Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Jabberwocky » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:19 pm

Aquillion wrote: Faq needs an experienced, dedicated lookamancer for its defense trick to work, and those don't grow on trees.


With a Thimkamancer/Florist/Weirdamancer linkup, they might.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby drachefly » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:24 pm

effataigus wrote:
arkerpay wrote:Your prediction made with alpha = 0.20 did not come to pass, but your comment involving definitions is spot on. Quite clever in fact!
You have no idea. Drachefly is brutally consistently right, and he has the quatloos to prove it.


More than half of them are from one bet on the update schedule. It's not quite as meaningful as one would wish. In my opinion, if the system were somehow fairer, Bladestorm would be in the lead.
ETA:
drachefly wrote:...offer a 5q bet that Jack survives this turn.
'nuff said. I'm just lucky no one took it.

effataigus wrote:As for his prediction, perhaps I misunderstood, but it seemed to be predicated upon people agreeing upon a definition of free will and luckamancy first.


Well, it was more predicated on the idea that people would just stop saying 'free will' since it's obviously a point of confusion. Rather than replacing the term, they'd have to open up the black box and say what they meant at a lower level of abstraction.

effataigus wrote:
Kreistor wrote:It isn't. And you're close on quantum mechanics. Back a decade or so ago, a physicist proved that one property of one sub-atomic particle does nto reverse if time reverses, so any reactions it took part in would not reverse properly. Consequently, one view of time, that it could go forward and back without us knowing it was doing so, was defeated.
I'd be curious to know more about how this was done (just for the lulz). Know of a link, or any names that are likely to get me close with an internet search?


The weak force breaks time reversal symmetry in some cases. It is more often thought of as CP violation (reverse all charges and field lines and invert all spatial axes). Since CPT actually does hold (as far as we know), any violation of CP must be accompanied by a compensating violation of T. The best-known CP violation is in the decay of neutral kaons.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby arkerpay » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Wow! I had hoped to engender a cordial, serious discussion about the issues of fate, free will and randomness in Erfworld (and in general) but hadn't expected this. Quantum mechanics...

While I know I did not sway all to my way of thinking on the subject, Zeku, Vreejack, Bladestorm and Kreistor helped establish limits on Predictamancy in Erfworld. Coexistence of Luckamancy and Predictamancy on the same event was admitted to have serious problems and it was also suggested that certain types of Predictions cannot be made due to specificality or the decisions (free will?) that entities in Erfworld might make to stymie the Prediction. Also discussed was the fact that Fate cannot be implemented in a 'real' RPG with actual human players who have free will...regardless of what Spinoza and Teratorn think about the subject. Excellent progress.

So thank you all. Next we need to consider what happens when you insert free-willed sentient beings such as Charlie and Parson into Erfworld...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby multilis » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:03 pm

arkerpay wrote:So thank you all. Next we need to consider what happens when you insert free-willed sentient beings such as Charlie and Parson into Erfworld...

Thinkomancy suggestion spell, ruthless artifact, etc. Lots of ways to defeat free will if required. Someone in position of power is already under a thinkomancy compulsion to help his own side, so not entirely free will. (Just as a person addicted to heroine in our world is no longer entirely free will)

We really don't know what fate is. Fate could be equivalent of a GM who is trying to railroad his plot through a game, and it may still be possible to cheat such a GM, in real wold Parson *wanted* the players to cheat him/fate as GM in order to win. Fate could have a specific goal in all this rather than just random predictions then trying to make them come true. Fate may be like a superpowered luckomancy caster able to manipulate lots of rolls so normally gets its way, but still 0.01% chance a prediction will fail.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:20 am

teratorn wrote:We probably never chose things to happen. Assuming thought is controlled by the brain, whatever we do is fully determined by flows of ions across membranes made of lipids and proteins, and those obey to cause and effect, are basically deterministic in nature. Our actions are completely determined by the state of our cerebral hardware and software, information stored and whatever stimulus that influences us at the time. Recent neurophysiology results on decision making support this.

Free will in the generally accepted sense doesn't exist unless you postulate a «ghost in the machine» (a soul) something that doesn't behave causally in the sense that its actions given the exact same circumstances could be different. Erfworlders do have something like souls outside of their physical bodies, since their thought patterns can be replicated by decryption.


This is the process that is free will. You are your brain and this is how you make decisions. I'm reading you don't have free will because you have free will. As far as I can see a "ghost in the machine" as you put it would do the opposite of what you said - if you have a "you" that isn't part of your brain and your brain is making decisions than the ghost part of you has no free will. What definition of "free will" are you using? It sounds like unpredictability.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby teratorn » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:45 am

cheeseaholic wrote:This is the process that is free will. You are your brain and this is how you make decisions. I'm reading you don't have free will because you have free will. As far as I can see a "ghost in the machine" as you put it would do the opposite of what you said - if you have a "you" that isn't part of your brain and your brain is making decisions than the ghost part of you has no free will. What definition of "free will" are you using? It sounds like unpredictability.


Your definition of free-will is that you can act without receiving orders. With our brains preset from evolution, what is the difference from a robot with a programming preset in the factory leaving an assembly line and sent into the world without an owner? That's not what people think when talking about free will. Typically one thinks about contra-causal free will, that in a given situation you could have opted for a different option, it presupposes you have choice in the sense that in the exact same circumstances you could have decided in a different way. It's the base of our penal system, individual responsibility.

My belief is that we have no will whatsoever, our conscience just rationalizes our actions after the fact. In a situation where contra-causal free will does not exist there are no true decisions just consequences. There is no freedom, what happened was the only possible outcome. If the only thing you have is a brain with material things like membranes and ion flows then the outcome of the thought process is fully determined, we're automata.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:04 pm

teratorn wrote:
cheeseaholic wrote:This is the process that is free will. You are your brain and this is how you make decisions. I'm reading you don't have free will because you have free will. As far as I can see a "ghost in the machine" as you put it would do the opposite of what you said - if you have a "you" that isn't part of your brain and your brain is making decisions than the ghost part of you has no free will. What definition of "free will" are you using? It sounds like unpredictability.


Your definition of free-will is that you can act without receiving orders. With our brains preset from evolution, what is the difference from a robot with a programming preset in the factory leaving an assembly line and sent into the world without an owner? That's not what people think when talking about free will. Typically one thinks about contra-causal free will, that in a given situation you could have opted for a different option, it presupposes you have choice in the sense that in the exact same circumstances you could have decided in a different way. It's the base of our penal system, individual responsibility.

My belief is that we have no will whatsoever, our conscience just rationalizes our actions after the fact. In a situation where contra-causal free will does not exist there are no true decisions just consequences. There is no freedom, what happened was the only possible outcome. If the only thing you have is a brain with material things like membranes and ion flows then the outcome of the thought process is fully determined, we're automata.


Again, define "Free will".
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:08 pm

I think that I should add that my own definition here is the ability to decide without an external force interfering. The brain process is how a decision is made. Being predictable doesn't make the decision not a decision. Light, sounds, etc are stimuli, or information, and don't affect the brain more than giving more information and I don't consider to be interfering with free will (yes I'm sure you could make up a counterexample like hypnosis or something. I mean general stimuli).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Kreistor » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:37 pm

drachefly wrote:
effataigus wrote:
Kreistor wrote:It isn't. And you're close on quantum mechanics. Back a decade or so ago, a physicist proved that one property of one sub-atomic particle does nto reverse if time reverses, so any reactions it took part in would not reverse properly. Consequently, one view of time, that it could go forward and back without us knowing it was doing so, was defeated.
I'd be curious to know more about how this was done (just for the lulz). Know of a link, or any names that are likely to get me close with an internet search?


The weak force breaks time reversal symmetry in some cases. It is more often thought of as CP violation (reverse all charges and field lines and invert all spatial axes). Since CPT actually does hold (as far as we know), any violation of CP must be accompanied by a compensating violation of T. The best-known CP violation is in the decay of neutral kaons.


Yeah... what drachefly said. (I just knew it as the Spin property not reversing. I got it from a news article, nto a textbook.)

It's all math, effataigus. Do the math right, and you simulate the universe. The word s"Spin", "colour", etc that ae used to describe subatomic particles have nothign to do with spinning or colour. They are just distinct properties. As drachefly said, some properties are time-independent and stay the same regardless of time, and so reversing time cannot reverse the effect to create the cause. Were time to spontaneously reverse, We would perceive the universe jump, with particles suddenly out of place, with potentially disastrous consequences when it returns to normal. Atoms might become unstable and fragment, resulting in inexplicable atomic decay or all atoms everywhere. Maybe. I'm speculating there, but that's something inside the realm of possibility, without knowing the level of Physics drachefly knows.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby teratorn » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:02 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:Again, define "Free will".


I don't even believe in will, free or not. Free will, in common parlance, is unconstrained (at least partially) conscious choice.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:30 pm

teratorn wrote:I don't even believe in will, free or not. Free will, in common parlance, is unconstrained (at least partially) conscious choice.


OK. So if the brain is the chooser, what is constraining it? Or do you mean that there's too many unconscious factors in play?

Gonna need to ask for a definition of "will" too now. I go with the desire to do something. Whether that's to walk or daydream or lift up a building.


In-comic then there's obviously not completely free will, at least for non-rulers, do the the rules constraining the people. Though the majority of the discussion assumes that that is the case. There's still the possibility that the rules are internal in each individual and not an external force though.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby teratorn » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:59 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:OK. So if the brain is the chooser, what is constraining it? Or do you mean that there's too many unconscious factors in play?


I understand your point, since the brain is not coerced from something external then whatever happens is «free.» But then nearly all choices in our world would be free since we don't have that much in regards to mind control. The expression arose mostly in association with religion to say actions are not predetermined by divine beings. My problem is not with the free part, but with the will part. It's just neurons reacting to stimuli by emitting ions across membranes. Cause and effect. Our conscious perception is just a narrative from something completely unconscious that makes «decisions» in a deterministic way.

Back on topic, using your concept of free will as actions not coerced by an external agent, the concept could be applied to some units in Erfworld. But there are always strong constraints, they are bound by duty that can be overcome by loyalty, but it's always there. They can't disobey orders except in very specific circumstances. Queen Bea chose to end her side and her life, but that's not a venue that most units could use to negate a prophecy, duty would limit their actions. Judy going away is interesting in that regard, duty ought to compel her to maintain her side going and keeping Wanda on the side.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:28 pm

teratorn wrote:
I understand your point, since the brain is not coerced from something external then whatever happens is «free.» But then nearly all choices in our world would be free since we don't have that much in regards to mind control. The expression arose mostly in association with religion to say actions are not predetermined by divine beings. My problem is not with the free part, but with the will part. It's just neurons reacting to stimuli by emitting ions across membranes. Cause and effect. Our conscious perception is just a narrative from something completely unconscious that makes «decisions» in a deterministic way.

Back on topic, using your concept of free will as actions not coerced by an external agent, the concept could be applied to some units in Erfworld. But there are always strong constraints, they are bound by duty that can be overcome by loyalty, but it's always there. They can't disobey orders except in very specific circumstances. Queen Bea chose to end her side and her life, but that's not a venue that most units could use to negate a prophecy, duty would limit their actions. Judy going away is interesting in that regard, duty ought to compel her to maintain her side going and keeping Wanda on the side.


Well yes, free will is nearly universal. There's different levels of constraint on what can affect it - using advanced technology could someday short circuit the brain in different ways, hypnotism, slavery, torture, or pointing a gun at someone's head or their loved ones can all be debated as to their effect on free will depending on how pedantic you want to be about the term. Those things could be termed as manipulation but not a violation of free will, but then you get to the point where the term becomes meaningless, except perhaps as in the case of magic for stories.

In the comic, if the rules are an internal force in every unit and not an external one they could still be said to have free will. They're just very patriotic people who rarely disobey orders. I doubt that this is the case, since Parson is supposed to have those stats maxed, but the back of a cereal box isn't the best place to get information.

Also, still waiting for how you're defining "will".
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Squall83 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:50 pm

Jabberwocky wrote:
Aquillion wrote: Faq needs an experienced, dedicated lookamancer for its defense trick to work, and those don't grow on trees.


With a Thimkamancer/Florist/Weirdamancer linkup, they might.

Hahaha, that was a good one. I like it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby teratorn » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:17 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:Also, still waiting for how you're defining "will".


I thought it was obvious, in the sense used in free will it refers to decisions deriving from conscious thoughts. Of course, I think we do not decide based on conscious thought, the course of action is already determined before we become aware of it, the thoughts simply appear, conscience is just a narrative.

In Erfworld units could be just voicing internal rationalizations to whatever numbers were attributed for their next course of action, numbers that were already attributed for all future events and outcomes. They could have no choice whatsoever, it could just look like they did.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby drachefly » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:42 pm

Anyone who has a stupendous memory or happens to be me (or both) and read any of the last three times we were over this will remember that my preferred definition of Free Will largely coincides with cheeseaholic's. However, the brief statement given is incomplete

I do not think teratorn's characterization of it from 7 hours ago is particularly accurate. In large part this is because the description given was incomplete. The difference between a robot-as-we-build-em-these-days and an entity with free will is that free willed entities do have some additional properties about how those decisions are made which are a bit more involved than simply being a (momentarily) isolated system.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Kreistor » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:46 am

cheeseaholic wrote:
teratorn wrote:I understand your point, since the brain is not coerced from something external then whatever happens is «free.» But then nearly all choices in our world would be free since we don't have that much in regards to mind control.


Well yes, free will is nearly universal.


Is it? Or is that an illusion of perception? Are we programmed to think that we are making our choices, when in fact they were made for us long before?

[Note: definition heuristic: a method of problem solving that uses generalized processes to deal with specific issues. It comes from computer programming, where they will save code by creating a generalized movement algorithm for all moving objects, instead of writing different code for a elephant vs. snake. There is a branch of Science that is seriously looking into whether heuristic algorithms form the foundations of human thought processes. I don't agree with it, because heuristic algorithms have identifiable failures when you approach the edge of their problem solving range, and I don't see that in humans. (The snake would take the same path over a one foot tall terrain feature as if it had an elephant's legs, for instance.) But I acknowledge it in this article as potentially valid.]

Here's my problem with the concept of free will. In theory, if we had it, each choice would be individually prioritized founded only on precedent based on the success or failure of previous similar choices. Choices outside a strict set of qualified precedents would require new thought patterns, and so would be essentially randomly selected to an outside observer.

Instead, we have this thing we call personality. We expect it in the characters in our books. A consistent methodology for making choices that we can understand and relate to. In and of itself, a personality is not something that demands a lack of free will. But it does lead to the question, "Is the personality the result of a decision making process created by conscious free will, or is it the result of engrams or heuristics created by a non-conscious mechanism in the brain which creates an automatic decision making process in response to stimuli which takes choice away from free will?" In short, how much input does the conscious mind have into formation of a personality vs. automatic processes? It is a chicken and egg question. We detect a personality, but is it the result of guidance of the conscious mind merely being consistent, or are the decisions taken away from the conscious mind without its realization of the event, and solved by automatic processes that solve prolbems with the same mechanism over and over?

What is the foundation for our personality? What forms it? How much of it is genetic, and therefore entirely not under our control, vs. a conscious response to childhood experiences? People spends tens of thousands for therapists to help them change their personality: so at some point it becomes relatively fixed and can be changed only with extreme difficulty. Since a personality is detected from consistent choice-making, those under therapy are not making choices that their conscious will desires. Something else is over-riding the decision making process and taking choice away from the intelligent part of the brain. Is this not evidence against free will? If we can't control our personality with conscious choice, just how much free will have we really got?

So, if you have a detectable personality, you may be making choices without super-id input. And yet, you feel that you have free will. That leads to the question, "Do you think you have free will because you are genetically predisposed to ignore that you are pre-programmed into your personality? Are you programmed to defend your personality as free will, regardless of whether you had any conscious input into its formation" In essence, will the Super-id defend the Ego, where these choices might be made, because it is programmed to accept any ego it happens to possess? Or does it take an onslaught of evidence from impartial observers to point out that you have a major flaw in your personality that you are pre-programmed to overlook? How many times has someone with personality flaw X walked up to others in your presence and accused them of the same personality flaw X, while at the same time denying that they have it? It seems that this would be a disingenuous accusation made as an ego defense, but if you press on these events, you'll find that the accuser does not realize that they have that flaw. Self-analysis on a level to accurately detect such flaws seems a truly rare capacity. Is that incapacity genetically created, too?

As an entity potentially the subject of environmental manipulation (ie. by your genetics or a subconscious engram/heuristic generating process), you cannot determine your own level of manipulation without accurate evidence of the events, since your mind is in control of how you remember it. Have you not spoken to an old friend and found that their memory of an event has twisted? I have two sisters. The elder one swung a shovel one day and struck the younger in the head behind her. Over time, the elder has twisted that memory so that she was hit in the head, not her sister. I'm the impartial observe, since I saw it and confirm the younger's memory. It takes an impartial outside observer to detect the difference between your desired choices and the ones you actually make, but as with my sister, individuals often cannot accept that their own memory is inaccurate, or can be manipulated by the ego.

I have to constantly monitor myself. I have a tendency to debate any stated belief in my presence. I made a conscious choice to do that back in late high school, and it has become a habit I have largely disposed, but it does persist. I don't seem able to completely eliminate it, so I constantly monitor myself in order to stop this engram from triggering arguments I do not want. I know that others require therapy for anger management: they don't want to erupt into violence, but they can't just stop by stating, "I won't make that choice anymore." Ad infinitum. There is no one in this world that does not have this problem, in some form.

Consequently, I do not believe we have as much free will as we attribute to ourselves. We have the comfortable illusion of free will because we are pre-programmed to believe that we are in conscious control at all times, but we cannot change a personality trait simply through conscious choice and so therefore have much less free will than we believe..
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby drachefly » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:35 am

Kriestor wrote:Is it? Or is that an illusion of perception? Are we programmed to think that we are making our choices, when in fact they were made for us long before?


What does that even mean? Whoever made those choices is me, and I made them whenever they were made. Illusion of perception is perception.

Kriestor wrote:In theory, if we had it, each choice would be individually prioritized founded only on precedent based on the success or failure of previous similar choices.

Why do you say so?

You're loading it up with additional requirements like, say, being a perfect inductive engine.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Kreistor » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:28 pm

drachefly wrote:
Kriestor wrote:Is it? Or is that an illusion of perception? Are we programmed to think that we are making our choices, when in fact they were made for us long before?


What does that even mean? Whoever made those choices is me, and I made them whenever they were made. Illusion of perception is perception.


Shat it means is that we could have an engram in place that prevents us from realizing that our choices are environmental, predetermined by genetics for instance.

Erfworlders know they lack free will. Parson knows that now too, though he is busting free. They know that they cannot make certain choices due to Duty, for instance. They have the freedom to choose from a limited set of predetermined choices. Any such limitation denies free will, even if one does choose from that set.

What this comes down to is the question of "Where do I end and the environment begin?" You appear to be arguing that any choice your mind makes is inherently you, and therefore made by free will. I completely disagree. Anything automatically chosen for me by engrams or heuristics that my conscious mind did not choose to apply is environmental, and therefore not a product of free will.

I'll use Depression as an example. I suffered from hypothyroidism, and this led to low seratonin -- the happy juice. This led to a diagnose of clinical Depression. The symptoms I presented with were periods of 1-4 weeks where the entire world seemed grey. Nothing could make me happy, and lethargy was overcome only by sheer force of will. (My thyroid gland has since brought itself back up to speed, and I have not suffered an episode for almost 11 years.) During these periods, I was not what others would call my normal self. I didn't feel like doing anything, retreated from human contact, and in general wasn't very pleasant to be around because I brought down the room just from the aura I gave off.

When I was in those periods, certainly I made choices, but they were different choices from the ones I would have made with sufficient seratonin present. My environment skewed my choice. I am responsible for the consequences of my actions, certainly, but was free will enough to overcome the inability to feel pleasure in order to make the same choice I would have during a brighter period? Definitely not. Try as I might, all I could do to get back to normal pre-diagnosis was wait it out.

I contend that since I was not in my normal function, I was not truly capable of free will at the times of those grey periods. My choices were restricted by my environment, which prevented me from the normal consequences of choices intended to make me happy. Happiness was impossible, so making the choice to take part in a happy event equally impossible. In time I learned how to hide that dark aura, and at least attend gatherings without bringing other people down (part of why I avoided high school events), but the attendance still did not overcome the seratonin issue and make me happy.

Kriestor wrote:In theory, if we had it, each choice would be individually prioritized founded only on precedent based on the success or failure of previous similar choices.

Why do you say so?

You're loading it up with additional requirements like, say, being a perfect inductive engine.[/quote]

Where do you get that? I said nothing about the mechanism used to choose (be it logic, emotion, spiritualism, etc.), only that experience should guide the choice in a similar situation, if available. I shouldn't have to argue that point with anyone.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby drachefly » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:43 pm

You said only based on precedent. No room there for, say, instincts. I suppose I did overinterpret when I said you required it to be ideal. It could be suboptimal and fit.

As for engrams... what do you think YOU should be made of? What ARE we? You act as if your component parts were foreign bodies. It's like a philosophical autoimmune disorder.
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