve a
    particular equation, and there are two. Any other stipulations are
    being made up by you and do NOT apply to the proferred example.
    > In reality, every choice has ramification beyond the intended
    > application. Especially in hindsight, the closest thing we have to
    > omniscience.. So, no, it's not out of thin air. > > > > But if it
    > there ever could be such a situation where further narrowing > > down
    > of the correct response would make no difference, then, > > obviously,
    > that residual choice which makes no difference would > > scarcely
    > further empower. And the choice, however arbitrary, would > > still be
    > determined, by whatever criteria of preference or whatever > >
    > process. > > > In other words, even though you do not and cannot know
    > a priori > that the choice of one perfect equal over another is
    > causally > determined (from the first flush of the newly born Big
    > Bang), you > nevertheless have an unshakeable faith that it must be
    > so. How > touching.
    > Superdeterminism is still the most elegant of the known competing
    > hypotheses from the available evidence. And so, I would choose the
    > explanation consistent with superdeterminism.
    I gather that you consider superdeterminism to be either your free
    choice, in which case your actions deny your words, or a
    nonchoice determined in the fires of the Big Bang, in which case
    your words mean nothing, since their zombic puppet typer cannot
    be said to mean anything, and cannot even be said to be
    consciously self-aware, since such an epiphenomenon would make
    no difference in your actions, and considering any reasonable
    application of statistics, such a property world not obtain, since it
    could not have evolved in the absence of an ability to make a
    selectional difference.
    >I merely demonstrated
    > that there was explanation consistent with superdeterminism, and that
    > the hypothesis of superdeterminism is therefore internally consistent.
    > Even under the a priori questionable hypothetical circumstance you
    > pose, Joe Dees, that of different causes (the choices among adequate
    > answers to the quadratic equation) with no different consequent
    > effect, what so ever.
    There is no superdeterministic explanation for one choice over the
    other in the quadratic equation example, no explanation of
    evolutionary efficacy, none of Godelian self-referential complexity,
    complete with recursive feedback loops, none for those pesky P-E
    pairs or for brownian motion, and so on.
    > Indeed, if there is a process in the mind of any mathematician,
    > omniscient or not, in choosing which of the adequate solutions to
    > offer, or else failing to do so, then that, in and of itself, would be
    > the causal effect of the different choices among the adequate
    > solutions to the quadratic equation. Thus, there already can not be
    > different causes such that these different causes will have different
    > effect, neither separately nor in tandem. Because, even the choosing
    > is causal, given causality at all.
    See, there is another common error of yours; assuming the very
    thing you purport to prove. This error has been considered logically
    illegitimate since the beginnings of logic. You make up excuses
    because you cannot deliver reasons, and circularly try to make
    your conclusion into a self-justifying premise. Of course choosing
    is causal; we are causal nexi. We are not just flat, featureless
    streambeds through which your river of causality flows. There are
    eddies in that current that recursively effect the stream, and thus
    effect themselves recursively and complexly. Linear causality does
    not possess the wherewithal to deal with this fact.
    > Unless there is such a thing as Indeterminacy, which would be
    > unnecessary and inelegant, and therefore nothing but unlikely argument
    > from ignorance, far more so than the superdeterministic alternative
    > remains most elegant among competing suppositional hypotheses.
    You argue from ignorance that the unobserved nevertheless MUST
    be there. The counterintuitive (to you) has a fine chance of being
    correct; the simplest and most elegant is not always so (just as
    Nietszche stated). For instance, Einsteinian physics is more
    complex than Newtonian; it has to be, for it subsumes a greater
    range of phenomena, and indeed subsumes Newtonian physics as
    a special case.
    > Because causality is observable, while the absence, as yet, of causal
    > explanation in any given case simply does not constitute compelling
    > evidence of it's absence. Indeed, is there even an hypothesis as to
    > the nature of mythic Indeterminacy? Is it testable? And does any
    > evidence better support Quantum Mechanics better than any alternative?
    It is not observeable in every case, and unobserveability was not
    compelling evidence of presence, the last time I checked. I say
    that things are caused (by the definition we use of the term) where
    they casn be observed to be, and where they cannot be observed
    to be caused, one's judgment must be held in abeyance (as true
    scientists do). You, on the other hand, assume the presence of
    the unobserved. And the half-life breakdown rate of many isotopes
    supports quantum mechanics, since it, like quantum mechanics, is
    statistical, and does not constrain individual isotopic atoms. So
    does brownian motion.
    > The answer might be a resounding no, if, indeed, the measurement
    > uncertainty held by Quantum Mechanics not to be truly measurement
    > uncertainty at all (Ontological rather than Epistemological, the
    > limits of measurability being explained by the hypothesis of
    > Indeterminacy stating that causality is really statistical) can also
    > be predicted otherwise. Such as, under Classical Physics and
    > Thermodynamics under the science of Fisher Information, supporting
    > assertion of the reality even of irretrievable physical information.
    UNIFICATION by B. Roy Friedan, and the front flyleaf states that:
            This book defines and develops a unifying principle of physics,
    that of 'extreme physical information'. The information in question
    is, perhaps surprisingly, not Shannon or Boltzmann entropy but,
    rather, Fisher information, a simple concept little known to
            Both statistical [Joe - not the most superdetermined thing out
    there; it makes no claims as to individual necessity, but the choice
    to employ it is usually made because such individual causational
    attributes cannot be fixed] and physical properties of Fisher
    information are developed. This information is shown to be a
    physical measure of disorder [Joe - not an auspicious concept for a
    superdetermined universe, which would have to be absolutely
    ordered], sharing with entropy the property of monotonic change
    with time [Joe - unidirectional, from past to future]. The information
    concept is applied 'phenomen-ally' to derive most known physics,
    from statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to QUANTUM
    MECHANICS [caps added], the Einstein field equations, and
    quantum gravity. Many new physical relations and concepts are
    developed, including new definitions of disorder [Joe - something
    impossible in a superdetermined universe], time and temperatire.
    The information principle is based upon a new theory of
    measurement, one which incorporates the observer into the
    phenomenon that he/she observes [Joe - in this sense, it is just a
    generalization of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, not a
    repudiation of it. It recognizes that there are untransgressable
    limits to our ability to use matter/energy to measure itself, due to
    the interactions between the tool and the object, and between
    ourselves and the measurement. It is an unwarranted assumption
    that there are exact states beneath the measurement uncertainty;
    in fact, the 'electron' circling a hydrogen atom has a statistical
    probability (and no certainty) of being at any specific location within
    the shell it's 'revolutions' make]. The 'request' for data creates the
    law that, ultimately, gives rise to the data [Joe - shades of wave-
    particle duality here; the answer depends upon the question. It
    also opens the door to feedback and recursion, which, unlike
    causality, are nonlinear]. The observer creates his or her own local
    reality [Joe - this is based upon the impossibility of observation
    without interaction, and the alterations that come with it, but to
    take it too literally leads one down the primrose path to solipsism].
    > Because, all that would leave are certain phenomena the causes of
    > which are still unknown. Phenomena that are only paradoxical assuming
    > that everything else we know or think we know, is all completely true,
    > so that it is nature which doesn't add up, not the state of the art in
    > science. For nature to be static and provisional, rather than human
    > understanding to be provisional in transition.
    It's not a matter of provisionality with Heisenberg; those limits are
    nontransgressable, period. The more precisely one determines an
    electron's position, the less precisely one may determine its
    momentum, and vice-versa; the two cannot simultaneously be
    absolutely determined. Nature might very well add up, but
    probabilistically. And the phenomena of which you speak (and of
    which I have spoken) would only appear paradoxical given the
    assumption of superdeterminism; in the absence of such an
    assumption, we would be more willing to listen to the phenomena
    speak - or be silent - for themselves as regards causation.
    > It all boils down to the question of the burden of proof which in
    > turn, inversely, becomes the question of the greater argument from
    > ignorance.
    The burden of proof of any assertion is upon the asserter; you have
    asserted superdeterminism, and have not been able to (in fact,
    theoretically, according to Popperian Falsifiability you cannot)
    prove your case. I have presented counterexamples which you
    have not been able to obviate, (you instead unwarrantedly assume
    that an absence of evidence is evidence of presence) and as long
    as those counterexamples remain valid and sound, the universality
    of superdeterminism - and it's truth is inextricably bound to that
    universality - is provisionally refuted. It thus remains an article of
    faith, not of knowledge, which must be believed in, because it
    cannot be known.
    > And causality is observed, even if not universally. Because the
    > cataloging of "white swans" is an endless process, until, if ever, the
    > "black swan" of counter example refutation. While Indeterminacy is
    > never observed. And unknown causes have been later discovered, while
    > Indeterminacy has no basis save for currently unknown causes of
    > unexplained effects. Indeed, Indeterminacy is not even a hypothetical
    > "black swan", because it has no positive description or explanation,
    > only that it would not be causality.
    The absence of the invisible is as difficult to detect as its presence.
     And of course indetrminacy is not observed, since it is the
    absence of a property, and not its presence. To be Humeanly
    technical about it, causality is itself never observed, only imposed
    as an interpretation upon the succession of events. Let me remind
    you that some attributed causes have also been subsequently
    found not to be causes at all; that river flows both ways. And the
    'black swans' are not theories, but the counterexamples to them;
    thus, P-E pairs are one black swan, brownian motion another,
    isotope breakdown a third and so on.
    > That is why, currently, adherence to Indeterminacy makes the greater
    > leap of faith.
    No, refusing to embrace superdeterminism is simple a matter of being
    honest with ourselves and others concerning what we do and do not know,
    and innsome Heisenbergian cases theoretically never can know, and
    refusing to mislabel assumption as truth.

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