Book 2 – Page 110

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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lipkin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:37 pm

drachefly wrote:
Lipkin -

I would say that free will is not binary, and that impairments can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Do you still have your cosmic free will if you're drunk? A little tipsy? Plastered? I'd say it fits on a sliding scale there.

Do you still have your free will if you live in the Oceania of 1984? If you're educated NOT to generate models, to subordinate your desires to those of the state, and to do nothing but what you're told? Some, yes. But it's a far poorer strain.

In respect to our conversation, the purpose of the comment was to indicate just how broad and actually useful the construction of Free Will that I gave is. It meshes with the legal definitions, with no need to separate them. This is in stark contrast to the alternative - this Cosmic Free Will which is apparently not satisfied by our brains - a concept of which no example can be constructed, even counterfactually.

Yes, you still have free will if you are drunk. You could have made other choices that did not lead to you getting drunk. Once you are drunk, your judgement is impaired, but not removed. You are still making choices. You are still in control of your own destiny, even if you are driving erratically.

I haven't read 1984, despite it sitting on my bookshelf for about 6 years, so I'm afraid I don't quite grasp the given example. But from what I understand, you are asking if you still have free will after being brain washed by your upbringing. Answer: Yes. The difficulty or quality of choices doesn't matter as long as they are yours to make. They are free to make other choices than what they were brought up to, but because they don't know differently, they probably won't. But what if they start interacting with an outsider? It would not be impossible for an outsider to change the status quo. That outsider would not return their free will to them. He would make them aware that they have had it all along.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Oberon » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:50 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Oberon wrote:
Kreistor wrote:Changing your opinion in the face of new information is not flip-flopping. It is the only rational choice.
If the change was based upon normal, rational information, I'd agree. Your change was based upon your sudden conclusion that foolamancy was somehow involved,

Despite the fact that's a myopic viewpoint, there's a simple counter. Prove that it wasn't Foolamancy. If you can't do that, then it's just more spin, spin, spin.

Wait, what? I thought you'd already abandoned your position that Jack had to be alive because of your foolamancy theory? Now you want me to try to support a theory you concocted and then abandoned?

How many times do I need to repeat to you that I do not permit you to assign me homework?

Spin, spin, spin? No, more like continuing to laugh at you because you continue to behave foolishly. That would appear to be the only foolamany present. You may sit and spin, spin, spin.
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Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:00 pm

Guess I can get back to the regularly scheduled program.

Lilwik wrote:I don't understand how it denies causality and it doesn't look statistically impossible to me. What I see is a situation that seems highly plausible: Wanda was a valuable caster in an area that had high probability of being totally conquered by Haffaton for a long distance in every direction (since we know this is what eventually happened). Given that situation, it seems very probable that no matter what Wanda chose she would inevitably end up in Haffaton. Is that what you are calling statistically impossible? What would you have Wanda do to prevent it?


If two, or three get to the same place, you might have a case. But we're talking about dozens of decisions per day that can take you in different directions. Not a few streams but tens of millions all going to the same place.

In some of them, random death should kill Wanda. She is on a battlefield, and random death takes many, even in Erfworld. Tommy died, according to your Delphie, because he had no Fate. That is random. On that stream he had a random death. Wanda's millions of streams carry no chance of random death. We see she doesn't die randomly to falls. Or arrow storms. Or anything else. That alone is evidence against the "many streams converging" idea.

That leaves us with two possibilities, and only two. Yours cannot resolve this issue. I know you cannot see it now, and maybe you never will, but Fate can only achieve the converging streams idea if it is playing an Active role, forcing those streams together. It cannot happen by random chance in a world of infinite possibility.

Kreistor wrote:I really don't know how you're twisting your mind to allow the third possibility without an active force involved.
I'm just taking it on a case-by-case basis and checking how believable it could be that the Predicted outcome is also an inevitable outcome, and so far I haven't seen any Prediction that couldn't possibly be inevitable.


No, you aren't. You are seeing only the one path that happened, not the thousands that could have. When Wanda fell after fighting Ansom, some streams in a world where Wanda was not protected by an Active Fate lead to her death and failure to achieve her Fate. In your infinite streams concept, if her chance of death was 10%, 10% of all streams end there. If 0% end right there, because she has a Fate, then only an Active Fate is preventing her death by removing the chance of random death. Passive Fate cannot interfere, and she dies. Later you suggest Wanda is responsible for preventing her death to randomness, but she simply cannot control her fall, is those without Fate cannot. The moment you create an active entity that prevents her death to randomness, you have invented Active Fate, because the force has all the symptoms of Active Fate. It is an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

My version of Passive Fate does not protect her: there is only the one stream and in it she survived the fall, because being outside time, it sees that she will survive.

Kreistor wrote:No, not hate.
You have a strange concept of hate if you'd wish death upon people that you don't hate.


Ah, so anyone that believes in justice and karma are "haters"? Sorry, I do not have your motivation here. If you think that desiring someone's death insists on "hate" being present (especially to an non-existent character in a book), then I'll just have to call you delusional. You cannot see inside my mind, and cannot telepathically determine my thoughts. I felt her death was both justice served, and karmic in nature. She got what she paid for.

Kreistor wrote:I merely think she was an arrogant, self-centered wretch that viewed her analytical ability as beyond everyone else's understanding and consequently when she overstepped and took on responsibility by rationalizing her Ruler's thoughts irrelevant, she got the appropriate punishment, to whit, death.
I agree with all of those accusations, but I think your recommended punishment is overly harsh.


Treason is a Capital Crime. I do not need to defend my agreement. Delphie revealed the position of her Chief Warlord to the enemy, and he died because of that. Sentence: death. Karma: balanced.

Kreistor wrote:No, she wasn't going to save Goodminton. None of her Predictions foresaw that outcome.
The deal would have saved Goodminton if people had just kept blindly following Delphie for a little bit longer. It wasn't Predicted, but it seems obviously true to me. At least Goodminton would have bought itself many more turns than it otherwise had.


Your gut feel is not evidence to me, and not justification for calling it "obvious".

Kreistor wrote:Are you saying that Clay's love for Wanda justifies something? Last I checked, I don't get a choice to love someone... it happens or not. How can you justify anything done to Wanda by Clay's emotional betrayal of Delphie?
Just as Clay's emotions were beyond his control, so were Delphie's emotions beyond her control. I'm not saying Wanda deserved to be treated the way Delphie treated Wanda, but Delphie didn't do it because she was a bad person. Perhaps "justify" is the wrong word, but Delphie was only human.


Lack of emotional control is in no way a defense for hurting people! Look at what you're rationalizing! I'm allowed to kill my neighbour because I'm angry because I think he's screwing my wife, simply because I lack emotional control to hire a PI and find out for sure, and then go for a divorce? We put those that lack emotional control in prison, or in some States, in the soft, damp earth. You've taken all concept of Justice and reason, and abandoned it, in favour of a world where we can do whatever we want just because our emotions are telling us to!

Sorry, but this is 100% a BS rationalization. Emotions are not justification for any action taken against those inspiring the emotion. If "emotion" was Delphie's reason, then Delphie was absolutely one of the most "bad" people in existence! And I can back that up with the flood of people in prison for emotional instability. She's no better than the guy that starts a bar fight because someone jostled his elbow and pissed him off.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:08 pm

Oberon wrote:Wait, what? I thought you'd already abandoned your position that Jack had to be alive because of your foolamancy theory? Now you want me to try to support a theory you concocted and then abandoned?


You can support anything you want to. Or deny anything you want to. But when you directly provoke me the way you have been, you better be ready for the consequences. You seem distinctly incapable of taking responsibility for your actions.

How many times do I need to repeat to you that I do not permit you to assign me homework?


I didn't assign you anything. You're free to stop making false claims about me any time you choose. But if you choose to claim anything about any other person in this world, you better dot your i's and cross your t's, because no one in existence denies others the Right to Self Defense. Except you. I'm supposed to ignore your groundless needling and heckling.

This can stop any time you choose. But I will never stop. Not even once. I have the Right to defend myself, and I choose to invoke it.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:17 pm

Lipkin wrote:I haven't read 1984, despite it sitting on my bookshelf for about 6 years, so I'm afraid I don't quite grasp the given example. But from what I understand, you are asking if you still have free will after being brain washed by your upbringing. Answer: Yes.


The protagonist in 1984 is brainwashed by intentional Psychological terror, not his environment. His innermost fears are discovered, and he is subjected to them until he complies with his government torturers' desires. His mind is perverted until he can hold two mutually incompatible beliefs simultaneously true, such as "My government loves me and only does the best things for me. and "My government will subject me to horrible punishments." It's called "Double-speak" and I refer to it here sometimes. This turns the people of Oceania into unthinking work engines that do only what the state wishes without expectation of reward or a better life for their children, which is what Orwell perceived of the Gulags in the USSR, and the threat of Communist ideologies concerning a "worker's paradise".
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:36 pm

Kreistor wrote:The moment you create an active entity that prevents her death to randomness, you have invented Active Fate, because the force has all the symptoms of Active Fate. It is an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.
That misses the fact that Passive Fate doesn't require nondeterminism to exist and you can have degrees of nondeterminism. We know that Predictamancers are able to see the outcomes of some random events before they happen, which suggests that some random events can be predictable with magic and not truly nondeterministic. We don't really know the truth of the matter, so we can just make guesses. We can guess a version of Passive Fate that is nondeterministic for people's choices, and nondeterministic for some random events, but not so nondeterministic that the combination of every little nondeterministic event on a battlefield would make Predictamancy impossible. Sometimes Passive Fate knows in advance that an arrow storm won't kill some units. Sometimes Passive Fate knows in advance that a fall won't be fatal, because even though those dice are random they still sometimes obey some complex deterministic laws. A Luckamancer might even be able explain those laws to us.

The Erfworld might not be as nondeterministic as it seems, especially when you have the magic of Predictamancy to help you see the underlying order of events, but that doesn't mean we have to give up nondeterminism entirely, and we certainly don't need to give up free will just to have some form of Passive Fate. We know that some things can be Predicted and some thing can't, which is probably controlled by the precise amount of determinism in Erfworld: if there were more determinism, more things would be inevitable and Predictamancers would be able to Predict more things.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:59 pm

Lilwik wrote:That misses the fact that Passive Fate doesn't require nondeterminism to exist and you can have degrees of nondeterminism. We know that Predictamancers are able to see the outcomes of some random events before they happen, which suggests that some random events can be predictable with magic and not truly nondeterministic.


Again, this is based on your misunderstanding of what I mean by Passive Fate.

Sometimes Passive Fate knows in advance that a fall won't be fatal


And this demonstrates it. You are still thinking Passive Fate is a predictive, rather than observational, entity. I have always stated clearly that Passive Fate is observational, so your criticism is not on point.

Determinism is irrelevant. Passive Fate is outside time and sees what will happen because it did happen. It is not "predictive" except to the temporally-restricted beings it deals with. If you want to understand what I am saying, start with this: Time does not exist.

Once you start to conceive of that fact, then you'll begin to understand my version of Passive Fate.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:41 pm

Kreistor wrote:And this demonstrates it. You are still thinking Passive Fate is a predictive, rather than observational, entity.
I have no problem with Passive Fate being outside of time and observing instead of predicting; it doesn't change anything and you can even have that view and preserve nondeterminism. It all depends on what exactly Passive Fate is observing: it could be like a single river or it could be branching. It could even be branching infinitely, and it could spread quickly or remain narrow as it branches depending on exactly how much nondeterminism there is. Either way Passive Fate is still just an observer outside time.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby arkerpay » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:19 pm

Denar wrote:This is exactly why this train of thought is ridiculous.


Ridiculous? It is just the beginning of the inevitable conclusion of your philosophy. None of us decide our actions, we just react to stimuli. We are not responsible for what we do. It gets worse from there....

drachefly wrote:Oh, I'm glad you agree it's ridiculous. And... why can we hold that bundle of nerves accountable? Because those nerve impulses happen to compose a free will. Not merely give the illusion thereof to a passive observer inhabitant of that skull.


You won't get a coherent answer on why he believes it is ridiculous. He won't allow himself to look even that far into the abyss.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Kreistor wrote:And this demonstrates it. You are still thinking Passive Fate is a predictive, rather than observational, entity.
I have no problem with Passive Fate being outside of time and observing instead of predicting; it doesn't change anything and you can even have that view and preserve nondeterminism. It all depends on what exactly Passive Fate is observing: it could be like a single river or it could be branching. It could even be branching infinitely, and it could spread quickly or remain narrow as it branches depending on exactly how much nondeterminism there is. Either way Passive Fate is still just an observer outside time.


No, it can't branch. That's a temporal concept, which somehow implies two different choices can be made, or Passive Fate can be fooled by a choice. Passive Fate sees which branch is chosen, because the temporal creature making that choice can only choose one path, and will choose one, because it must. The creature makes a Free Will choice, but the choice is made only once. It may believe that it is choosing against Fate, based on certain delusions, but that is actually impossible. The Prediction made is the one Fate has already seen will happen, and incorporates your twists and turns. There is no true "Fate" as you would have in a Greek tragedy, which is the result of divine intervention, an Active Fate concept. You are Fated because your choices will take you there, by your own Free Will.

Any other concept, to overcome randomness, requires Active Fate.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:50 pm

Kreistor wrote:No, it can't branch. That's a temporal concept, which somehow implies two different choices can be made, or Passive Fate can be fooled by a choice. Passive Fate sees which branch is chosen, because the temporal creature making that choice can only choose one path, and will choose one, because it must.
That temporal concept isn't necessary. A tree branching isn't a temporal concept; it branches without changing, and time can branch in the same way. The view from outside nondeterministic time simply sees the points in time where nondeterministic choices are made as splitting off one course of events from another, and Fate doesn't know which course is chosen. Fate doesn't have to know because Fate sees the whole of time, including everything that follows in each branch, both the ones that are chosen and the ones that are missed, and all of the later branches of the chosen and the missed.

From this point of view there are distant branches where history took a radically different course because of nondeterministic choices in the distant past, and those branches have their own Predictamancers accessing Fate to make Predictions that are totally irrelevant to Erfworld as it actually is, and as an unbiased outside observer Fate doesn't care at all for which of those Predictamancers are in the Erfworld we read about and which are only Predictamancers who might have been. We just have to extend your metaphor of time not existing to say that decisions also don't exist; from Fate's perspective all options are equally chosen in a branching view of time that is completely frozen and nontemporal. It's only people trapped inside that think that time actually moves and decisions actually get made; they think they only exist in the branch that they are aware of when really they exist in many branches. Metaphorically, of course.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Pokota » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:48 am

This is why predictamancy should be presented more in the line as to how Parson queries his bracer. "If you do this, then X will happen" as opposed to just "X will happen". It would create and help maintain an illusion of free will. Plus most Erfworlders are just stupid enough to not think thoroughly on the cause and effect train.

In fact, it may be that the predictamancers are doing just that, only they're not revealing the fact that they're asking questions about scenarios to get their predictions in.
zyxophoj wrote:Also, it depends rather heavily on Wanda ... not being Wanda.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:29 am

Pokota wrote:In fact, it may be that the predictamancers are doing just that, only they're not revealing the fact that they're asking questions about scenarios to get their predictions in.
We don't know much about magic in Erfworld, but I bet each magical discipline is quite distinctive. From what we've seen, Mathamancy and Predictamancy seem dangerously close to each other in capabilities and usefulness. Even though they are both Hocus Pocus they should be different enough to justify being two separate disciplines. Based on the bracer, I think the difference is that Mathamancy gives you numbers when you give it questions, and Predictamancy gives you answers without having to be asked questions. I would never want that difference taken away just for something as intangible as an illusion of free will.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby drachefly » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:49 am

Lilwik wrote:
drachefly wrote:We are able to have free will because they are at least partly deterministic (pure randomness would not enable the machinery of consciousness; we can survive some random noise).
I'm a solidly unshakable compatibilist, but I'm also aware that the above is a trick and trying to make too strong a case for compatibilism.


For it to be a trick, I think I would have to be aware of some sort of trickery. Unless you're saying I'm regurgitating someone else's trick?

Lilwik wrote:Nondeterminism is not the same thing as randomness


How so? Do you mean in the sense that Quantum Mechanics splits the two? Like a contingency table being completely deterministic but describing random outcomes? I don't see a useful distinction between those and true randomness, so are you thinking of something else?

Lilwik wrote:and a universe without any determinism is just as consistent with free will as a fully deterministic universe.


What do you mean by 'without any determinism'? What comes to my mind when I read that is completely inconsistent with persistent state. A universe of pure noise.

Lilwik wrote:We have vast amounts of evidence suggesting that our universe is deterministic, but it is impossible to be sure of that, and if we ever discovered that we live in a nondeterministic universe that would not necessarily destroy our free will.


Well, yes. That's precisely what I said in what you were quoting: our free will can survive the existence of noise.

Lipkin wrote:Yes, you still have free will if you are drunk. You could have made other choices that did not lead to you getting drunk. Once you are drunk, your judgement is impaired, but not removed. You are still making choices. You are still in control of your own destiny, even if you are driving erratically.


Do you just mean, "Yeah, you've got some free will left, but not all of it"? Or is it just a binary thing for you? If the latter, your definition goes against standard usage and usefulness without yielding any philosophical insights.

Either way, I don't see how the second sentence is relevant. We agree that this person freely became drunk (unless they were tricked with spiked drinks or something, in which I'd hope we agree that they did not of their free will become drunk), but I don't see what that has to do with whether they had free will while they were drunk.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Sir_Dr_D » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:23 am

Lilwik wrote:
Pokota wrote:In fact, it may be that the predictamancers are doing just that, only they're not revealing the fact that they're asking questions about scenarios to get their predictions in.
We don't know much about magic in Erfworld, but I bet each magical discipline is quite distinctive. From what we've seen, Mathamancy and Predictamancy seem dangerously close to each other in capabilities and usefulness. Even though they are both Hocus Pocus they should be different enough to justify being two separate disciplines. Based on the bracer, I think the difference is that Mathamancy gives you numbers when you give it questions, and Predictamancy gives you answers without having to be asked questions. I would never want that difference taken away just for something as intangible as an illusion of free will.


I beleive:

Mathamancy: Queries the Numbers axis, which acts as Erfworlds rules engine. Given a set of inputs, it will give you the percentage chance for outputs. This can be used to make queries about the future to give the best scientific estimate of what could happen.

Finadmancy: Queries the Erf axis. Findamancy is used to find answers about the physical realities of erfworld. Where things are, etc.

Predictamancy; Queries the Fate Axis. What the fate axis is or does , we don't know yet. But it has responsibilites in Erfworld , just like Numbers and Erf. Predictamancers know what those responsibilites are. Give the result of a 'Predicition' as a Mathamancy parameter and you would get a better idea of when, and how it could happen.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Kreistor » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:38 pm

Lilwik wrote:The view from outside nondeterministic time simply sees the points in time where nondeterministic choices are made as splitting off one course of events from another, and Fate doesn't know which course is chosen. Fate doesn't have to know because Fate sees the whole of time, including everything that follows in each branch, both the ones that are chosen and the ones that are missed, and all of the later branches of the chosen and the missed.


How you can propose a nondeterministic world that always resolves to a single outcome, I do not know. The mental gymnastics you're going through demands adherence to levels of coincidence that are absurd. But it's Clay's position on Wanda re: Luckamancy that truly denies nondeterminism. He denies she can die to random chance. A nondeterministic universe demands that all possible futures can occur, including Wanda's random death from falling. The moment any random event becomes impossible, nondeterminism is disproven, because something is interfering with the randomness engine. You might not call that Fate, but it's just a semantics argument. Anything that guides Wanda to her inevitable future is deterministic, and characteristically identical to Active Fate, even if a second Passive Fate observes its effects.

From this point of view there are distant branches where history took a radically different course because of nondeterministic choices in the distant past, and those branches have their own Predictamancers accessing Fate to make Predictions that are totally irrelevant to Erfworld as it actually is, and as an unbiased outside observer Fate doesn't care at all for which of those Predictamancers are in the Erfworld we read about and which are only Predictamancers who might have been. We just have to extend your metaphor of time not existing to say that decisions also don't exist; from Fate's perspective all options are equally chosen in a branching view of time that is completely frozen and nontemporal. It's only people trapped inside that think that time actually moves and decisions actually get made; they think they only exist in the branch that they are aware of when really they exist in many branches. Metaphorically, of course.


Entirely false. Decisions are made, and they are not influenced or forced by any entity. Free Will exists under the Observational model, because nothing is forcing a particular conclusion. Passive Fate does not interfere, in any way, so every decision is fundamentally Free. You choose, but it's because Fate is outside of time that it knows what will be chosen, because from it's perspective, it will be chosen, is being chosen, and was chosen simultaneously. It reports what you chose, which does not deny you the ability to choose. Passive Fate, for instance, reports that Wanda will attune, only because Wanda made the decisions that led to attunement. Passive Fate does not care if she made other decisions: if she had done so, it would report a different fate that leads away from the Pliers, and not suggest Attunement. There is only one path, the one that will be chosen by the participants.

Passive Fate is Harry Potter, looking at himself dying, and realizing that he must choose to save himself, because there never was anyone else to do the job, and not wait for an imaginary father to interfere. It is the realization that Fate is only telling you what you did because you will make that choice freely, and it never restricted you to a single option, only told you in advance what you will decide the best course of action is going to be.

Individuals inside the system may see Passive Fate's perfect prediction rate as evidence that they have no choice, and confuse it for Active Fate. And that is my fundamental point, going all the way back to my first response. Inside the system, you cannot tell if Fate is Active or Passive, since they both have perfect records and leave the same imaginary footprints.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Denar » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:31 pm

arkerpay wrote:You won't get a coherent answer on why he believes it is ridiculous. He won't allow himself to look even that far into the abyss.


Yes, looking into "the abyss" - it's almost as difficult as you looking at anything I say or understanding my position before writing it off as incoherent. Honestly, do you have anything to contribute or am I supposed to just take your tone to mean you disagree with this philosophy because it makes you uncomfortable, but you're not articulate enough to create a response so you're just going to attack me?

If it is the former, please show me where I become incoherent and I'll break it down for you.


drachefly wrote:Oh, I'm glad you agree it's ridiculous. And... why can we hold that bundle of nerves accountable? Because those nerve impulses happen to compose a free will. Not merely give the illusion thereof to a passive observer inhabitant of that skull.


It's not a "why can we hold that bundle of nerves accountable". It's "why do we". We have a justice system in order to prevent "crime" from happening, because at the end of the day we're all hedonistic beings (I mean in the sense, we find pleasure preferable to non-pleasure), so we hold "bundle of nerves" accountable for their actions to stop them doing whatever we don't want them to and to discourage others from doing the same. That way everyone ends up happier.
There's not a step between "everything we do is determined" and "everything we do is therefore out of our control, so do anything you want." We can still have morality. Also you can believe in souls, I guess if you want, or similar philosophies, but that's just extra.

For it to be a trick, I think I would have to be aware of some sort of trickery. Unless you're saying I'm regurgitating someone else's trick?


He's saying that once you accept the determinism of all the tiny things, and were responsible for the forming of your consciousness, and also responsible for all the experiences that have affected it, then it's a slippery slope.


Anyway, please stop (mostly directed at Arkerpay and his argument ad absurdum with determinism and ethics) arguing as though I think a pessimistic deterministic outlook on life is correct. Remember I am always bringing this back to Erfworld. The big point about determinism is that it doesn't "dictate" our actions because we can ignore all the tiny things and the illusion of free will is indistinguishable from the real thing. But in Erfworld people can see the future, and if Passive Fate is the case and it points out inevitabilities as complex as the storyline (practically Wanda's entire life, and most of Parson's), then that implies this is pessimistic determinism which sucks in stories, where we assume the characters have complete free will.

I am pointing out what sucks about pessimistic determinism and nobody has "control" over their actions if Erfworld uses it.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby drachefly » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:41 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Lilwik wrote:The view from outside nondeterministic time simply sees the points in time where nondeterministic choices are made as splitting off one course of events from another, and Fate doesn't know which course is chosen. Fate doesn't have to know because Fate sees the whole of time, including everything that follows in each branch, both the ones that are chosen and the ones that are missed, and all of the later branches of the chosen and the missed.


How you can propose a nondeterministic world that always resolves to a single outcome, I do not know.


He said above that it wouldn't always resolve to a single outcome, but there is a single outcome it will happen to resolve to.

Like, if you have a contingency table, and Fate only guarantees certain points on it will be reached. Between them it can branch out and reconverge. That said, you're totally right that the reconvergence will require a lot of cleanup work, funneling things back into their fated destinations. This is anything but passive.

That said... I still don't see a reason that fate couldn't simply be a boundary condition and the laws stretch between fated events. It's acausal, but if you're messing with fate, causality is already out the window.

Denar wrote:He's saying that once you accept the determinism of all the tiny things, and were responsible for the forming of your consciousness, and also responsible for all the experiences that have affected it, then it's a slippery slope.


The part of the deterministic universe which did that determination of what my choices is? We call that part of the deterministic universe... ME. The buck gets to stop here because there's nowhere else to go.

Responsibility is not conserved. Are you (including Lilwik) familiar with the notion of screened influence?

Denar wrote:Anyway, please stop (mostly directed at Arkerpay and his argument ad absurdum with determinism and ethics)...


I only did it for one line with a laughing smilie at the end.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lipkin » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:59 pm

drachefly wrote:
Lipkin wrote:Yes, you still have free will if you are drunk. You could have made other choices that did not lead to you getting drunk. Once you are drunk, your judgement is impaired, but not removed. You are still making choices. You are still in control of your own destiny, even if you are driving erratically.

Do you just mean, "Yeah, you've got some free will left, but not all of it"? Or is it just a binary thing for you? If the latter, your definition goes against standard usage and usefulness without yielding any philosophical insights.

Either way, I don't see how the second sentence is relevant. We agree that this person freely became drunk (unless they were tricked with spiked drinks or something, in which I'd hope we agree that they did not of their free will become drunk), but I don't see what that has to do with whether they had free will while they were drunk.
I mean, no one is controlling your actions but you when you are drunk. Your judgement is being impaired, and you are more suggestible, but there is still no grand manipulator taking control of you. You are still responsible for everything you do while inebriated. If you weren't, "I was drunk" would be a valid legal excuse for wrong doing. Which it is not.

In the event of being drugged, your choices still lead you there, so up until that moment you have free will. From the legal stand point, you lose your free will when you are forced into being under the influence. I would argue that being tricked or lied to does not remove your free will either. Ignorance does not remove your ability to choose, only to choose wisely. You still choose to drink, you just didn't have all the information to make a good choice. If you are physically forced to drink, then they are overwhelming your body, not your will.

Being lied to, tricked, or manipulated does not remove your free will. Being under the influence does not remove your free will, only makes you more vulnerable to being lied to, tricked, or manipulated. Either way, you are unable to see, or unable to process, the information that would lead to good choices, but choices are still being made by you alone. If you are physically forced to do something, that isn't removing your free will. You are still making a choice, they are just ignoring it. In the legal sense, you are being forced against your will. In the cosmic sense, you are not.


I'm not a religious person. But what I'm describing is what people talk about when they say god gave man free will. God is not controlling us, only man. This is not what the legal system refers to as free will. But when discussing fate in Erf, we are not talking from a legal standpoint, but an essentially theological one.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:01 pm

drachefly wrote:For it to be a trick, I think I would have to be aware of some sort of trickery. Unless you're saying I'm regurgitating someone else's trick?
You also might be doing it accidentally, but I expect regurgitation is most likely because there is an enormous amount of philosophical writing on the subject of compatibilism and from the other content of your posts I suspect that you have read some of it.

drachefly wrote:
Lilwik wrote:Nondeterminism is not the same thing as randomness
How so? Do you mean in the sense that Quantum Mechanics splits the two?
No, I mean the simplest thing imaginable: randomness is not the only way to be nondeterministic. Determinism means that the future of the world is determined by the state of world and some laws. Nondeterminism is anything else, which includes randomness, but just as well includes magical puppeteers pulling all the strings and having a chuckle when they trick us into believing in determinism and have our empirical experiments provide consistent results all entirely by the whim of the puppeteers.

drachefly wrote:What do you mean by 'without any determinism'? What comes to my mind when I read that is completely inconsistent with persistent state. A universe of pure noise.
Just because laws don't have to hold doesn't mean they aren't taken as strong suggestions most of the time. We think we see determinism everywhere in life, but it's not really determinism unless we can absolutely depend upon it. If there were a small chance that sometimes events could shift into a nondeterministic mode where the next event literally can never be determined from the current state, then that would be a nondeterministic universe. And when I say "without any determinism" I mean a universe where no event can ever be determined from the current state, like the puppet show universe.

Edit: In other words, a nondeterministic universe could be pure noise, but it could also be anything, including a universe that looks exactly like our universe. Nondeterminism makes no positive statements about what you can expect from examining the universe.

Kreistor wrote:How you can propose a nondeterministic world that always resolves to a single outcome, I do not know. The mental gymnastics you're going through demands adherence to levels of coincidence that are absurd. But it's Clay's position on Wanda re: Luckamancy that truly denies nondeterminism. He denies she can die to random chance. A nondeterministic universe demands that all possible futures can occur, including Wanda's random death from falling.
Again, nondeterminism is not the same as randomness. Incompatibilists don't mean randomness when they say nondeterminism. I suspect nondeterminism in Erfworld because it makes incompatibilists more comfortable about free will and because it nicely explains why Predictamancers cannot Predict everything. If falling gives you such trouble then we can simply declare that falling is entirely deterministic, deterministic yet random the way dice are. No one will complain about a fall not having free will. On top of that all nondeterminism can be narrow and restricted (especially since nondeterminism might not even exist at all) so it becomes possible that certain events can be inevitable the way they seem to be in Erfworld without eliminating free will.

drachefly wrote:He said above that it wouldn't always resolve to a single outcome, but there is a single outcome it will happen to resolve to. Like, if you have a contingency table, and Fate only guarantees certain points on it will be reached. Between them it can branch out and reconverge.
No, you and Kreistor seem to be allowing the conversation to lead you away from the facts of the matter as found in the story. There is no single outcome and there is no reconvergence. Surely you don't think that Wanda's Fate to serve Olive meant Wanda had only one possible outcome and that all her paths converged to the same place. They are only the same place if you think the destruction of Goodminton and the death of Wanda's family is trivial. Is "Wanda serving Olive while Tommy is alive" the same outcome as "Wanda serving Olive while Tommy is dead"?

What I see are two very different outcomes that both happen to share a detail in common, and that detail is what Delphie called Wanda's Fate. I'm sure all Fates are like that, an infinite collection of widely distributed possible outcomes that are deliberately spread around a unit so that the unit cannot escape them. A Predictamancer squints at a unit and examines the unit's future to find what details exist in all futures for that unit, then reports those details as a Prediction.
Last edited by Lilwik on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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