Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
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08-07-2017, 03:05 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2017 03:19 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(07-07-2017 05:51 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I'm trying to understand your conception of free will.

- Is it something compatible with determinism?
- Is my "decision making" a physical process?
- Does my "decision making" occur within some measurable time or it happens in a moment or time is irrelevant in this notion of "decision making"?

In my opinion, determinists make the mistake of conflating physical causes with symbolic causes. If I accidentally knock a glass off the table to the floor and it breaks, that is a direct physical cause. But if I worry that the glass will break and am careful not to disturb it, that is a symbolic cause.

Decision making, choosing to think in certain ways to make certain things happen, most certainly has a physical substrate. But that substrate is not itself directly causal in my view. It only supports symbolic processing.

The timing of decision making is tricky. During real world events, everything happens more quickly than the reflective part of the brain can process, so we are almost completely relying on our habits. But since our habits are largely the results of previous conscious practice, they still qualify as decision making, even if the decisions were long before the events. During the events themselves, consciousness is usually reduced to monitoring our habitual actions to make sure they remain within desired parameters, so consciousness is then about tweaking rather than making big decisions. And of course during down time after events, we can reflect and mentally practice modifications to future, similar efforts.

Consciousness is always limited so it must be applied with economy. Still, with practice we can manage to keep many balls in the air.
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08-07-2017, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2017 03:59 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 03:05 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(07-07-2017 05:51 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I'm trying to understand your conception of free will.

- Is it something compatible with determinism?
- Is my "decision making" a physical process?
- Does my "decision making" occur within some measurable time or it happens in a moment or time is irrelevant in this notion of "decision making"?

In my opinion, determinists make the mistake of conflating physical causes with symbolic causes. If I accidentally knock a glass off the table to the floor and it breaks, that is a direct physical cause. But if I worry that the glass will break and am careful not to disturb it, that is a symbolic cause.

Decision making, choosing to think in certain ways to make certain things happen, most certainly has a physical substrate. But that substrate is not itself directly causal in my view. It only supports symbolic processing.

The timing of decision making is tricky. During real world events, everything happens more quickly than the reflective part of the brain can process, so we are almost completely relying on our habits. But since our habits are largely the results of previous conscious practice, they still qualify as decision making, even if the decisions were long before the events. During the events themselves, consciousness is usually reduced to monitoring our habitual actions to make sure they remain within desired parameters, so consciousness is then about tweaking rather than making big decisions. And of course during down time after events, we can reflect and mentally practice modifications to future, similar efforts.

Consciousness is always limited so it must be applied with economy. Still, with practice we can manage to keep many balls in the air.

Quote:In my opinion, determinists make the mistake of conflating physical causes with symbolic causes. If I accidentally knock a glass off the table to the floor and it breaks, that is a direct physical cause. But if I worry that the glass will break and am careful not to disturb it, that is a symbolic cause.
I see, but my question about determinism remains. Is it possible that I determine all the decisions that you will make in your entire life within your personal symbolic world? After all there are some sort of symbolic casual laws or inference laws governing your symbolic world. So it must be possible to use these laws and also the sensory inputs to infer your future decisions?

Quote:Decision making, choosing to think in certain ways to make certain things happen, most certainly has a physical substrate. But that substrate is not itself directly causal in my view. It only supports symbolic processing.
I see, so we are talking about a mere "abstract" concept? Am I right? Your free will does not have an actual and definite referent in the objective reality? The relevant physical substrate in not casual, so your free will cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, can it?
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08-07-2017, 04:02 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2017 04:05 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 03:46 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I see, but my question about determinism remains. Is it possible that I determine all the decisions that you will make in your entire life within your personal symbolic world? After all there are some sort of symbolic casual laws or inference laws governing your symbolic world. So it must be possible to use these laws and also the sensory inputs to infer your future decisions?

I see, so we are talking about a mere "abstract" concept? Am I right? Your free will does not have an actual and definite referent in the objective reality? It cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, can it?

People are impulsive and symbolic constructions can be swapped or revised. So no, there is no way to determine all the decisions anyone will make in a lifetime. That is pretty much implied by free will.

Both the strength and the weakness of symbolic processing resides in its disconnect from the real world. It can guide selective focus to best serve the interests of the person in question, but it can often be delusional as well. It is useful only insofar as it accurately reflects the real world, which takes lots of work because of the selectivity of perceptions and the disconnect with the real world.

As for science, there is value in subjective reports. Scientists can ask people what they are thinking and study how that affects what they do. In that sense, symbolic processing is as much an object of real world study as the behavior of meerkats in the serengeti.
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08-07-2017, 04:10 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
Just remember folks, the world is probabilistic. So while most everything around you, including the chemical processes going on inside your brain, are entirely outside of your conscious control; you still cannot predict the future with perfect clarity. Because events are not entirely deterministic, but probabilistic (thanks quantum mechanics!). Now that alone doesn't get you to classical free will, but it does handle the 'future is locked in place' objection to determinism.

Carry on.

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08-07-2017, 04:33 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 04:02 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(08-07-2017 03:46 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I see, but my question about determinism remains. Is it possible that I determine all the decisions that you will make in your entire life within your personal symbolic world? After all there are some sort of symbolic casual laws or inference laws governing your symbolic world. So it must be possible to use these laws and also the sensory inputs to infer your future decisions?

I see, so we are talking about a mere "abstract" concept? Am I right? Your free will does not have an actual and definite referent in the objective reality? It cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, can it?

People are impulsive and symbolic constructions can be swapped or revised. So no, there is no way to determine all the decisions anyone will make in a lifetime. That is pretty much implied by free will.

Both the strength and the weakness of symbolic processing resides in its disconnect from the real world. It can guide selective focus to best serve the interests of the person in question, but it can often be delusional as well. It is useful only insofar as it accurately reflects the real world, which takes lots of work because of the selectivity of perceptions and the disconnect with the real world.

As for science, there is value in subjective reports. Scientists can ask people what they are thinking and study how that affects what they do. In that sense, symbolic processing is as much an object of real world study as the behavior of meerkats in the serengeti.

I think I somehow understand except the non-deterministic part.

You are certainly not relaying on some sort of non-deterministic physics like Quantum Mechanics. Are you?

There is a mental picture of the world (for example the glass is in my hand) and a set of inference laws (if I drop the glass it will break) and clear objectives (I want to break the glass) in my symbolic world. Is not my decision uniquely determined based on this mental picture, inference laws and objectives? (in this example my decision will be determined: I will drop the glass)
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08-07-2017, 04:38 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2017 04:41 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 04:10 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Just remember folks, the world is probabilistic. So while most everything around you, including the chemical processes going on inside your brain, are entirely outside of your conscious control; you still cannot predict the future with perfect clarity. Because events are not entirely deterministic, but probabilistic (thanks quantum mechanics!). Now that alone doesn't get you to classical free will, but it does handle the 'future is locked in place' objection to determinism.

Carry on.

That's true. But the non-determinism is not a scientific fact as far as I know. It's merely "an interpretation" (the Copenhagen interpretation, which is the most popular one) of the Quantum Mechanics, there are various deterministic interpretations of the QM also, but since the Copenhagen interpretation is more convenient mathematically, scientists won't bother using other formulations. Scientists don't really care about the non-determinism as long as the mathematical formulations are convenient to describe the lab results. Einstein had some sort of philosophical concerns and was quite against the non-determinist interpretation. So one cannot really assume that our physics in non-deterministic. It is not a fact.
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08-07-2017, 04:40 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 04:10 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  So while most everything around you, including the chemical processes going on inside your brain, are entirely outside of your conscious control....

In other words, when you look around the world you see nothing at all that people have consciously changed? I find that claim quite fantastic.

Further, I deliberately change my brain chemistry every time I go to bed and fall asleep.
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08-07-2017, 04:41 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 04:38 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  That's true. But the non-determinism is not a scientific fact as far as I know. It's merely "an interpretation" (the Copenhagen interpretation, which is the most popular one) of the Quantum Mechanics, there are various deterministic interpretations of the QM also, Einstein was quite against the non-determinist interpretation.

Einstein was also against an expanding universe...

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08-07-2017, 05:18 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
(08-07-2017 04:02 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(08-07-2017 03:46 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I see, but my question about determinism remains. Is it possible that I determine all the decisions that you will make in your entire life within your personal symbolic world? After all there are some sort of symbolic casual laws or inference laws governing your symbolic world. So it must be possible to use these laws and also the sensory inputs to infer your future decisions?

I see, so we are talking about a mere "abstract" concept? Am I right? Your free will does not have an actual and definite referent in the objective reality? It cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, can it?

People are impulsive and symbolic constructions can be swapped or revised. So no, there is no way to determine all the decisions anyone will make in a lifetime. That is pretty much implied by free will.

Both the strength and the weakness of symbolic processing resides in its disconnect from the real world. It can guide selective focus to best serve the interests of the person in question, but it can often be delusional as well. It is useful only insofar as it accurately reflects the real world, which takes lots of work because of the selectivity of perceptions and the disconnect with the real world.

As for science, there is value in subjective reports. Scientists can ask people what they are thinking and study how that affects what they do. In that sense, symbolic processing is as much an object of real world study as the behavior of meerkats in the serengeti.

I think your notion of non-determinism just fell into place for me. The simple fact that we consciously select our objectives and we also choose how to reach those objectives in our symbolic universe makes it a free will and non-deterministic, right?

Quote:As for science, there is value in subjective reports. Scientists can ask people what they are thinking and study how that affects what they do. In that sense, symbolic processing is as much an object of real world study as the behavior of meerkats in the serengeti.

But since scientists do not have any way to understand the symbolic realm of the subjects, their mere thoughts wouldn't be of much value I guess. For example we can have the same thoughts, but since I'm a theist and you are an atheist we make very different decisions. But there is no way for scientists to fully understand our symbolic universe, so they can't really make much sense out of it. Can they?
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08-07-2017, 06:07 AM
RE: Suffering from the dunning-kruger effect
Quote:But since scientists do not have any way to understand the symbolic realm of the subjects, their mere thoughts wouldn't be of much value I guess. For example we can have the same thoughts, but since I'm a theist and you are an atheist we make very different decisions. But there is no way for scientists to fully understand our symbolic universe, so they can't really make much sense out of it. Can they?

No. And until we can explain the biological process of anger or reading a comic or driving a car or looking at porn, social scientists and psychologists will make up pretend ways of understanding how we think these things out in made up terms that don't actually describe the chemistry at work. Instead of addressing what is actually happening they're addressing what appears to be happening in religious non-scientific language. The backbone of their mysticism is consciousness which functions as a supernatural entity that explains what is either unknown or uncomfortably difficult in neuroscience.

I see you have a low rating. I don't know for sure but you're probably about to point out that what is conceived as truth about the consciousness is every bit a leap of fate as an afterlife or some other supernatural process. You're right. If that's your intention go on with it because you make a good point. But once you have them trapped in the corner it's time for the insults and bad ratings.
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