On Sunday, August 26, 2012 11:12:35 AM UTC-4, John K Clark wrote:

    On Sat, Aug 25, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:

            >> a cuckoo clock operates the way it does for many reasons.

        > None of them are the reasons of a clock. 

    Certainly it’s the reasons of a clock. The reason a cuckoo clock runs 
at the speed it does is the length of its pendulum, a different clock with 
a different pendulum would run at a different speed because there was a 
different reason.

A pendulum is only a metal rod. A clock is nothing but gears assembled by a 
human mind. There is no clock sauce that makes this assembly a clock. There 
is no reasoning going by the clock as a clock. The clock doesn't know what 
time it is. It isn't keeping track of anything. There is no 'it there' to 
know that it has a face or hands or pendulum. These are all human 
interpretations for human reasons.

        > If you must manufacture reasons,

    You engage in that manufacturing process for a reason or you do not do 
so for a reason.

You are the one who is relating everything to the idea of reasons, not me.

        > The cuckoo clock can't do that. It can't intentionally try 
something new and justify it with a reason later. 

    You and I are better than cuckoo clocks at justification, at finding 
the reason we acted as we did but we are far from perfect in this regard, 
sometimes we think we know why we did something but really do not, and 
sometimes we don't even have a clue. 

Why should we want to justify anything in the first place. Just because we 
are complex beings with many interacting levels of influence doesn't 
disqualify our causally efficacious participation in it. Because something 
seems less than perfect does not mean that it is an illusion.

    And think about the debates on this list, once you've shown that your 
opponent has the belief he does for no reason you feel you've won the 

I would never assume that someone has no reason for their belief, I put it 
to them to examine their own assumptions and freely change them if they can 
make a greater sense. I don't think in terms of winning debates or proving 
their unworthiness to myself, I win if someone learns something, even if 
its not the person I happen to be talking to.

        > Anything that can be imagined as occuring before something else 
can be called a reason - a butterfly wing flapping can be a reason for a 

    Yes, there are many astronomically complex reasons for a typhoon, so I 
guess typhoons have free will.

Are you being serious? Should we put typhoons on trial and punish them so 
that they will learn to stay away from our populated areas?

        > There are countless reasons which can influence me

    And there are also countless reasons which can influence a cuckoo clock.

That's my point. The cuckoo clock can't choose from among the many 
influences or choose to seek a new alternative, but I can.

        > but I can choose in many cases to what extent I identify with 
that influence

    And you made that choice for a reason or you made that choice for no 

No, I made the reason. It has no independent existence. Reasoning is a 
process by which I can make choices, or create new choices. I command my 
reason intentionally (to some extent). The only reason that I do that is 
because I can do that. I have the ability to create new reasons, unlike a 

    and the clock cuckooed for a reason or it cuckooed for no reason. And I 
don't know the reason you find this simple observation confusing, but I do 
know you don't understand it for a reason or you don't understand it for no 

        > I can defy all of the influences with a creative approach which 
is not random nor predetermined 

    More of the  X is not Y and X is not not Y crap in a desperate attempt 
to prove that what you want to believe is true; and with a axiom like that 
you should have no difficulty whatsoever in finding your proof, not that it 
will tell you anything about how the world works.  

Not desperate at all. I will be happy to explain to you in any form you 
like, however long it takes why your X must either be Y or not Y edict is a 
fallacy. This is not a new idea. Even from my thin exposure to mathematics 
I am aware of how concepts like non-wellfounded sets and incompleteness 
reveal the arbitrarily simplistic nature of this kind of robotic 
categorization. The universe is not a logic circuit.

        > And free will is every bit as logical as grey. We know that 
everything is either voluntary or involuntary. I wouldn't say that, but you 
would have to agree to that if you are to remain consistent in your 

    Absolutely! If I move from point X to point Y then one of 2 things must 
be true:
    1) I did so voluntarily: I went from X to Y and I wanted to.
    2) I did NOT do so voluntarily: I went from X to Y and I did NOT want 

Voluntary is not a matter of simply experiencing something happen that you 
wanted to have happen, it is the act of making something happen because you 
want it to. It isn't "I went from X to Y and I wanted to", it is "I went 
from X to Y because I wanted to". Voluntary manslaughter is not an 
accident, it is unpremeditated murder. There is a difference. If I just 
want someone to die and they do, I am innocent. If I kill them 
intentionally, I am guilty.


        > My question was very specific: "Are your opinions on free will 
robotic or random?" 

    There could be disagreement about that, I have my opinion and you have 
yours, but I know one thing for certain, one of those 2 possibilities must 
be true. I produce the particular sequence of ASCII characters that I did 
after your sequence about the free will noise for a reason or I did so for 
no reason.

You still are not answering this very simple and central question. Are your 
opinions robotic or random? It sounds like you are saying they are robotic, 
in which case there is no possibility that your robotic opinions could be 
any closer to an objective truth than my robotic opinions.

    And I remind you that even a robot doesn't feel like a robot because 
he's never sure what he's going to do next until he does it.

Why do you think that you know what a robot feels like? Especially since 
you are skeptical about all robots capacity to doubt their own robotic 
nature...why do you think that your opinions about a robot feels are exempt 
from this? All of your thoughts are really just ASCII characters.

        > All forms of proof are relative to the context in which they are 

    All proofs depend on the axioms used and axioms are supposed to be 
simple and self evidently true, but your basic axiom is "everything is true 
and everything is false" and so you can prove or disprove and even prove 
AND disprove, anything you like.

Everything is not true and false in the same way at the same time from the 
same point of view. The universe is the dynamic self-enfolding modulation 
of single interactive dialectic continuum. That continuum is neither true 
nor false but rather the potential to tell the difference: sense itself. 
Sense within sense within sense looks like nonsense from some angles, but 
that is exactly how it would have to work. Transparency needs opacity.

        > if your views are robotic or random then they are not views, they 
are noise.

    If they are random then yes they are noise, but if they are robotic 
then they are not, then it is logical and based on truth.

I can make a robot slam itself against the wall until it stops working. Is 
that logical or based on truth relative to the robot?

    And by the way, they find the word "robot" offensive, I've seen them 
cry over the epithet, they ask us not to use the R word and prefer 
"metallic man".

 Haha. Why metallic? Carbon fiber-Ceramic automatons not good enough for 
man status?

        > The market for eggs is not automatic, nor is it random.

    The free market has no difficulty whatsoever determining what the price 
of eggs should be.

There is no free market except in the imaginations of economists.

        > despite attempts to beat financial markets using technical 
analysis alone, such attempts repeatedly fail because no formula can 
account for all real world possibilities. 

    Yes, world economics is much too complicated for a simple formula to 
describe its richness, and that's why the free market prove to be superior 
to a planned economy like communism, the planners thought they had it all 
figured out but in reality they never even came close. And for the same 
reason nobody has developed a formula about how air moves inside a 
hypersonic jet engine, but nobody thinks its because the engine chooses to 
move the air in one way rather than another by using its "free will" in 
some vague mystical way.

It's funny that you care about the free market but without any free agency 
to actually use it. Communism doesn't arise in a jet engine, yet it did in 
human beings. The idea that we should model the possibilities of human 
civilization on the movement of air is not reasonable to me. If you were 
right however, then meat robots like us should not be denied the truth and 
logic of communism. The free market is just the random market - suicide for 

        > It isn't random, nor is it determined by any historical reason 
except in hindsight. 

    Except? Not knowing a reason and a reason not existing are two very 
different things.

The reason doesn't matter even if their was one. The butterfly wing was the 
reason. Who cares. The point is that you can't approach the totality of the 
cosmos and consciousness as a mechanical problem. It is an approach that 

        > Why would you speak at all?

    I am speaking and obviously I am doing so for a reason or I am doing so 
for no reason; I think I'm doing so for a reason and you apparently think I 
am doing so for no reason, but its clear that one of us must be correct.

I don't think that having reasons or no reasons matters at all. I am 
writing in English for a reason, but I have very little control over than 
compared to the power that I have to put the words into the order that 
expresses my thoughts. I can tell the difference, and I am sure that you 
can too, but it doesn't make sense in your worldview so you must deny the 
reality to fit the theory.

        > How can you 'make a point'?

    I don't understand the question.

        > To whom? Other random robotic minds?

    My actions can't influence a random mind but it can influence a robotic 

What would be the purpose of doing that though?

        >What would the difference be?

    The difference would be 42.

I never got too into HHG.

        > Grey is not black in one sense but not not black in another.

    And in that same "sense" you can prove anything you like, and the very 
next day you can disprove the same thing. Of course this won't help if your 
goal is figuring out how the world works, but if you just want to reinforce 
ideas that you find pleasant it works great.

But this is exactly how the world (ultimately) works. That's what I am 
telling you. Meta-juxtapositions of sense.

    > Can you tell me at what point grey becomes independent of black?

    I already told you, 42.

I guess this is a concession.

    > Everything is true, false, neither true nor false, and both true and 
false in some sense.

    If you could convince yourself that what you want to be true is true 
and what you want to be false is false without resorting to the axiom 
above, which is brain dead dumb in every sense, then I'm quite sure you 
would do so, but you can't.

There are many different ways to consider things, some are more appropriate 
than others. Sometimes we can rely on fixed observations, other times we 
have to go with a leap of faith. Why does that have to mean the end of 
sanity? I think its just the beginning.


PS sorry for the formatting, this new gmail integration keeps destroying 
entire conversations.

     John K Clark



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