Re: Determinism

From: John M <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2004 10:51:27 -0500

Ben, we are getting somewhere.
I still see a difference between my trend to generalize concepts to the hilt
and applying them to identified processes/qualities (as: intelligent
I consider determinism a "result" of affecting effects from parts
I could call it an extended causality to the unlimited (vs. witin
impacts. Definitely not a purposeful action by determonation.
Such extension ad absurdum (?) gives the feeling of a free will. There are
elements in the "causes" beyond our knowledge, definitely beyond our
observation. Undiscovered may still influence.
Anticipatory can be an event if we can pinpoint the circumstances under
which it occurs (if not, not).
Your application to the physical world is not objectionable to me, just as
an application of a general concept to a model. I discontinued to think as a
chemist (never really applied physicist mindwork) - a pretension I like to
say, one cannot really shed a 'brainwashed-in' philosophy of the gullible
ages when our 'intelligence' evolved. Exceptional people pretend to do so, I
don't believe it is going into the fundamental. We accept "what we see" and
see what we are told. The models of science, of religion, of materialism,
Using the wordage on this list, I am tempted to call math a 'universe' with
different qualities from the one we 'really' live in. Mathematicians have a
'schizophrenic existence', living with one consciousness in two universes.
(Some really don't, they take the math for real). I hope this is not

I think signs are secondary: mindwork after observation, by abstraction -
which IMO is the primary function of 'intelligence' (my definition:
rather than plasticity of the growing brainwork). Language comes upon it,
however this is not a hierarchy: the mind applies the elements in concert
(just like a complexity <G>). Primary refers to the evolutiponary sequence.

Thanks for your in-debth writing: I try to stay on top of it (meaning: NOT
digging into the depth, just superficially regarding the 'total'
I hope it helps me escape from the restrictive details in thinking.

John M

----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Udell" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: Determinism

> I agree with Norman too, particularly about boundaries & the "snapshot
style." I would add that, the physical states & events that can be detected
should implicitly contain the things that we fear may be "reduced away."
Just because they would not be obvious when represented in physical
mathematical terms does not mean that they are not there. Here is an
example. When we discover a truth, we may well allow our behavior to depend
on it. We look in order to see, & we somehow arrange it so that we **heed**
the signs. We allow logic, for instance, to be a distinct & salient factor
in our behavior -- **in our cogitative behavior at least, but usually &
almost inevitably much more.** And not only logic. Our behavior may arrange
to become specially dependent on the properties of the number pi, or on
statistical likelihoods apparent in information about the star Vega. We
allow & support for our behavior to depend on continually renovated &
occasionally redesigned structures of signs &!
> evidences conjectured, expected, grasped, remembered etc. These sort of
dependencies, then, characterize very particular sets of physical states &
events -- those of intelligent beings. Physical states & events are already
models for certain mathematical structures which we apply to understand
those physical states & events. Somehow, some physical states & events are
capable of representing others, sometimes many at a time with generality, &
so on. Capable of representing &/or interpreting &/or proving or confirming
or corroborating or whatever. If mathematics itself is fecund with implicit
structures, there is no reason to think that the physical mathematical data
on physical states & events are not likewise fecund with structures that
emerge, as we say, & come to light at higher levels. (Or maybe I'm wrong,
I'm no physicist.)
> - Ben Udell
> From: "John M" <> on 15/01/2004 20:17:49
> To: "Norman Samish" <>, "Doug Porpora"
> <>
> cc: <>
> Subject: Re: Determinism
> Hi all,
> I'm trying to catch up the issues discussed, but it is becoming almost
impossible. That's why I'm commenting this mail almost 6 days late.
> About what you wrote Norman, I don't disagree. Physical Man is a sum of
physical states and events that can be detected and measured. If applied to
all Man will find out that the results will be the same. The difference
between each individual is meaningless at the atom level, quantum-state
level, etc. But when you start to logically "group" all of those "physical
definitions", you'll start to get different results. For example, in a so
low level state you can't see the difference bewteen "Thought" and "body".
They are all electrical manifestations. When gathering all the small
"pieces", you start to have a more high level view of the individual. The
"Thought" and "body" become distinct from each other. If we try only to
explain each piece of the puzzle individually, we will have interesting
mathematical formulations and theorys, but unusefull to identify the
"individual" completely. When we start to "build" the puzzle bit by bit,
we'll find out that the relations between each!
> piece have something more to add to the mathematical formula of "life".
Maybe in a higher level, different "blocks" of the puzzle have a common
meaning for all individuals and can be used as "base units" to continue
building the puzzle, diminishing the level of complexity.
> In one thing I agree: the start must be on the atom level, quantum-state,
etc. What do you all think of this approach?
> >Also, I'm unable to find a meaningful (to me) argument against
reductionism. Why is it in trouble? It seems to me that even a complex
human being can be defined in concept by discrete quantum states and
particles, atoms and electrical charges. "Thoughts" are therefore NOT
infinite because they can be conceptually defined in terms of particles and
quantum states, and there are not an infinite number of these permutations.<
> >My take on reductionism is the "snapshot style" (in maybe wider sense
than just visual) - considering boundaries for our observation (thinking)
and establishing a model of the 'observed' target WITHIN them. In the sense
of unlimited interconnection (and a/effecting), such view cuts off
connotations beyond said boundaries (be it Q-state, particles, cinsidered
permutations, atoms, electrical charges or whatever is one's beef). It is a
limited view (model) perfectly applicable for computations. Yet: limited.
> >My trend in thoinking (in the newly (just emerging) 'wholistic'
complexity) is the unlimited connectivity - not that I claim to successfully
apply it. We all DO think in reductionistic ways - the only way our mind
works without implying (mystical?) infinity - so I cannot belittle your
> >I wonder if Doug thinks in the same lines as I do.
Received on Thu Jan 22 2004 - 11:13:05 PST

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