Re: How hard a Singularity?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 15:44:40 MDT

James Rogers wrote:
> On 7/4/02 6:59 AM, "James Higgins" <> wrote:
>>At 01:20 AM 7/4/2002 -0400, Gordon Worley wrote:
>>>Besides, I assert there's no such thing as free will and it's just an
>>>illusion of the interpreter, but that's another thread.
>>Of course there is free will, at least on the individual level.
> Gordon is correct. IF you assume the mind can be run on finite state
> machinery (something one generally assumes in AI research), you can't have
> free will.

This looks tantamount to claiming that only an utterly unlimited
being could have free will. Oh, wait, we are, afaik, capable of
going beyond our biological limits. Either way, you lose.
Actually, it is not a question of mathematics at all. If you
can choose among alternatives, even if the alternatives are
finite, you have free will. Espcially if you can modify your
value and goal structures to some extent.

> Furthermore, in such a case it is mathematically impossible for
> you to even perceive that you don't have free will (kind of like Godel's
> theorem applied to computational machinery), though it is possible to
> perceive the lack of "free will" in simpler machinery. This last sentence
> catches most people as a surprise.

Then how do you know it? hmm?

> A lot of people have a hard time with this concept because it isn't
> intuitive, but it is relatively simple to show why it must necessarily be
> true.

Then show it instead of simply asserting it. Start with your
definition of "free will" and go from there.

> I've seen quite a bit of very irrational backlash against this idea because
> it invalidates a core axiom of human interaction. I've never seen anyone
> actually refute it, they just get a "deer in the headlights" look and refuse
> to accept it. But this is SL4. :-)

Ah, now any questioning of your bald assertions will be taken as
"irrational backlash". Sigh.

- samantha

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