Archive for the ‘Will’ Category

INVICTUS We Should BE: Free Will, Determinism, Classical & Quantum Mechanics, Neurohormonal States

April 2, 2018

Conventional Wisdom sits back and whines: ’With Quantum Mechanics, we lost determinism. Is Free Will in truth just Quantum chaos?’

Advanced Wisdom replies: ’Not so, just the opposite. Absolute determinacy from classical mechanics never existed, because it depended upon infinitely precise initial conditions. These couldn’t be. Now, given that small initial discrepancy, after an arbitrarily long time, one will get an arbitrarily large discrepancy. Exit your sacrosanct “classical determinacy”, which will always churn out arbitrarily large errors, given enough time.

Conventional Wisdom:’In any case our brains are ruled by Quantum Mechanics, and that’s nondeterministic’.

Advanced Wisdom:’The Quantum is not truly “nondeterministic“. The Quantum attributes probabilities to outcomes, the so-called “Quanta”, but the latter outcomes don’t change ever more with time… whereas wilder and wilder outcomes is what happens in Classical Mechanics, as time goes by!

Classical Wisdom sees Classical Mechanics as deterministic, whereas Quantum Mechanics is not. However, Quantum outcomes are determined at the outset (so-called “Quanta”), whereas all and any classical mechanical evolutions diverge indefinitely ever more… SO CM predicts whatever, in the long run, whereas QM is more regimented…

Conventional Wisdom:’Quantum Mechanics more deterministic than Classical Mechanics? The world is upside down with you! Whatever, you confuse me. Forget these abstractions, forget Quantum Mechanics, for the sake of the argument at hand, I don’t believe in Free Will. Let me tell you why. View the brain as a machine with programs. Given some circumstances, the brain will make just one computation, with just one solution. Presto, no more Free Will! We are just Turing machines! Nothing you can do, you will always get the same result.’

Advanced Wisdom:’I embrace BRAIN BUILDING, not just body building! I have a little experiment for you. Sit in a chair, think about a given Problem, call it P. Then go run half an hour on a mountain trail, an exercise of the muscles, the heart, and the brain processing thousands of data points per second. See what happens to what you thought P was. By the way, I stupidly miscomputed today the firmness of the snow while running, I should have recognized the tint of that particular patch of snow, crashed forward after by right leg went deep through the treacherous white substance, skidded on my left knee, careened off the snow bank, crash landing in stones on the side, making a small bloody gash in my left hand, it sure impacted my mindset a bit… But I digress… The point is this: try then to think of Problem P, while running for quite a while, brain concentrated on potential trajectories’ dangers. You will think of P, but it will turn out in a different context, with different details, different motivations (typically more macroscopic, bigger picture style), in a different mood, in other words, in a different neurohormonal and oxygen set-up. The computational paths offered inside the brain to solve P will be different than those which were apparent while sitting on that chair. Hence if one had a set C of solutions from the chair, one now has a set R, from running: the set of solutions is not C, but C + R!’

In other words, if you want to get out of Plato’s Cave, go running! Running, physical activity, or different neurohormonal set-up, will change your mind. Learn to change minds as if it were clothes. It beats just putting someone’s else shoes.

CW:’What does that have to do with Free Will?’

AW: ‘Classical Free Will is a choice between a number of solutions, hypotheses, emphases, etc. Call that set of choices and outcomes N. Conventional Wisdom assumes that N just is, like the Moon, a well-determined object, like in a category (category is here in the mathematical sense). However, I just demonstrated that N, the set of choices and outcomes presented to Free Will is, itself, a function of neurohormonal states. Changing the neurohormones changes the categories which make up that set N (something Aristotle didn’t think of when he invented categories in the non-math sense). Moreover the latter neurohormonal states can be controlled and chosen from, or selected… At will. When Socrates and his golden youth friends and lovers decided to go get drunk and party all night, chewing the fat, they decided to change their neurohormonal states from normal to wacko. That’s the whole idea of Dionysus, bringing a fresh re-think, and re-emote of the whole mindset. Nietzsche correctly deduced that was one of the causes of the Greeks’ superiority. Similarly, religions prohibiting nuttiness, foolishness, jokes and feasts, as Catholicism and Islamism, fabricate dull minds. So thinking can be controlled with meta controls upon the environments in which the thinking, and the feeling, are conducted, and produced. That’s why people read books and go the theater, among other fantasies.

Conventional Wisdom: ‘Are you getting meta on me, once again?’

AW: ‘Yes, Free Will is not free of neurohormonal or other mental states, thus we are free to control Free Will by selecting for oneself one’s environmentsA form of meta control. For example, when the wrongfully revered philosopher Heidegger decided to become a Seminarist, or a Nazi, he made meta choices which impacted his freedom of thought or, of will, looking forward. Same when doctor Asperger decided to help support the Nazis’ first extermination program, a context which led him to invent the pseudo-disease named after him (and which was used as a reason to assassinate thousands of German children).’    

While in captivity, Nelson Mandela recited that poem by William Henley to fellow prisoners, and they felt empowered. The myth of “Sol Invictus” was imposed by Roman Emperor Aurelian, around 250 CE, it was a first run of the fascist Catholicism Constantine would impose in 325 CE, 75 years later…

CW:’Are you saying that I can act to steer my own Free Will, by controlling my mental context?’

AW:’Yes. And you are deeper than you think: the notion of “steering” was introduced by Schrodinger, in connection with Quantum Entanglement. Steering of mental state and Free Will is closely related. Indeed, changing context is pretty much how Quantum Steering shows up! Hence the Schrodinger cat conundrum…

CW:’Enough, my head is exploding in cats!’

AW:’Take hold of yourself, remember the honor of the human spirit! When talking about Free Will remember that, as in Quantum Mechanics, you can’t control the solutions, but you can control the spaces which make them appear!

CW: ‘Can we get practical here?

AW: ‘It’s very practical! I just said there was Free Will, and how to create more of it!”

CW: ‘You want to create Free Will by acting on the mental contexts, by making it so that they will offer, or create, more solutions?

AW: ‘Exactly! The idea is not exactly new. Forcefully changing neurohormonal states is why Socrates and his ilk got drunk, and Indian Swamis, and countless Shamans around the world experimented with mind altering drugs! Or why we dream, for that matter!’

CW:’Do you do drugs?’

AW:’No need, I just plug-in my brain, it’s foolish and creative enough on its own, no need to reduce performance with junk, no alcohol, nicotine, pot, or hallucinogens for me, I hallucinate in a controlled fashion, so to speak. Indeed, I do mind altering activities like mountain running in snow, hence yesterday’s amusing crash.’  

Conventional Wisdom: Alright, you, you and you. Kudos to you, oh great youyou. What is the point of Free Will anyway? Why should we worry about it?

AW: Because if we don’t we don’t do anything about it, we just wait for nuclear war, and the rising of oceans by 70 meters, whatever comes first.

CW:’You worry about big stuff. What’s in it for small people with small preoccupations?’

AW: ‘Very simple. If one doesn’t believe in Free Will, one is a slave to destiny. However, human beings aren’t made to be slave to destiny. Human beings, as they evolved, over millions of years, could check, every day, that they were actors of change. Profitable change, life saving change. Thus, lack of belief in Free Will is fundamentally inhuman. Lack of belief in Free Will corresponds to not behaving according to the owner’s manual. And it has to be discouraged, thought evolution. Therefore, lack of belief in Free Will makes individuals lugubrious, sinister, unhappy, and a danger to their human environment. Let alone the entire biosphere. Amen.

CW: Being happy is a moral duty?

AW: Being happy and willful is a moral duty, in the sense of the morality evolution itself created us with. We were evolutionary made to be Lords, not slaves! Embracing such an attitude, embracing happiness and wilfulness, has practical consequences, such as an unwillingness to confer our decisional powers to representatives whose powers corrupt them absolutely!

CW: What is the overall metaprinciple, to use your semantics, at work here?

AW: The honor of the human spirit is the ultimate principle. What evolution created us into, it did, because it enhanced our mental performances. We are naturally evolved artificial intelligence. It’s our mental superiority which drove us, as a species. Insinuating that we are not free to be happy, free to become captains, and even architects, and engineers, of our own souls, is to undermine the human spirit, our core principle, it is to subscribe to the principle of slavery.

Patrice Aymé

Give War A Chance

September 21, 2015

John Lennon sang, with a smug attitude: “All we are saying, is give Peace A Chance”. It could be argued that was justified, when the matter at hand was just the taking over of Saigon by Hanoi. (And the resulting flight of a few million “boat people”.)

A few years later, a calm maniac, who would later declare the singer an hypocrite, fired 5 hollow point bullets at John Lennon. Four of these bullets hit Lennon. Lennon was not ready for this: he was neither wearing a bulletproof jacket, nor had he a bodyguard with him. He declared he had been shot. Later he acknowledged to the police rushing him to the hospital that he was John Lennon, indeed. Every one of the four bullet was lethal. Only making Lennon nearly as cold as ice could have saved him. (But that technique is not used yet, 35 years later.) Lennon had been “peaceful”. However, Lennon’s insane aggressor judged him aggressive: aggression is, all too often, only in the mind of the beholder. Peace did not give Lennon a chance. Had a well trained armed bodyguard been there, Lennon would have survived.

Since then, authorities have kept Lennon’s murderer in jail, trusting force more than the promises of the assassin. When serious mayhem arises, men and women of good will intervene. Such should be the case in Syria, a place ripped apart by a terrible war.

In the grander scheme of things, peace, love, just as war and hatred, come and go. All what matters is to encourage, or carry on with, the most appropriate behavior at the time, given the circumstances.

Two years ago, the dictator Assad of Syria, son of Assad Senior, another dictator, killed more than 1,500, in just one chemical attack, crossing a red line Obama had brandished. France and the USA decided to punish Assad.

The Assad family is the number one cause of the civil war in Syria. As Assad launched the civil war against pacific demonstrators, and then put in the streets the Islamists of ISIS (who were in jail), terminating his brand of power was entirely appropriate.

However, at the last moment, Obama mysteriously called off the attack. France backed-off. This time indeed France was not even supported by Great Britain,differently from September 1, 1939 (when Britain had joined France in opposing Hitler).

Now Putin has surged ahead, sending fighter jets to support Assad. The reason? Russia has its sole basis on the Mediterranean on the Syrian coastal strip. For some reason, Russians consider they have to have such a basis.

France and the USA had a chance to get rid of Assad, and finding somebody more reasonable, and cleaner to lead the secular Syrian government. Now they are in the strange position to have to tag along Putin. But there is no choice. So the Obama administration has made some openings.

Another aspect where the USA has no choice: the failure to act against Assad in a timely manner, besides killing another quarter of a million Syrians, has created eleven million refugees.

In the 1939-1940 period, the USA distinguished itself by refusing all genuine Jewish refugees (hundreds of thousands got stuck in France, which was not cool, because France lost the first round with the Nazis, and got half invaded). Anxious not to look as vicious as in 1940, the USA has now announced it would accept 100,000 war refugees… next year. One cannot stop progress.

What is the conclusion of all this?

Who is going to run the empire? Putin? Which empire, some will sneer? The United Nations empire, of course. It exists, and it even has a law, the UN Charter, someone has to manage it, and, more pragmatically, to impose it.

The problem with the UN is fundamentally the same problem as with Europe: the European Union exists, it has to be managed. It has to be led. France and Germany, when awake, make a reasonable, and just forceful enough, leader of Europe.

For the UN, the leadership has to come from the three permanent Security Council members which are also the leading Western military powers. At this point, it’s pretty much the USA, and France (as Britain is increasingly unwilling to spend money on defense). However, Obama “leads from behind”, and France is already running a deficit more than 50% above the Euro Group limit (and gets little help from Germany which is well below the minimum defense spending theoretically agreed to inside NATO).

How to remedy all this? The USA ought to cooperate more with France, which, not being an island, but, instead, at the crossroads, instinctively understand the necessity to go to war. A way to cooperate is to foster the French military-industrial complex, instead of viewing it just as a deadly competitor.

For example, the USA ought to give up on the worthless and dangerous F35 program, and, conceding defeat, just buy the French Rafale.

France has not remained completely despondent: an accord was just signed with Morocco to train Islamist preachers there. This is actually an astute move. A dance with the Dark Side. But this is a long story by itself, and better treated another time.

The Romans used to say: “Si vis pacem, para bellum!” (If you want peace, prepare war). We are beyond that point now: war is here. In 1936, the Western democracies stayed out of the wars Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy had launched. That enabled the dictators to train their armies, and gain unwarranted confidence. In the shock of one week in May 1940, the French and British armies found, the hard way, that the training of their air forces was insufficient.

We don’t want such a surprise again. Putin has demonstrated he was ready to invade countries. To accept to be led by him is troubling, to put it mildly. Especially as we have a precedent: in the 1930s, the Western democracies agreed to be led by Stalin against Franco and by… Mussolini, against… Hitler. What happened next is that both Stalin and Mussolini allied themselves with Hitler against… the French Republic (hence the fall of the latter).

One cannot “lead from behind”. Obama will stay an object of ridicule, in the eyes of history, and he has more than ten million refugees to contemplate.

All over, the West is cooperating with horrendous dictators: in Gambia (!), in Eritrea, in all places in Africa which contain precious ores, etc. In Libya, the liberation of the country from the bloody dictator ought to have been followed by a military and administrative occupation, with the aim of proposing an association with Europe (the same ought to be extended to Algeria and Morocco, or Egypt).

The empire exists, and it has to exist, lest war spread uncontrollably. Simply, it’s not Mr. Putin who should be left to administer it, because Obama leads from way in the hell back there.

When peace does not work, one has to give war a chance. The alternative is meaningless annihilation.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

Free Will, Meta Will, Evil, & the Good Lord

December 23, 2014

That “Free Will” is not free of society was made clear in Europe with the example of fascism (German, Soviet, Italian, Spanish, in historical order, not to mention Slavs and Balkans…). Various nationalistic crazes and pogrom like activities have shown the natural tendencies of entire peoples to behave like nasty robotic mass-homicidal torturing monsters.

Europe was founded and named, by the Franks. The Frankish government, in antique Roman Republican style, “renovated” by its good offices, was tolerant of all superstitions, including Catholicism, Paganism, Atheism, Judaism, and even Islamism.

However, coincident to and related with, the rise of extravagant Middle-Ages plutocracy, society became much less tolerant. The trigger was the First Crusade. In 1099 CE, Jews were mass massacred, in Alsace and further east, when herds of violent Catholics, full of enraged fervor. migrated east to take back Jerusalem.

Evil, Intel Of Angel

Evil, Intel Of Angel

The grand conclusion of this experience in hatred was revealed to the world by American Army generals in 1945, when the horror of extermination camps was revealed (the logical chain of Jew hatred went from burning all Cathars to Saint Louis, to Luther). In those Nazi camps around 22 million people were assassinated, according to the latest estimates (11 million killed for racist reasons, including 6 million Jews, plus 3.3 million Russian army prisoners, etc…).

Thus, after World War Two, social engineering in many European countries repaired the society to cure the individuals. It seems to have worked: the probability of being victim of a very serious crime, or being incarcerated, is an order of magnitude (a factor of ten) lower in Western Europe, than in the USA.

Does Knowledge Cause Crime?

That knowledge causes crime is the argument the partisans of obsolete moral systems always use. In a trivial, self-referencing way, they are right: if one defines crime as what the old moral system forbids, the change of moral systems will always cause crime. Having women starting to drive in Saudi Arabia would not doubt augment the crime rate.

However, human beings are knowledge and wisdom machines. Once they know what influences them, they take it into account.

Why? Human beings have long known that what’s in their heads is not necessarily what is out there. All hunters know that what appear is not necessarily what there is. They did not have to wait one million years for Nietzsche to tell them that. Superiorly differentiating distortions in information and the nature of reality, is what make a better predators, hence a more successful human being, or group.

Better philosophy eats better, and survives better. It’s the ultimate weapon. (Example: Athens at its apogee, when a herd of philosophers drove the state, and was able to harness the Free Will of its citizenry in a superlative armed polis.)

Saying that “Free Will does not exist” is not really what is going on. Much of what looks like “free” is actually a product of the group. Free Will arises from “Meta Will” what J-J. Rousseau called the “General Will”. The “General Will” will be hard to define: after all, it’s a mathematical notion going beyond our present computational capabilities (a typical case where Quantum Computing will help).

Any social thinking, where part of the Meta Will lays, is tainted in the USA by the background of the American police and justice systems, with its incarceration rate more than five times the world average (and much more if one takes into account all those under judicial surveillance, a category developed more in the USA than anywhere else).

Much “Free Will” being “Group Will”, if one does not like what the former leads to, one has to work on the latter. This is why what society believes in, say in a superstition, does not just impact individuals, it makes them up into what they are. (Consider the Middle-East an its imbroglio of fanatical, lethally opposed superstitions.)

The more we know, the more we can act upon the world, and thus the more freedom we have. However freedom is not what plutocrats want to see average people enjoy. Plutocrats go according to their namesake, Pluto, Satan. Demons in hell do not want to see those they are supposed to torture, enjoying freedom, or enjoying anything at all.

Yet, it’s the other way. Overall, on a civilizational scale, knowledge augments not just power, but morality.

The more we know, the more we know when we are not acting for the best, the more we can accuse ourselves of not acting well. And thus, the greater the opportunity we have to act well, and the better we will act.

We have a moral system which is evolutionary given (evolution being the Creator we had been looking for!). This natural Human Ethology interacts both with the Meta Will and individual Free Will.

However, in the USA the Plutocratic mentality is triumphant (latest GDP growth at an annual rate of 5%, not far behind plutocratic China). In this social paradigm, the Randian worship of the rugged individual is celebrated. People have to work, not by choice, as in Europe, but just to survive.

To justify itself, the Plutocratic mentality reveres Free Will. According to this system of thought and mood, all and any success is attributed to immanent justice, a just universe, which rewards character, ability and effort. Sociological studies have proven this.

The tension between Free Will and General Will, is that between Evil and Our Good Lord. It’s a debate, one side can’t think, let alone talk, without the other.

Obama has understood this, just enough to make do. We all have to travel the same road. Our General Will, right now, is called CO2. It will be a heavy cross. Look at the bright side, as Jesus, or Camus, would say.

To be able to smile, and it means something, we have to know how to snarl.

Patrice Ayme’

Free Will, Consequence of Meta Will

December 22, 2014

Systems of thought arise from individual wills to create what Jean-Jacques Rousseau introduced, and named the “General Will”. In the last 150 years or so, it has become increasingly clear that the notion of “Free Will” was in turn highly dependent upon other notions, including “General Will”.

I prefer the expression “Meta Will” (which is even more general).

A philosophical site managed by professional academic philosophers ran an essay entitled Free Will Skepticism and its Implications an Argument for Optimism (part-1). My comment below was repeatedly censored, supposedly for making “grating” anti-German, or anti-Nazi declarations. (I think the truth is even more sinister: professional philosophers fear me; I will reproduce the exchange in the comments.)

Free Will Ought To Give Way To Meta Will

Whenever an action is taken, it turns out to be dependent of some context, often cultural, or some preparation, often neurological, or some ulterior motives, often self-aggrandizing. In other words, free will is never free of contingence.

So what? This just show that the expression “Free Will” depicts the wrong semantics. After all, we are not free to stop breathing. In theory, yes. In practice, it is impossible, except if we carefully prepare a mechanism that will take over (a lot of sleeping pills, or a noose).

The problem of suffocation suggests that, if we want to be more free (for example free to stop breathing), we have to make the environment take over. Thus Free Will has to operate not just on “us”, but on the environment which controls us.

This is why philosophers’ Free Will have led them to the desert, since times immemorial. In the desert, they are more free to think.

Quantum Physics helps here. It is non-local. Actually some physicists are in the process to make really sure of that, by running entanglement experiments with haphazard impulses coming from the opposite sides of the universe.

Intriguingly, if the experiment turns out as expected, this variant of the famed Einstein-Podolski-Rosen Thought Experiment will show that local Free Will cannot exist. But, once again, so what? Free Will is obsolete, Meta Will is what one can help to free, by controlling more the contexts we think in.

The soul is most probably some sort of large scale Quantum effect. How do Quantum processes work? They extract solutions from geometry, or, more generally, form. Non-local geometry, and non-local form.

Thus, if we want to achieve soul control, we need to achieve geometrical and topological control on our environment. And this starts by being conscious that those control our outcomes.

Thus, instead of just talking about our morality, we have to start talking about the environment in which it is supposed to blossom, as the later will control the former. Thus individual responsibility shifts more to social contexts.

And therefore, the systems of thoughts which support social structures are the agents most responsible. This is where much of Free Will is hiding.

Let me give an example: Germans behaved deplorably for generations, more than people of other nations (that is more than the Italians, French, British, American, etc.). This nasty robotic aspect of German mentality allowed dictators to make the German armies behave in atrocious ways for generations (differently from the armies of the nations quoted above, which did not engage in systematic war crimes).

That unfortunate character of the German soul killed 22 million in extermination camps alone, due to the fascist, robotic nature of the dictatorships (the Second Reich, and then the Third Reich) in Germany, and the education it provided with (as Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Einstein pointed out, deplored and condemned stridently, among others).

German genetics did not change that much. Yet, present day German souls are completely different. They have become French souls, so to speak. They are sister souls for Republican France against old German fascism.

German Free Will has become gentle. This shows that Free Will depends crucially of the universe it evolves in.

Patrice Ayme’