On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> >>>  Free will is related to the issue of determinism -- could a very
>> powerful computer precisely predict my
>> future behaviour?
>  >> Yes, but only if the computer didn't tell me what it predicted
> beforehand, because then the computer's actions would effect my actions;
> and the computer can predict my actions but it can't predict its own.
> > I don't see that the computer predicting your action at t1 and telling
> you the prediction at t0<t1 requires that the computer be able to predict
> its own actions.

My behavior is effected by my environment and what the computer says to me
is a part of my environment, and probably a very important part. So if the
computer insists on telling me his prediction and he wants to know what I'm
going to do he first has to figure out what he's going to say to me.

> Suppose the computer predicts, "In a few seconds you're going to run from
> this room

Ok, and suppose also that I am of a argumentative nature and was determined
to do the exact opposite of what the demon predicted. Because the demon's
action influences my actions the demon must forecast his own behavior, but
he will have no better luck in this regard than humans do and for the same
reasons. What we would need in a situation like this is a mega-demon able
to look into the demon's head; then the mega-demon could predict what I
would do provided he didn't tell the demon what the prediction was, if he
did tell then a mega-mega demon could make accurate predictions about my
behavior provided he didn't tell the ......

> > And in many cases a computer can predict its own actions (assuming no
> randomness or external inputs).  Godel only said it can't always predict
> its action.

It's Turing who said that, and obviously sometimes you can make correct
predictions, but what Turing proved is that sometimes you can't, not even
if the laws of physics were 100% deterministic (they aren't) and you knew
the initial conditions with 100% accuracy (you can't).

  John K Clark

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