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

Eric Purdy epurdy at uchicago.edu
Wed Apr 11 12:49:37 CDT 2018


Ordering now. Is this an English translation of Generation P?
https://www.amazon.com/Homo-Zapiens-Victor-Pelevin/dp/0142001813/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1523468832&sr=8-3&keywords=generation+p&dpID=3116TMWBPML&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch
They've given it a weird title, but the synopsis sounds the way I remember
the book going.

On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 6:22 PM, Maya Vinokour <vinokour at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Math mailing list
>>>> Math at moomers.org
>>>> https://mailman.moomers.org/listinfo/math
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> -Eric
>>
>


-- 
-Eric
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