On 05 Oct 2013, at 03:07, meekerdb wrote:

On 10/4/2013 2:14 PM, LizR wrote:
On 5 October 2013 06:53, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

He comes to this because he's *defined* "Knightian uncertainty" as radical unpredictability without randomness.

I don't see why it doesn't entail randomness, especially if it comes from quantum fluctuations during the big bang.

I found that a little puzzling too. But I happen to be reading Scott's book "Quantum Computing Since Democritus" too; and in it he gives more of an explanation. He notes that there are some things which are undetermined but which it doesn't seem possible to assign a probability distribution to, more precisely there are quite different probability distributions that seem equally applicable. He discusses a few examples. The Doomsday argument is one that is probably known to everyone on this list.

I agree with this. In the doomsday argument the use of Bayes formula is valid, but the premisse ask for an ASSA (absolute self-sampling assumption, in Bostrom terms).

He notes that one could estimate a probability using a self-sampling assumption or a self-indicial assumption and they produce different answers. His general conclusion is that there are undetermined things that are not random.


I think he would put Bruno's FPI in that class.

FPI needs only the RSSA, and I don't think it falls in the class. Indeed, the distribution is given by the usual binomial or normal, coupled or not with the UD.

And apparently that's what he thinks initial conditions of the universe could be.

Of course that makes the whole point very weak. he has to assumled some primitive physical reality, with a strange and incomprehensible cause or start.

Incidentally, I highly recommend the book.

But even if it doesn't, it still doesn't seem to me to lead to "free will worth having".

I agree with Dennett there: Determinism can provide all the freedom worth having.

I agree with this. Even interesting and relevant notion of free-will, for which indeterminacy of any kind is useless.



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