John Conway, "Free Will Theorem"

From: Pete Carlton <>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 01:30:00 -0700


I recently attended a talk here in Berkeley, California given by John
Conway (of 'Game of Life' fame), in which he discussed some of his
results with Simon Kochen, extending the Kochen-Specker paradox. He
presents this as the "Free Will Theorem", saying basically that
particles must have as much "free will" as the experimenters who are
deciding which directions to measure the |spin| of a spin-1 particle
  --I would replace his words "free will" with "indeterminacy", but
there is still an interesting paradox lurking there.

A good online writeup is here:

I wrote up my brief take on it, necessarily from a more philosophical
angle, here:
and here:

I have the intuition that a multiverse approach very readily dissolves
his mystery, but am not quite sure how to formally work it out. I
thought some people on this list might be interested, or have a ready
answer in hand - in particular, I'd like to know if this 'paradox'
really is a paradox in one or more of the multiverse conceptions
discussed here.

thanks and best regards,
Received on Thu Apr 07 2005 - 13:14:53 PDT

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