[math] intersubjectivity and the free will / free won't paradox

Maya Vinokour vinokour at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 12:22:09 CDT 2018


It is so fucking hilarious. And Erofeev is a glorious drunken genius (also
his book is much shorter).

On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 1:20 PM Eric Purdy <epurdy at uchicago.edu> wrote:

> Thanks for the recs! I started reading Generation P once and it was
> excellent. Need to finish it one of these days. It's probably some useful
> glue for this puzzle as well.
>
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 6:17 PM, Maya Vinokour <vinokour at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Eric, by the way, if you are interested in tales of altered consciousness
>> and media weirdness, I have two book recommendations for you (in order of
>> likely enjoyableness):
>>
>> 1. Victor Pelevin’s “Generation P”
>> 2. Venedikt Erofeev’s “Moscow to the End of the Line” (the Tjalsma
>> translation)
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 1:05 PM Eric Purdy <epurdy at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> In regards to dying under torture, might I inflict Roko's Basilisk upon
>>> you all?
>>>
>>>
>>> http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html
>>>
>>> It's sort of an updated version of Pascal's Wager, where instead of
>>> going to hell for pissing off God, you go to hell for pissing off a
>>> superintelligent AI.
>>>
>>> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 5:51 PM, Eric Purdy <epurdy at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>>>
>>>> In this email I summarize some previous work on the species Homo
>>>> sapiens and suggest future directions of study.
>>>>
>>>> The first work we note is the Ph.D. thesis of Dr. Raber. (Dr. Raber:
>>>> would you mind posting a copy of your thesis and/or an Amazon link to your
>>>> book if it's already out?) We posit that this is a tolerably complete
>>>> description of the maturational process and mating habits of the human
>>>> mind. (Also, Dr. Raber, if you feel moved to share any extracts from your
>>>> second book, would love to see those! It would be super relevant to some
>>>> threads we're having about economics, if I understand the thrust of it
>>>> correctly. (My gloss: what are the proper uses of luxury in motivating
>>>> human beings to excellence and public service?))
>>>>
>>>> We posit that it is possible, via affiliation economics and choice
>>>> architecture and computational linguistics and digital humanities, to
>>>> assemble a tolerably complete picture of the pressures that any given human
>>>> being is under at any given point in time. Presumably this fact is known to
>>>> various governments of the world, and has been since the height of the Cold
>>>> War.
>>>>
>>>> Furthermore, we posit that human beings do in fact have free will. It
>>>> feels pretty obvious if you're driving one of the damn things, anyway. But,
>>>> of course, biological materialism and physical determinism hold sway over
>>>> the physical and biological universes. How do we reconcile these two facts?
>>>> Basically, you never know for sure which way someone is going to jump,
>>>> because you never have a complete copy of the inside of their mind. You can
>>>> put people in arbitrarily scary and fucked-up and tempting situations, but
>>>> they'll still surprise you. As Natalie Portman says in V for Vendetta, that
>>>> last inch of one's will remains free. A person who is willing to die under
>>>> torture can generally do whatever the fuck they want. (Ofc, dying under
>>>> torture is a fairly likely outcome if you make the mistake of telling
>>>> anyone this fact when they threaten you.)
>>>>
>>>> Finally, as glue to make all of this cohere in a way that will make
>>>> sense to the academic humanities, we offer the novels of David Foster
>>>> Wallace. I put it to you that they are about free will and mind control.
>>>> The cryptogram for mind control in Broom of the System is, I believe, the
>>>> Devil's wooden leg. The cryptogram for mind control in Infinite Jest is
>>>> annular fusion. (Think about it for a second - imagine watching a
>>>> television that then floats through the air and smashes you in the back of
>>>> the head - it traces out an annulus.) The cryptogram for mind control in
>>>> The Pale King is the Pale King, who is a DFW self-insertion character, as
>>>> are most of the characters in that book.
>>>>
>>>> As further glue, we offer the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. I
>>>> put it to you that it is a play about how to kill William Shakespeare with
>>>> your words in a world where mind reading and mind control are widely
>>>> distributed among the populace; Hamlet is Willie's self-insertion
>>>> character, and all the other characters are various figments of Bill's
>>>> imagination as he worked through the problem of trying to keep himself from
>>>> dying or going nuts.
>>>>
>>>> Would love to hear any thoughts that this email triggered from anyone
>>>> who I sent it to!
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> -Eric
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> -Eric
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> https://mailman.moomers.org/listinfo/math
>>>
>>
>
>
> --
> -Eric
>
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