[ExI] Public draft of my book 'Tales of the Turing Church

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Mon Oct 22 02:37:44 UTC 2018

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> Your preferences are psychological states, physically encoded in your
> brain, which form as a result of previous brain configuration and previous
>  experience.

If all future mental states are exclusively dependent on past brain
states, then how can creativity and innovation occur? How is any novelty
generated by the brain at all? How does an artist create without being
somehow able to see his future creation in his mind's eye? Perhaps the
motivation to create is provided by previous brain states but the FORM of
the creation? Where in the past may that novelty of form have come from?
Simple randomness?

I find it hard to believe that, for example, Da Vinci's "The Last Supper"
was simply the result of past brain states and randomness.

> Your preferences therefore have a cause in the past and are
> the cause of future events. An uncaused choice would be one that happens
> for no reason at all, not even a bad reason. This might be OK if it
> happens occasionally but if all your choices were like this you would not
> survive long.

Ok. So you are here suggesting that an uncaused choice is at least
possible if not beneficial. So then are ALL uncaused choices therefore
simply random? Or might at least a handful of them have some retrocausal

>> Humans can make decisions based upon preferences for future states that
>> do not yet exist. Those decisions are events that are neither random nor
>>  caused by most accepted notions of causation.
> The future state does not exist and may in fact never exist, but idea of
> the future state exists encoded in your brain, and it is this which is a
> contributory cause to forward-planning behaviour.

If future-oriented behavior is always caused by the formation of an
abstract idea or goal of a desired future on the basis of past brain
states alone, then how did this puppy first conceive of such an elaborate
and time-consuming plan of escape?


It almost seems more likely that the puppy simply somehow sensed the
future "escaped" state would result from its risking injury to climb the
enclosure in such an awkward fashion. Either that or dogs can plan ahead
far better than we give them credit for.

>> Not all reasons for doing things are causes since some reasons for
>> doing things are the effects of whatever it is that your are doing. And
>> doing something to bring about a desired effect is neither random or
>> irrational.
> The effect does not contribute to its own cause. The expected effect is
> like a simulation in the brain. If you think that you will go to paradise
> if you crash a plane into a building, it is not going to paradise that
> makes you crash the plane.

But even if it were true, going to paradise would not be an immediate
effect of, but instead several steps removed from, crashing a plane into a
building. To go to paradise one must first die, then be judged worthy, and
then finally be resurrected into ones eternal reward.

In so far as the first step of going to paradise, namely dying, can be
achieved flawlessly as envisioned by the pilot, a case might be made that
being destined to die in such a fashion in ones particular Everett branch
might contribute in some fashion to flying a plane into a building.

Stuart LaForge

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