(urth) 5HC : Skinner, Turing (fwd)

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 14 22:50:15 PST 2005

There is a problem with any example that drags in Laplace's demon (well, 
granted, he's meant to be problematic). Probably more than one. But working 
with what you've hinted at, start by asking if the demon is inside the 
universe or apart from it on some higher level? If the latter then either 
he's not available for your thought problem or your universe isn't 
deterministic, and if the former you run into the whole 
drawing-a-scale-map-of-the-universe deal.


"[W]hat everyone does not know, so that it counts as differential knowledge, 
that is a glorious thing to be concerned with. What everyone knows on the 
other hand, so that the difference is the trivial one of how it is known, 
that is a waste of effort to be concerned about - for one cannot possibly 
become self-important through knowing it."

>Laplace's demon is truly omniscience no?
>Then he knows you are going to tell me, and has factored that in.
>He will also know that you will ask for an updated prediction.
>That too will be foreseen by his omniscience right?
>Furthermore, he will see you scurrying back to tell me.
>But, omniscient being he is, he can see how many times you will be able to
>upset the temporary equilibrium of my desires, and indeed, when I will 
>begin to ignore
>you (or ask what you are smoking and how can I synthesize suma that?).
>That number being finite, he can easily  work out what my final desires 
>will be, and give the answer
>which will both start the sequence and end it.
>Even better, in a deterministic universe like this, to the Demon, the only 
>unkown will be himself.
>So he can easily choose how he will perturb the universe, and make his 
>predictions on that basis
>or self-fulfilling.
>If this is an argument, seems more like one against omnisicence.
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