On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:37 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> You can't, because it's a chaotic system. If you eschew computers and
>> "simulate" the stock market by building an entire world with humans and an
>> economy you would get a stock market that functions similarly to the
>> original but not the same as the original, so it would be almost useless for
>> predicting a particular stock movement. A computer simulation can't be
>> expected to be better than a simulation with real humans living in a real
>> world. In other words, you would be simulating *a* stock market, not *the*
>> stock market.
> How can you explain that we can predict our own decisions? Or better yet,
> how do we make decisions in the first place?

We can't predict our own decisions, since there is always the
possibility that we can change our minds. This is where the feeling of
"free will" comes from. Note that this has no bearing on the question
of whether our decisions are determined or not: the only requirement
for the feeling of freedom is that we not know what we're going to do
until we do it.

>> > The brain has the same issue - you can't tell what it is going to do
>> > from
>> > the outside, because the behavior on the outside is often driven by  the
>> > story going on the inside - which cannot be known unless you too are on
>> > the
>> > inside.
>> But that's the case for everything. Its behaviour is driven by what is
>> going on on the inside as well as what's going on on the outside.
> Some things are more predictable to us from the behavior  we can observe
> though.

Yes, but other things aren't. As per the Wolfram article referenced by
Stephen above, this is also the case for some computer programs, such
as cellular automata. No-one knows what they're going to do, as in
real life you just have to run the program and see what happens.

Stathis Papaioannou

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