>From the Devo song Freedom of Choice:

"In ancient Rome 
There was a poem 
About a dog 
Who found two bones 
He picked at one 
He licked the other 
He went in circles 
He dropped dead 

Freedom of choice 
Is what you got 
Freedom from choice 
Is what you want"

Thinking about the relationship between choice and freedom, and how there 
is a difference between voluntary and mandatory choice. Even in freedom 
there is bondage when that freedom is tied to significant consequences. The 
appeal of recreation, of gaming, and drugs has to do with the disjoining 
the connections along the axis of meta-choice>choice>consequences.

On vacation, we seek a state of ease which is accomplished primarily by 
increasing our meta-choice. Our power to exercise our preference over 
whether or not we exercise our preference. A cruise offers the exemplary 
condition for this - many choices are offered: excursions, activities, 
passive entertainment, private relaxation, and of course food. At any given 
time we can engage in a huge number of voluntary choices or we can opt not 
to choose anything at all and nobody will bother us for lingering in a 
lounge chair on deck for a week. This is leisure and ease. If we were only 
allowed to stay on the lounge chair, or if we had to accomplish a certain 
number of activities, then it would be a prison or at least a kind of work. 

So far, no machine has been made that can tell the difference between work 
and leisure or leisure and play. Playing involves forgoing the meta- aspect 
of choice by presenting the opportunity to play the game. Once we 
voluntarily choose to play a game, we have given up our pure leisure state 
(our native superposition if you will) and collapsed into a state of 
unqualified choice making. A game gives us pleasure despite causing us the 
need to make choices, because the choices are disjoined from real-world 
consequences for the most part. It can be argued that sport and further 
professional sport represent a progressive undoing of the game aspect, 
becoming an activity which can be both better and worse than work or play.

All of this is yet another attempt to show the very limited 
conceptualization of free will which has been used to prop up determinism. 
In a deterministic universe, there really could not plausibly be any way of 
disjoining choice from consequences, work from play, or leisure from 
choice. The number of 'choices' executed by a program, and the sequence in 
which they are executed are all that can matter. A branching logic tree can 
be looped and accelerated indefinitely with no complaint from the computer. 
A computer's Groundhog Day can have no difference between day three of a 
Caribbean cruise and day 400 of trench warfare, as long as the number of 
opportunities are the same, the computational cost would be the same.

Why then do we care about the difference between freedom of choice and 
freedom from choice, and how can we even conceive of it in the first place 
if the universe of our minds were truly deterministic? I think that the 
answer is obviously that our minds are not truly deterministic but rather 
heavily impacted by the significance of our interaction with the real 
world. All games are created equal, but games which have real world 
consequences are not games. This of course maps to the simulation argument 
- where all simulations are interchangeable with each other, but none of 
them are interchangeable with the fundamental non-simulation. Digital fire 
can burn down a simulated house in the game or a meta-simulatied house 
within a game within a simulated house, but it can never burn down a real 
house outside of all of the games. Games are easy, reality is harder.


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