RE: The Geddes conjecture

From: pdugan (
Date: Tue Jul 19 2005 - 09:06:12 MDT

Game theory actually makes provision for the mystery you claim gets involved
when you add volitional agents to a model. Chess or life, its still
possible to model and predict, though 6 billion agents vs. 2 certainly makes a
difference in complexity. Naturally, any model is approximate,
similarily Bayes theorem probably shouldn't be seen as the ultimate bastion of
truth (though becoming a Bayeshattva certainly is tempting) but
its such an elegant and obvious framework for causal correlations that its
seems very reliable and useful. Maybe someone will discover an
uncertainty theorem meta to Bayes, so as to predict the uncertainty inherent
in the cognitive process itself. Unless you want to figure that out
on your own I suggest you leave this horse dead for now, perhaps when the time
is right you or some other mind will ressurect it and provide a
useful and concrete formulation of what you are trying to suggest.

>===== Original Message From Marc Geddes <> =====
>--- "J. Andrew Rogers" <>
>> Marc Geddes wrote:
>> > Prediction: Calculations of determinstic outcomes
>> > based on fixed initial conditions
>> >
>> > Projection: Calculations of a *range* of possible
>> > outcomes based on changing conditions.
>> What is the bloody difference here? None worth
>> arguing about that I can
>> see.
>> Let me rephrase for you: Your system produces a
>> list of outcomes
>> ordered by their computed probability. This is your
>> first-order
>> prediction. If you pop the first element off the
>> list, you can build
>> another list, a second-order prediction based on the
>> first-order
>> prediction. Oops, I mean "projection". Get as
>> fancy as you want with
>> your probability lists, it is a distinction without
>> a difference.
>> In short, the difference is a few lines of code in
>> implementation. And
>> that is a difference not worth discussing here as
>> far as I can tell.
>> j. andrew rogers
>Hmm, it seems my last post completely passed every-one
>by again *sigh*
>Let me try one last time to explain why I think the
>distinction betwen *Projection* and *Prediction* is
>important. I will also sketch why I think the
>Bayesian probability framework is seriously incomplete
>(the two points are related).
>O.K, I want every-one on the SL4 list to try to
>*project* their own futures - what do you think you'll
>be doing in:
>(a) 1 hour from now?
>(b) 1 day from now?
>(c) 1 year from now?
>(d) 10 years from now?
>To carry through this process, you have to include in
>your projections the effects of possible courses of
>action that YOU took at earlier times. Projecting
>forward your life is *not* like projecting forward
>possible outcomes of a chess game for instance. The
>reason is that the world can exert feed-back on you.
>To project yourself forward in time to possible
>outcomes, you have to extrapolate not only the results
>of your possible actions on the world, but also THE
>possible futures you're projecting for yourself are
>becoming more and more dependent on previous earlier
>choices you made as you move the projection forward in
>And this is what breaks Bayes. It took me a long
>time, but I finally pin-pointed the exact flaw that
>smashes the Bayesian framework. The flaw in Bayes is
>that it assumes that the objective external things
>being reasoned about can be completely isolated from
>the internal *process of reasoning itself*.
>Is it possible to assign objective probabilities on
>the signfigance of external observations without
>reference to the internal procedures (cognitive
>processes) used to make these observations? Bayes
>assumes that it is. I say, it is not. The same
>external observation can result in a different
>probability based on the *procedure* (cognitive
>process) used to make the observations.
>THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
> For, put them side by side,
>The one the other will include
> With ease, and you beside.
>-Emily Dickinson
>'The brain is wider than the sky'
>Please visit my web-site:
>Mathematics, Mind and Matter
>Send instant messages to your online friends

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