Determinism is now a religion.
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25-02-2014, 03:43 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
Just because randomness exists at the quantum level doesn't mean you have free will. It just means the system of your brain is in an unpredictable state, it doesn't mean you have any more control over your actions.
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25-02-2014, 06:29 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
I think I have control over whether to type this message, and how to type it and when to typ...

Nope... I changed my mind.

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28-02-2014, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2014 07:14 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
Finished the course on Unpredictable? Randomness, Chance and Free Will. Fucker misled me with the title of the course. Spent like a month on randomness (who the fuck knew randomness was such a complicated fuckin' concept Big Grin ), another month on deterministic chaos, pre-arranged agreement, double slit experiments, local hidden variables and Bell's inequality. Spent like 10 minutes on Libet's experiment and free will. Fucker. Title of the course should've been "An Information Theoretic Introduction to Quantum Indeterminism." Still I found it extremely informative and dude's explanation of Bell's inequality and its implications is one of the best I've seen for cookies on the lower shelf for short fucks like me.

I've attached the final exam and my responses for anyone who's interested. If you're taking the course don't peek or you'll violate coursera's honor code.


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As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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01-03-2014, 01:50 AM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(21-02-2014 09:37 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  So I been taking this class over at coursera called Unpredictable? Randomness, Chance and Free Will
and what I got so far is determinism has been relegated to a matter of belief not only not supported by evidence, but fundamentally untenable. ... Determinism, like dualism, goes in my trash bin. Tongue

I can accept that reality may indeed be fundamentally indeterminate, and I can understand how the Central Limit Theorem, combined with limited perception of precision, can result in what we see as causality...and at one point in my life, I could even solve Schroedinger's equation.

But epistomologically, how can we know? "It's truly random" does not elliminate the need for hidden variables, as it has no explanatory power. So "there are deterministic hidden variables" satisfies our dear Earl's razor just as well.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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01-03-2014, 02:50 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2014 02:54 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 01:50 AM)toadaly Wrote:  But epistomologically, how can we know? "It's truly random" does not elliminate the need for hidden variables, as it has no explanatory power. So "there are deterministic hidden variables" satisfies our dear Earl's razor just as well.

We can't know, we can just observe. My read on what the professor said regarding local hidden variables is that Bell identified properties which must hold if there are local hidden variables. We have empirical evidence that those properties do not hold. Therefore, the local hidden variable theory is dismissed. Still might be global hidden variables (Bohm's wave) but for all practical matters shit remains intrinsically random even in the face of that. That's pretty much in a nutshell what I got from the class.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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01-03-2014, 03:04 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 02:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  We can't know, we can just observe. My read on what the professor said regarding local hidden variables is that Bell identified properties which must hold if there are local hidden variables. We have empirical evidence that those properties do not hold. Therefore, the local hidden variable theory is dismissed. Still might be global hidden variables (Bohm's wave) but for all practical matters shit remains intrinsically random even in the face of that. That's pretty much in a nutshell what I got from the class.

Yep.

(01-03-2014 01:50 AM)toadaly Wrote:  But epistomologically, how can we know? "It's truly random" does not elliminate the need for hidden variables, as it has no explanatory power. So "there are deterministic hidden variables" satisfies our dear Earl's razor just as well.

Epistemologically speaking, how can we know anything?

If the answer "it seems to be, according to the best of our present knowledge, treating the internally consistent results obtained by scientific inquiry as a valid reflection of an underlying and invariant external reality" doesn't suffice, well, shit. 'Cause y'ain't got any viable alternatives going so far as I can see.

But no, we had a whole thread about that one time, OP's trolling notwithstanding.

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01-03-2014, 03:40 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 03:04 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Epistemologically speaking, how can we know anything?

If the answer "it seems to be, according to the best of our present knowledge, treating the internally consistent results obtained by scientific inquiry as a valid reflection of an underlying and invariant external reality" doesn't suffice, well, shit. 'Cause y'ain't got any viable alternatives going so far as I can see.

Well, I don't feel the need to go so far as to question knowledge of anything, but if we say something is truly noncausal/random, how can we know that? It's not a conclusion that obviously follows from anything, except the failure to find a cause. Maybe there are ways to prove it, I don't know - but if so I'm unaware of them - what girlyman stated in regard to localized hidden variables notwithstanding.

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01-03-2014, 04:00 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 03:40 PM)toadaly Wrote:  Well, I don't feel the need to go so far as to question knowledge of anything, but if we say something is truly noncausal/random, how can we know that? It's not a conclusion that obviously follows from anything, except the failure to find a cause.

... sort of.

(01-03-2014 03:40 PM)toadaly Wrote:  Maybe there are ways to prove it, I don't know - but if so I'm unaware of them - what girlyman stated in regard to localized hidden variables notwithstanding.

There are ways to prove deterministic models wrong, of which that is one.

But it's also true that randomness is a consequence of the postulates of quantum mechanics. For one example consider the canonical commutation relation between position and momentum; the mathematical formalism of their relationship is directly akin to that of Fourier transforms, and as such as the precision of one measure becomes exact the other becomes an ever broader spread. Thus the expectation becomes equally likely to be any possible value...

Which is to say, wave functions provide a partial explanation insofar as they provide an explanation for why an exact state yet admits of multiple measurement outcomes. What is not provided is a completely explanation of how a measurement/interaction brings about a specific outcome.

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01-03-2014, 05:50 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What is not provided is a completely explanation of how a measurement/interaction brings about a specific outcome.

The act of observation is indistinguishable from the act of creation. Tongue

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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01-03-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: Determinism is now a religion.
(01-03-2014 05:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(01-03-2014 04:00 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What is not provided is a completely explanation of how a measurement/interaction brings about a specific outcome.

The act of observation is indistinguishable from the act of creation. Tongue

Only insofar as "creation" may be taken as "bringing into [temporary] existence a well-defined eigenstate of the system in question from among the probabilistic distribution of possible states".

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