Re: John Conway, "Free Will Theorem"

From: John M <>
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 17:33:13 -0400

I think the (originally so named) "Multiverse" has been formulated to fit Russell's postulate.
I formulated a different 'structure'(?) for a 'multiverse', maybe I should find another name for it. It is closer to Hal's 'everything'. I am not on the level to discuss, how the infinites in an unlimited ideation fit the QM determinism. Deterministic it is, as long as we consider ONE existence and not many (infinitely many) parallel ones. QM or not.
If I understand Russell's 'the single world universe of our senses' right, it is the 'model' we construe upon our interpretation of the limited part of the world which our senses provide for us, eo ipso it is not deterministic (arbitrary?). It also changes with our epistemic enrichment.
The question of (in)determinacy within our judgement is model-related. A distinction:
"..."free will" to refer to conscious entities making indeterminate choices..." is as well the judgement of reasonability in our limited views. There may be (hidden? undiscovered?) 'reasons' that make us choose a (seemingly) "unreasonable" decision.

To Statis' question I don't pretend to have "The Answer", :
"...Can someone please explain how I can tell when I am exercising *genuine* free will, as opposed to this pseudo-free variety, which clearly I have no control over?"
 but a consideration may go like this:
our mind is interrelated to the rest of the totality (wholeness) and stores individually different mindsets as a result of memory and ideation (genetically + personal history-wise modified).
The 'mind' (what is it? self, memories, etc., I say: the mental ASPECT of our complexity)
is not a sole function of the brain-tissues which are only the tools working WITH it. There is no 'mystery' in this statement: only our ignorance preventing to discover things beyond our present models by our physical and physiological observational (and explanatory) skills.
At the level of complexness in our mind-state we have choices. Not freely, but definitely 'ways' to compare and choose. "We are free" means we can choose the route that fits most the combined image of our mental state at the moment. We are "free" to choose otherwise, again, deterministically by the background(s) we consciously know or don't. No matter if
it looks 'reasonable' for others, ot not. Statis is right to feel not responsible for such choices - only religions impart such guilt-feeling to keep the flock under control.

Since the actions are deemed (in)deterministic in both 'conscious(?)' and 'inanimate(?)' units, it points to our ignorance about the functional originations for them. The unlimited interconnections with their differential efficiency on the different targets that makes the wholistic interconnection of the totality incalculable (not prone to Turing-Chuch application) gives us the feeling of a free will, of indeterminacy, earlier: of a miracle and awe.

I don't want to even guess how much we did not yet discover. Well, we are past the Flat Earth. Or are we?

John Mikes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell Standish" <>
To: "Pete Carlton" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: John Conway, "Free Will Theorem"

The Multiverse is a deterministic framework for quantum mechanics. It
is completely compatible with it. A paradox can only occur if you
think the single world universe of our senses is deterministic - which
it clearly isn't.

My "definition" of free will is "the ability to do something
completely stupid" - ie related to irrationality. A perfectly rational
being would be completely deterministic, and in my mind has no free

This certainly appears to be compatible with Conway's use of the
term. It is usual to equate the choice of measurement by the
experimenter as "free will". It is also certainly true that fixing the QM state
vector, as well as the choice of measurement does not determine the
outcome of the measurement. To say that the observed system has free
will in deciding the outcome of the experiment is certainly a
provocative way of putting it, but I think it is perfectly reasonable
to ask the question of why we use the term "free will" to refer to
conscious entities making indeterminate choices, and not for
non-conscious entities.

On an interesting segue on this matter is found in Roy Frieden's book
"Physics from Fisher Information", where he talks about measurement as
being a game in which the experimenter attempts expose as much
information as possible about reality, and reality attempts to hide
that information. The minimax principle this generates can be used to
derive all sorts of fundamental equations, including the Klein-Gordon
equation, a relativistic version of Schroedinger's equation.


On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 01:30:00AM -0700, Pete Carlton wrote:
> Greetings,
Received on Sat Apr 09 2005 - 17:37:29 PDT

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