[ExI] Free will was: Everett worlds

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Tue Aug 18 12:46:29 UTC 2020

Quoting John Clark:

> On Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 11:43 AM SR Ballard via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> *> That being why I wrote ?if free will is wrong?, that is, if it doesn?t
>> exist.*
> The only thing that can be both not X and also not (not X) is gibberish;
> "free will" is not wrong anymore than a burp is wrong, both are just noises
> made with the mouth.

The problem with free will is that it is a juxtaposition of two  
different but altogether real concepts: freedom and will. They are in  
a sense perpendicular notions. Freedom is to a certain extent a  
commodity in the sense that wealthy people have more options available  
to them. While will on the other hand is the ability to make decisions  
and exercise choice between various options. Will is a property of all  
manner of lifeforms, simple Turing machines, and perhaps even  
elementary particles. So for example fight-or-flight, if-then  
conditional-branching, or quantum states are potentially decisions  
made by someone or something.

When either you or I measure the spins of an entangled pair of  
electrons from light years apart, we collapse the wave function by  
doing so but SOMETHING decides whether we observe the spins as up-down  
or down-up respectively and it certainly isn't us. You can call it  
random chance, but that doesn't explain the instantaneous correlation  
between our measurements from light years apart. Put another way, what  
is it about random chance that enables it to instantaneously  
coordinate observed quantum states from opposite ends of the universe?

Now one can try to use Everett worlds to explain away the non-locality  
so that the two cases happened in two different universes and as such,  
both results are predetermined for their respective universes. But  
then you are left with the mystery of unitarity. That is to say, how  
do different universes containing the same particle in different  
quantum states always know how to be different from their sister  
universes if the universes cannot communicate with one another? Who or  
what is keeping track of the probabilities such that they always sum  
to one? In MWI, unitarity begs the question of non-locality.

Stuart LaForge

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list