Comment on Free will as nonlinear transformational effectiveness

Phyllotaxis Tue, Mar 29, 2011
Very well written ideas, and very important, especially as they cut directly to the heart of many cultural dysfunctions existant today. With all the well-articulated theory above, it seems difficult to argue any mystical "Body Outside, Directing" argument, whether that "Body" is an omnipotent "God" or the individual human "spirit/soul".

Neither can exist if the elemental concept of freewill is a logical falsehood, in that for either to exist, they must exist independently from the universe in which we operate. As you all point out, there is no science showing this to be the case.

So called free choice arises because information and computational resources are never equally distributed. Though I did not make this explicit in the actual paper, freedom can be closely related to entropy and entropic gradients.

I like this comment, as it reminds me of a concept I think of as "directional entropy", or, put more simply: attention. In this context, perhaps the entire concept of Human Action and/or entropy can even be envisioned as being contained within that one word: Attention.
When we "pay/lend/direct/draw/give" attention to something, we affect it.
That attention is the computational resource, while the information is whatever set of circumstances/arrangement of energies/particles present themselves at any juncture.

How much or little attention given (or the manner in which it is delivered) is dependent on every interaction and previous circumstances that existed between every interacting particle in the mix, no? We are at the crest of a wave in the dark. The dark is future/unseen/out-of-view. Your nature and nurture concept being the ocean underlying and defining the wave. It may explain what you are, how you got here, and may indicate where you may "incline" to go, but you can not really freely/independently/outside-in decide on or define the circumstances ahead until you "get there", since "there" doesn't exist until entropy defines it out of the universal sandbox as existing. Which falls back into your biological lap as a reflection of what you bring to the table in the first place.

I hope I am making some sense. I often labor to articulate these thoughts.

Forgive this additional observation XiXiDu , as it may come off as glib and only tangentially related, but when I read your above comment, this is what I imagined seeing in it's place:

Consider government. A government provides a system of artificial constraints, both enabling and also limiting what you can do. Born a citizen of X country? Well, you’ve got to obey their laws, and the laws themselves dictate not only what sort of path you’ll follow through life, but how you will coordinate your [actions/attention], body parts and movements along the way.

If we reject the notion of "external will", which we clearly do, must not we equally reject the imposition of our "will" in the form of constraints and dictates leveled against others as well? Should there be only enforced peaceful co-existence, and no more?

The way I see it, if there is no individual free will, there must also be allowed no collective free will— no intrinsic "authority over the self outside the self", "self" meaning simply your own body, (since we have disposed of the spirit beyond, your only property, or essence, is your physical self, as it is all you have direct possession of) how can any other "self" demand anything of you?
Only non-aggression towards others seems logical to me.

The justification for government legitimacy is their geographic location, and is arbitrary and not open to interpretation (from their perspective)
Their declared monopoly of the use of force is a sanction applied against all individuals born within lines made on a map before we existed to make a decision to consent to be bound by them.

I draw these conclusions because I see them as extensions of the logic that is used to define biological human behaviors. I can only logically accept law that does not conflict with that set of facts. That limits legitimate biological law to barring aggression (property violation) against others.
I wonder how you interpret this scenario?

Many thanks for the thought-provoking discussions—