[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 223, Issue 16

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Mon Apr 18 05:35:20 UTC 2022

Quoting Bill Wallace:

> On Sat, Apr 9, 2022 at 7:37 PM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Not every experiment has to be done like a clinical trial.
>> Take 100,000 people.  Also have each of them them to an objective observer
>> in their life.  Ask each of the 10000 their goals for the next year.  In a
>> year, check with the participants and their observers, to see whether they
>> completed their goals.  Split the 'did complete' and 'didn't complete'
>> groups into 2.  Match individuals in each group to an individual in the
>> other who is matched in terms of income, race, age, sex, as much as
>> possible.  Discard unmatched participants.  The difference is willpower
> Yeah, or some other more or less equivalent term.  I think they need to be
> matched on goals, the goals rated as to difficulty and so on. and I could
> quibble a bit about their environments, but I more or less agree.  bill w

IMO, the most fascinating thing about will-power is that it exists and  
is thus quantifiable. The reason this is surprising is because modern  
functionalist, physicalists, and materialists insist that brain makes  
mind in a one way causal relationship termed supervenience. That is to  
say that a brain state should be able to cause and mind state but a  
mind state should not be able to cause a brain state.

Since, even in cases of addiction, willpower is often defined  
colloquially as "mind over matter", this would violate supervenience  
because "mind over matter" would be labelled as downward causation and  

Near as I can tell, willpower would have to defined as the triumph  
over-riding of one part of the brain against another. Such as one's  
frontal lobe overcoming ones limbic system and allowing one to fight  
off a craving for any particular stimulus.

Stuart LaForge

>> On Sat, Apr 9, 2022 at 1:20 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> EXample:  a couple, male and female, go to a party.  The guy's
>>> ex-girlfriend is there.  We observe his interactions with people.  He talks
>>> to others, including the ex and his date observes body language, facial
>>> expressions and so on.  We see signs in her of anger and just being upset.
>>> She talks to him and they leave the party.
>>> Well, does that look like jealousy?  Sure does.  But how do we know it's
>>> not a stomachache?  Or leaving to study for a test?  Or or or.We don't.
>>> What we need is more observations of that couple in various situations and
>>> maybe just interview them and ask what is going on.

Jealousy might be another bizarrely "causal" states of mind. The sheer  
number of people that have through history been murdered by somebody  
in a fit of jealous rage should be relatively high.

Stuart LaForge

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