John M writes:

> > Tom Caylor writes:
> >
> > >1) The reductionist definition that something is
> > determined by the
> > >sum of atomic parts and rules.
> >
> > So how about this: EITHER something is determined by
> > the sum of atomic parts
> > and rules OR it is truly random.
>"Sum of atomic parts"? I am not sure about the figment
>  based on primitive observations and on then
>applicable explanatory calculative conclusions within
>the narrow model of the ancient scientist's views,
>called "atom".
>Then again the phrase restricts its validity to THAT
>(figmentious) bunch of allaged atoms, period. Nothing
>exists as a cut-off singularity without intereffects.

I understood Tom's phrase "atomic parts" as meaning "component parts" rather 
than literally what scientists call "atoms".

>"RULES" to the rescue! how far are you willing to
>accept the rules? Do they involve the ambience, all
>the way to the 'end' of the existing world with ALL
>its intereffectiveness? In that case a different
>wording would be more appropriate...(Not the closed
>The bigger thing is your "OR" (in caps, meaning that
>it is exclusive). You prescribe only TWO alternatives.
>That would be right if we are onmiscient and exclude
>any other ways of that interactive endless world -
>allowed to be followed.

It was deliberately left vague: the "rules" are not necessarily the rules of 
present day science, but the rules of any possible future science, or, as 
you suggest, the rules known by an omniscient being.

>Truly random IMO means that we truly believe in our
>ignorance to detect some (so far undiscovered?)
>'order' with 'rules' leading to those 'truly random'

Yes, this is just what I meant: the truly random is beyond *any* rules, 
including ones not yet discovered. Otherwise, it would not be truly random.

>Same with chaos: we just did not (yet?) learn that
>kind of processes in the wide world existence that
>would result in our "chaos"- called process. (Like

I'm not sure what you mean here. In principle, a chaotic process could 
follow very simple and well-understood rules. The difficulty is that a 
future state of a chaotic system may be so sensitively dependent on initial 
conditions that it is impossible to measure these conditions to the 
requisite level of accuracy. The limitation is practical, not theoretical.

>Your following words underline this position:
> >
> > There are two mechanisms which make events seem
> > random in ordinary life. One
> > is the difficulty of actually making the required
> > measurements, finding the
> > appropriate rules and then doing the calculations.
>Amen (difficulty?)
> >
> > Classical chaos may make
> > this practically impossible, but we still understand
> > that the event (such as
> > a coin toss) is fundamentally deterministic, and the
> > randomness is only apparent.
>Amen again ("we don't know".)
> >
> > The other mechanism is quantum randomness, for
> > example in the case of
> > radioctive decay. In a single world interpretation
> > of QM this is, as far as
> > I am aware, true randomness. In a no-collapse/ many
> > worlds interpretation
> > there is no true randomness because all outcomes
> > occur deterministically
> > according to the SWE. However, there is apparent
> > randomness due to what
> > Bruno calls the first person indeterminacy: the
> > observer does not know which
> > world he will end up in from a first person
> > viewpoint, even though he knows
> > that from a third person viewpoint he will end up in
> > all of them.
>Sorry to agree both with QM and the new version of the
>classical MWI. The former is a 2nd tier (linear?
>-after Alwyn Scott) version of the "model" 'physical
>views', the latter is beyond the level I like to
>speculate on.
> >
> > I find the randomness resulting from first person
> > indeterminacy in the MWI
> > difficult to get my mind around. In the case of the
> > chaotic coin toss one
> > can imagine God being able to do the calculations
> > and predict the outcome,
> > but even God would not be able to tell me which
> > world I will find myself in
> > when a quantum event induces splitting. And yet, I
> > am stuck thinking of
> > quantum events in the MWI as fundamentally
> > non-random.
>Make yourself a god that could figure it all out.

But the point is that it is *impossible* even in theory - even for an 
omniscient being - to figure it out. If I undergo destructive teleportation 
and two exact copies emerge in two separate locations, A and B, can I expect 
to find myself at A or at B? From the symmetry of the situation, I *must* 
have a 1/2 chance of finding myself at one or other location 
post-teleportation, and not even God can change this without changing the 
initial experimental setup.

Eric Cavalcanti, some time back, objected to the above using the example of 
a computer game: if a player is "jacked in" as the first person character 
who undergoes teleportation to A and B, the game designer from his godlike 
stance can *direct* that he experience ending up in either A or B every 
time. The problem with this is that the symmetry of the original example is 
destroyed, in that either copy A or copy B is specially chosen to be fed to 
the player as his first person experience. In the real situation, this 
choice would be ineluctably random.

Stathis Papaioannou

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