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Free will and state machines

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

One of the interesting topics that we bandy around from time to time is the question of whether humans really have free will, or there’s just a very persistent illusion that makes it look like we do. Now, I find the idea of us not having free will at all rather sinister, and prefer not to believe that it’s possible that we have none, but I also find the idea that our decisions are simply the product of our minds equally absurd – this especially grates on me insofar as we humans love to punish each other – sometimes for the most abysmal things (I gesture you to Loving vs. Commonwealth Of Virginia for a example of this) that we later come to realize we shouldn’t have been punishing anyone for – but sometimes for things that are clearly suboptimal but still might not be definable as choices that people are making with their free will intact.

Jumping back up to the head topic for a minute, our minds structurally change as we learn new things, or have experiences good or bad. If someone is physically abused, the resulting physical traces in their minds – the wiring in their lion / no lion subnet – will change the decisions they make for the rest of their lives – and even something as simple as learning about a new topic will inform the decisions that we make in the future. So clearly our free will does not exist in a vacuum, and often when we are engaging in suboptimal behavior, you can trace the source back to suboptimal things that were done to us – and you can trace this backwards in time, generation after generation. Some of it is probably legacy all the way back from when ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ was the law of the land and we were extremely violent because we had to be in order to survive.

For all our religions that advocate forgiveness, we are not a particularly forgiving people. In addition, as I’ve talked about in previous articles, when people behave in ways we don’t like, we toss them into a system that is designed to be abusive – thusly breaking them worse. Frequently, when they come out, they behave in even more suboptimal ways, and we blame this on them rather than on ourselves as a society because hey, blaming people is fun, and enables us to feel superior.

But, beyond my dislike of the criminal justice system and indeed every system we have in place for fixing broken people (most of which don’t, and many of which break them worse, suck all the money out of their bank accounts, or both at the same time) I do think the question of how much of us is free will and how much of us is the inevitable, state-machine like responses to stimuli is worth examining, probably even with some hard science. I don’t think that we’ll find that we are entirely state machines, but I also am fairly sure we will not find that we are entirely creatures of free will either. However, we’re such good storytellers that even when we are responding to a series of signals lighting up clusters of subnets in ways that leave us very little choice (because there’s only one really good response path) we can tell ourselves stories that make it look to us like we are acting perfectly inside the world of free will.

Another possibility that I have considered is that in fact time doesn’t work the way we think it does – that while we perceive time as a linear experience, all of the decisions actually happen all at once, at the top of the tape so to speak, and then we experience them being played out in linear time.


Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

hought: both your lover and the devil will explore giving you exactly what you want.. but they are very much not the same thing

the devil wants to tease you with what you want, to demonstrate your exact flaws as a individual, perhaps even to enslave you

your lover wants to literally give you what you want, to make you feel good, perhaps even to set you free

How, if you’re in a turing test with the two of them, can you tell the difference?


Saturday, January 21st, 2017

So, I can’t remember if I discussed in a previous post my working definition of evil. Understanding that it should be possible to give anyone any experience they would ever want to have in simulation, without needing any fancy VR gear – just needing the proper configuration set up on their mind – evil would, in my view, be the people who would not be satisfied with the *simulation* of control over other people or hurting other people, but who would want the experience in which other people are actually being hurt – and people who don’t want to be hurt, even though this gains them nothing but the idea that someone else is being hurt.

It’s probably too sophisticated a definition.. I mean, it certainly isn’t something that you can define quickly.. but it forms a working map for what, when I find in myself, I will root out and remove, mercilessly. It’s a special type of stupidity that I don’t think should exist. Not just cruelty, but cruelty that insists that the target of the cruelty be someone who doesn’t want to experience pain.

Now, we all know that it’s possible you could end up with a ideal universe just by matching up the masochists with the sadists. I haven’t heard any reasonable provisions for doing this, which is yet another argument in favor of the universe not currently being run by a intelligent designer. If we needed another argument for that. Of course, it’s possible that the universe *is* and my *experience* of it isn’t, see previous discussions on the topic. Which is just one of a number of reasons why rooting out evil in my own mind seems like a worthy goal.


Friday, January 20th, 2017

So, I’m still working Angel through the process. Still haven’t managed to get vox tracked for it.

Then there’s the even more complex possibility

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

What if I’ve got it inverted.. what if you are in love with me? And don’t know it? It certainly was a long time before I knew I was in love with you…


Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

So, I don’t really know who did what. There’s no way to know. For all I know, I did all this to myself. If you all want it to be my fault, that’s fine with me. I just want it to stop hurting, and want shrinks to stop fixing me-for-other-people at the cost of hurting me-for-me, which is real popular.

$person, it’s not like you’d suddenly start talking to me if I was 100% complient. So I’m not even going to try. I’m going to try, instead, to scale my psych meds to give me the best system performance, and to give me manias timed for when I can take vacation time from my day job, and to make sure I lock out access from the internet and go far away from cars and the like. Basically, make them safe for the rest of the world.

In other words, fuck y’all, I’m living for me. You all want me to live for you instead, you’re going to have to convince me there’s a reason to want to.

For anyone who is trying to find me

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Jonathan Pullen
10323 Wallingford Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98133

skype: sheer_panic

As my friend Mei would say, stalk me!

I don’t know which is more upsetting

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

That $person_who_wants_to_hurt_me[0] is reading my blog and cackling with glee that she succeeded so thoroughly, or that she doesn’t even know, nor care, the amount of pain and fear and havoc she created. I wonder if all the sea turtles she rescued make up for this. I wonder if she *thinks* they do.

My current theory about what’s going on

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

So, I’ve probably talked about this one before, but maybe writing more about it will help me refine my ideas on it still more.

At this point, I do not think the 3D reality I’m wandering around in is a accurate representation of the data coming in at the edge (wherever NNN space owned by me meets NNN space owned by others). In particular, I think that because of my paranoia, what I’m seeing is a mix of real data being thrown across the wall (“reflected light” of the real people out there) and my fears. I have no easy way to confirm how much is internal/imaginal and how much is external/real. I don’t think any of us actually know that, I think it may well be a unknowable. But I think my paranoia has met confirmation bias. I no longer know if the cops are in my head or in the world, for example.

I know I’m damaged. I hope the people at the edge are receiving this message, and understand that I need help to clear away the neurological filters that are making it impossible for me to see people as they truly are and instead see what I’m most afraid of. At this point I’m convinced confirmation bias is probably more my enemy than my friend. I just don’t know what to do with it.

Covering old ground from my point of view

Friday, January 6th, 2017

As far as I’m concerned, we have paranoia. That’s our disease. Dissassociative Identity is part of how we protect ourselves from the people who gave it to us. It’s a feature, not a bug. Bipolar is part of how we cure ourselves. It’s a winning answer. It’s possible at some point me and Sheer will reintegrate to be a single personality. I’m not sure exactly what that would be like. People treating us for bipolar or DID are quite simply confused about the nature of reality, or are selfish and not concerned with our needs.