Book 2 – Page 110

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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby arbo » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:34 pm

multilis wrote:http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F133.jpg Hoboken was enough to kill a unit and its mount. That suggests fight in magic kingdom may have gone as far as croaking mages rather than just incapacitating.


Look again. Parson was the one who hack'd the mount with his sword. And next panel, the unit ki'ed by Maggie is still alive and invoking the Titans... just before being quern'd in two by that rock golem. Hoboken hasn't croaked anyone.
“Run this same calculation ten times in a row. Go.”
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Sir_Dr_D » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:31 pm

It has been 3 weeks, and still Sizemore is just standing there.

COme on do something. You need to go into the portal , put out the fire , and save Antium. You don't need to wait for the author and artist to give you instructions. Take some initiative!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby drachefly » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:22 am

Lilwik wrote:... as specified it is just like the real world except simpler and therefore easier to conceive...


Lacking in the coherence department though. I wasn't going after whether you can imagine something without examining it in detail. And whether people can figure out the laws is a distraction.

Lilwik wrote:it's no more absurd than the idea that people in society do not always obey the laws that have been written for them. Everything we know about the universe suggests that the universe is deterministic, but imagining nondeterministic worlds is very possible and you need to do it in order to think about incompatibilism fairly.


You keep on talking as if I was requiring determinism for a lawful universe. I just had this big bit about stochastic processes, which are fundamentally random. Deterministic laws determine the distribution from which the outcomes are drawn. This is a very general framework. No example you've given even approaches challenging it. My example of an infinitely complex set of laws comes closer than anything you've said (but I have a convincing solution; if you doubt it, I will provide it)

Basically, whatever you throw at me, I've divided it into two parts - the explicable and the random. You might as well say that you can devise a function from the complex numbers to the complex numbers that isn't the sum of an even function and an odd function. Or, more pertinently, that you can't take any curve as the sum of some curvefit and a list of high-entropy-density residuals.

Lilwik wrote:"convergence" means coming together at a single point
No, it doesn't. Are you familiar with astigmatism? There are two lines of convergence instead of a single focal point. It is this sort of partial convergence that was what was meant here. It's still convergence. Similarly, convergent evolution is not towards a single point. A convergent boundary in plate tectonics is extended over a huge range.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:18 pm

drachefly wrote:Lacking in the coherence department though.
I suspect that shows your deterministic bias. You're just calling it incoherent because it doesn't explain how it works, or in other words there are no laws given to describe why things happen, or in other words it's not deterministic. If you really saw a logical problem with my examples you'd be able to point it out instead of merely calling them incoherent. There's nothing incoherent about my examples; they just don't conform to your strict ideas of how the world works: everything either explicable or random.

drachefly wrote:You keep on talking as if I was requiring determinism for a lawful universe.
I'm making that requirement and I assumed you were also, since "a lawful universe" and "a deterministic universe" are two ways to say the same thing.

drachefly wrote:Deterministic laws determine the distribution from which the outcomes are drawn.
That's right, but it's misleading since the "distribution" determined by deterministic laws allow for only one outcome. The big reason why some people are incompatibilists is a rejection of the idea that there could be only one possible future.

drachefly wrote:Basically, whatever you throw at me, I've divided it into two parts - the explicable and the random.
I've noticed that and that's a fun thing for compatibilists to claim because it makes incompatibilists look foolish. When an incompatiblist says that the world must be nondeterministic because free will is real, you can just say that anything that isn't deterministic must be random and therefore nondeterminism obviously gets you no closer to free will. The problem with that argument is that you need to prove that everything is either explicable or random, because an incompatibilist is probably not going to share that assumption. I don't share that assumption either, and I've tried to supply counter-examples showing inexplicable things that are clearly neither random nor absurd. Beyond that I don't know what I can do except point out that the burden of proof should be on you since you're the one declaring an enormous set of things to be impossible and I'm just saying they might be possible.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby drachefly » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 am

Okay, setting aside the silly point of whether I'm a determinist or not (and I'm clearly not arguing for determinism, as you can see by a brief inspection of my previous posts)... Moreover, lawful with a (subjective) random element describes the actual world we live in, so it'd be foolish for me to rule it out.

I've noticed that and that's a fun thing for compatibilists to claim because it makes incompatibilists look foolish.


... well... no, but yes? I mean, it does make them look foolish, but the reason I said it was because that's what I actually did, because that's the answer to the proximate problem. And the reason it makes them foolish is because I'm right.


You want a general proof? It lies in the definition of 'random': what you've got left after you've squeezed all the predictability out of a system. Any tendency, any memory that comes back and does something... anything that actually carries state and uses it for anything other than a high-grade PRNG... all that is the kind of stuff that you can build these predictions out of. That's what's not random.

If it's entirely new every time without any bias? You can't. That's what we call random.

These two span the space of explanations by construction. That's the whole point of constructing it. If you think you've broken it, all you've done is muddy the waters so it's not so easy to see why something happened the way it did, so you vacillate between the two and think you've found something else. Generally by abusing the probability of the random element.

Like, Alice can consider any arbitrary point of Hilbert space - its amplitude is probably nonzero - and say, "Aha! This describes a world where X stupendously unlikely event occurred! But it is high complexity, and no deterministic system forced this outcome!" But Alice did the work of picking this [s]world[/s] huge subspace of worlds out, and it is not special except in her mind. The processes that produced it are deterministic, and we randomly ended up not experiencing that branch of the universal wavefunction. There's nothing there.

The car that reliably goes for no reason? The critters that have conversations for no reason? Either something made them happen or it didn't. Denying it is an attempt to escape the connotations of randomness while accepting the defining characteristic, that it isn't predictable even in principle and with universal knowledge.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:48 pm

drachefly wrote:I mean, it does make them look foolish, but the reason I said it was because that's what I actually did, because that's the answer to the proximate problem.
But you can only do that if you define random to mean anything unpredictable, but in that case it is only making incompatibilists look foolish by hijacking the connotations of a word by using it in a way that word is not normally used and where the connotations don't apply.

drachefly wrote:It lies in the definition of 'random': what you've got left after you've squeezed all the predictability out of a system.
But if you use that definition of random then you can't claim that randomness is like noise or that it is unintelligible or that it cannot form the foundation for free will. People could be largely random under that definition.

drachefly wrote:Any tendency, any memory that comes back and does something... anything that actually carries state and uses it for anything other than a high-grade PRNG... all that is the kind of stuff that you can build these predictions out of. That's what's not random.
What about stuff that carries state and uses it for something other than a PRNG but is still unpredictable? It's not necessarily bound to allow the state to determine everything that it does every time; the state can inform its decisions without defining them.

drachefly wrote:If it's entirely new every time without any bias? You can't. That's what we call random.
That's true, which makes it strange that you just defined random to be something else, something far more inclusive. Under your definition you also have to include things that are only new some of the time and things that have biases, which can include things like people. You have to include them because they also cannot be predicted.

drachefly wrote:Either something made them happen or it didn't. Denying it is an attempt to escape the connotations of randomness while accepting the defining characteristic, that it isn't predictable even in principle and with universal knowledge.
You're right that I'm attempting to escape the connotations of randomness, but only because your broad definition of randomness shouldn't carry those connotations. Your kind of randomness includes many things that most people wouldn't want to call random.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby drachefly » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:12 pm

Lilwik wrote:
drachefly wrote:If it's entirely new every time without any bias? You can't. That's what we call random.
That's true, which makes it strange that you just defined random to be something else, something far more inclusive. Under your definition you also have to include things that are only new some of the time and things that have biases, which can include things like people. You have to include them because they also cannot be predicted.


You have not squeezed enough predictability out of those things. Keep in mind I'm talking in-principle, here, not what we can actually pull off.

Like, note how I was just saying you can find all those biases, and chalk them up as not random. Then you go pointing out how it isn't random. Yeah, well, it's also not left over after removing everything that's not random...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 110

Postby Lilwik » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:04 pm

drachefly wrote:Like, note how I was just saying you can find all those biases, and chalk them up as not random. Then you go pointing out how it isn't random.
Biases can be random under your definition of random. I have a bias toward eating chocolate cake, but you cannot predict that every time I encounter a chocolate cake I will eat it. All you can observe is that there is a bias toward eating chocolate cake, but that actually eating it in any particular instance seems unpredictable without even any clear probabilities. Of course we agree in that example that it's likely not random at all and is actually the deterministic outcome of brain activity, but an incompatibilist would say that it really is random (if an incompatibilist were willing to use your definition of random) and science currently has no proof one way or the other.

To an incompatibilist your broad definition of random includes everything that is free will and so it is not really random at all. Even if compatibilism is one day proven true by science, people will still be able to rightly claim that nondeterminism could be a foundation for free will because nondeterminism can do anything; it is everything that isn't deterministic, including true randomness, inexplicable free will, and the supernatural. Determinism is the hard way, the way that looks for reasons to perfectly explain everything that happens and believes that things that appear random are merely chaotic, while nondeterminism is just every other possibility that you can imagine, including many things that aren't noise. Nondeterminism is the easy way where you can explain anything by merely calling it nondeterministic and spare yourself from having to come up with proper reasons.

Consider the difference between a random algorithm and a nondeterministic algorithm. A random algorithm is just an ordinary algorithm that uses randomness, but nondeterministic algorithms include many other things, including very strange things that are believed to be beyond the power of real computers since real computers are deterministic. If an algorithm can find an answer in nondeterministic polynomial time it means that the answer can be generated nondeterministically and then verified in polynomial time, as though generating the answer took no time at all or it was simply given to us by a supernatural source. Such things don't exist in the real world, but the point is that nondeterminism can mean far more than mere randomness in some situations; it can mean correct answers to questions popping out of nowhere.

You are clearly going for a weakened determinism that says that everything is either deterministic or else it is random, but that is no more proven than determinism is proven. Until science uncovers all the laws and can explain everything, we won't know for certain that there aren't more interesting kinds of nondeterminism working in the world.
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