1689: "My Friend Catherine"

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:14 am UTC

elasto wrote:I can do anything I want to do; What I can't do is something I don't want to do. But, as limitations go, that's a pretty easy one to live with :D

But what if you want to want to do something you don't want to do? Can you then make yourself want to do it? That is freedom of will; the ability to want what you want to want. The ability to do what you want to do is just freedom of action.

Neither has anything to do with determinism, in any case.

And freedom of will is only necessary for sapience, not mere sentience; Star Trek and much of the rest of scifi's inability to keep them straight notwithstanding.

[EDIT: Typo, comma instead of m]
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Kalium_Puceon » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:25 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Free will (acting counter to instinct/programming, delaying gratification into the future)

I don't think anyone can act counter to their programming. Delaying gratification is possible to some extent for most adult humans; but I wouldn't count it as a prerequisite for sentience.

I would look more into things like: can it suffer? Can it want things?


When it comes to the programming of an organisms I feel like there's probably enough room for randomness that you can reliably have free will.

From a purely newtonian standpoint, you wouldn't becase the same original set up of chemistry in your body introduced to the exact same world around you will always react the same, but I imagine [although I am not an expert on quantum mechanics] that when you get into much smaller realms where probability is more important then your free will appears because those chemicals driving your behaviour aren't always exactly the same.

Wouldn't this be akin to having a program whose code has some *true* randomness mixed into it? Even with the exact same inputs and the exact same conditions, the results would vary.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby PsiCubed » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:11 am UTC

I'm not sure how "randomness" can form the basis of free will, as randomness is... well, random.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby netsplit » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:45 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:Looking for volunteers who have never suffered to test their nervous system! Lunch will be provided


Oddly enough there was a Star Trek TNG episode who had aliens that had no previous experience of antagonism.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby netsplit » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:54 pm UTC

Oh my goodness, it looks like I accidentally nerd sniped.

Free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction? Correct? If so, and you don't believe in magic, then you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide. I don't really get why "you're always gonna make the choice you think best" invalidates free will. Of course you're going to make the best choice you can. Rolled into that choice will be all you learned from bumping into and exploring your existence.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:57 pm UTC

I like the idea of describing it as "free won't" rather than "free will" - it's not so much the ability to act as you wish, as the potential to have done something else instead.

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby netsplit » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:03 pm UTC

Also free will isn't absolute. You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object, or to see sound, except with drugs or tools.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Febrion » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:19 pm UTC

grkvlt wrote:My problem with this bit of sed is that it sounds really awkward when used to talk about male friends named Catherine. My friend Catherine is actually called Biggles, and although the vet took care of his external maleness issues, he's still a tomcat. However, I can't think of a male gendered name starting with Cat, Mr Stevens notwithstanding...? And grep Cat /usr/share/dict/words hasn't been any real help, either.

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

netsplit wrote:Also free will isn't absolute. You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object, or to see sound, except with drugs or tools.

When you said "You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object" I thought that was wise, for someone who goes and imagines an 8-dimensional object does so only because of some prompt to do so (quite possibly because of some external influence such as someone saying "You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object").

Then you ruined it, by implying that it was impossible (which it isn't, I just did it, although the mental rotation of my object was slightly taxing), by directly comparing it with something else that is impossible (and even that isn't, see either synæsthesia or known imaging techniques)...

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:22 pm UTC

Free will has nothing to do with the sounds or objects in our vision that we experience just because they are there. Free will deals with the fact that sometimes you have choices and you get to choose or nor choose one of those options. I think one of the best definitions is found in the description of The Truly Free.

netsplit wrote:Free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction? Correct? If so, and you don't believe in magic, then you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide.


Why cant I believe in magic and free will functioning to the universe's laws?
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:19 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:
netsplit wrote:Free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction? Correct? If so, and you don't believe in magic, then you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide.


Why cant I believe in magic and free will functioning to the universe's laws?


"If (not P) then Q" does not entail "not (P and Q)", only "not ((not P) and (not Q))".
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:25 pm UTC

But "if (not P) then Q" does not necessarily mean "if (not Q) then P"
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:26 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:But "if (not P) then Q" does not necessarily mean "if (not Q) then P"

Yes it does. Those things are exactly equivalent in logic.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:40 pm UTC

"If it is not a rectangle, then it is a square."
Does not mean "if it is not a square, then it is a rectangle". This would be impossible because for it to be a rectangle, it would have to be considered a square.

I guess the point I was really trying to make is that magic and free will do not intercross at all. If magic existed, it does not mean that those universal laws that must be existing are somehow preventing free will within those laws. It is like saying if you don't believe in a God, then you have to accept cows as the sacred deity that created this earth. (Probably a terrible example unless you are from India, and even then a terrible example)
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:04 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:"If it is not a rectangle, then it is a square."
Does not mean "if it is not a square, then it is a rectangle". This would be impossible because for it to be a rectangle, it would have to be considered a square.
Yes, those things do mean the same. Neither of them are true, but they do mean the same thing.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:15 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:"If it is not a rectangle, then it is a square."
Does not mean "if it is not a square, then it is a rectangle". This would be impossible because for it to be a rectangle, it would have to be considered a square.

Consider that if it's a square, then it's a rectangle, by current understanding. There's no such thing as a square that isn't a rectangle (a special, regular rectangle). So "If it is not a rectangle, then it is a square" is an invalid axiom.

Even if you exclude the special set of squares from the set of rectangles, it is only true if there are no other shapes (circles, triangles, trapeziums) for it to be, whilst "not a rectangle" and "not a square". Everything is one thing (x)or the other, if and only if squares aren't rectangles and there's nothing else that anything can be.

And as for "for it to be a rectangle, it would have to be considered a square", that makes no sense, whatever way I read it. (Invert the two classes, and you have my above consideration, though.)

HA is wrong about the equivalence, without certain restrictions (to stop "if P then (maybe/definitely) also Q" from being true), but I forget the context for that.. I'll need to scroll a bit on this tiny screen to check that, and it's awkward, so I'll leave it to others. Also to point out my own editing rrors, no doubt... ;)

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:28 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:But "if (not P) then Q" does not necessarily mean "if (not Q) then P"

Sure, but translating that back to what we were talking about, that would just be "if you don't accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide, then you must believe in magic (or not believe in free will)".
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

If I had magic, why would I need free will? :D
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Flumble » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:57 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:
netsplit wrote:Free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction? Correct? If so, and you don't believe in magic, then you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide.


Why cant I believe in magic and free will functioning to the universe's laws?

To be clear: the premise of your question does not follow from the statement above. Netsplit said "if ((free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction) and (you don't believe in magic)) then (you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide)". There's no "otherwise (you may not accept that free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide)".
Given that you do believe in magic, the whole condition is false, so nothing is defined about the functioning of free will —meaning you're free to choose whether free will operates by the laws of the universe.

Then again, using implied statements about the whole system: of course the existence of magic entails that free will can be adjusted with magic and therefore free will does not necessarily follow the laws of the universe.

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby xtifr » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:13 pm UTC

Y'all are acting like it's impossible to believe contradictory things when, in fact, all the evidence shows that humans are quite good at believing contradictory things. Proving that two things are contradictory doesn't mean people won't believe both. Heck, I regularly believe contradictory things just for the practice. Before breakfast. :wink:
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby heuristically_alone » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:35 pm UTC

Nice twist on the Lewis Carrol quote.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby addams » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 am UTC

Kalium_Puceon wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Free will (acting counter to instinct/programming, delaying gratification into the future)

I don't think anyone can act counter to they're programming. Delaying gratification is possible to some extent for most adult humans; but I wouldn't count it as a prerequisite for sentience.

I would look more into things like: can it suffer? Can it want things?


When it comes to the programming of an organisms I feel like there's probably enough room for randomness that you can reliably have free will.

From a purely newtonian standpoint, you wouldn't becase the same original set up of chemistry in your body introduced to the exact same world around you will always react the same, but I imagine [although I am not an expert on quantum mechanics] that when you get into much smaller realms where probability is more important then your free will appears because those chemicals driving your behavior aren't always exactly the same.

Wouldn't this be akin to having a program whose code has some *true* randomness mixed into it? Even with the exact same inputs and the exact same conditions, the results would vary.

This began a conversation that reminds me of Epigenetics.
The following clip explains Epigenetics quickly and easily.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp1bZEUgqVI

Re-Cap:
Your Grand and Great-GrandParents expressed free will.
You are stuck with their choices.

The only revenge is to make a bunch of choices
To send to your Grand and Great-GrandChildren.

Then, blame it on Catherine.
Or; Not.

EDIT: As much as we all love Our Friend Catherine,
A garden Not graced with her presence is ... more diverse.

Under that delicate, soft and helpless disguise our domestic
Friend Catherine wears, is a discriminating and ruthless killer.

an example:
Spoiler:
Summer is in full bloom, where I am.
When I first came to this place there were five domestic Catherine living here.

I liked the Catherine. They were a very entertaining bunch.
I watched them enter act with each other and other animals.

I have proof.
I have moving clips of the Catherine 'hanging out' with Raccoon, and Skunk.

There was a thriving Mouse and Rat population, when I arrived,
There is a thriving Mouse and Rat population, now.

The Catherine did Not reduce the Mouse and Rat populations.
If anything, I have fewer problems with Rodents now, than then.

The previous owners of the Catherine asked for one or two.
With Great Enthusiasm I helped the people to call All the Catherine.

The Catherine were a happy and functional pack.
I missed the Catherine, at first.

As time has passed, the garden has become more and more alive with variety.
Smaller, more helpless prey have become delightfully common in the garden.

Lizards do pushups in the morning sun eating ants for breakfast.
I watched a juvenile Robin, today. Robin had become very rare.

The Juvenile Robin has a parent-dependent, post-nest, pre-flight developmental stage.
That stage makes Juvenile Robin, 'sitting ducks' for our friend Catherine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_robin#Threats
The fledglings are able to fly short distances after leaving the nest.
(these are short, poorly controlled, wing assisted hops)

The wings of juvenile birds develop rapidly. and
it only takes a couple of weeks for them to become proficient at flying.
(Two Weeks!! Do you know How Long? Two weeks is for a clumsy baby in a garden with five Catherine?!)
I do. It is a lot shorter than a standard two weeks. That baby rarely lives to fledge. (Poor Parents.))


The cryptically colored young birds perch in bushes or trees for protection from predators.
Jumping into bushes does not help, much. The Catherine seem to enjoy 'the chase'.


As much as we all love our friend Catherine,
I'm glad to have Lizards and tiny Snakes,
Juvenile Robin and their parents.

Sweet voiced, ground dwelling Quail,
And ... so much more.

I still miss the daily comedy routine multiple Catherine provide.
and; I find it amazing how many people 'believe' Cats fight Rats.

Catherine are smart. They do not fight with strong mean Rats.
They take easy prey.
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby netsplit » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:16 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
netsplit wrote:Also free will isn't absolute. You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object, or to see sound, except with drugs or tools.

When you said "You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object" I thought that was wise, for someone who goes and imagines an 8-dimensional object does so only because of some prompt to do so (quite possibly because of some external influence such as someone saying "You can't choose to imagine an 8 dimensional object").

Then you ruined it, by implying that it was impossible (which it isn't, I just did it, although the mental rotation of my object was slightly taxing), by directly comparing it with something else that is impossible (and even that isn't, see either synæsthesia or known imaging techniques)...


I didn't realize synaesthesia was a choice. How do I choose to get synaethesia without drugs to induce it? Basically you post like a hipster.I ruined it, really? haha.

And you didn't imagine an 8d object, you imagined the 2 and some fractional dimension slice, of the 3d slice of an 8d object, if you actually did, Your brain is wired for your eyes which capture data on 2d plane, with a hint of a fractional dimension due to paralax. you don't see the world in 3d, you see the 2d shadow available from your perspective.

heuristically_alone wrote:Free will has nothing to do with the sounds or objects in our vision that we experience just because they are there. Free will deals with the fact that sometimes you have choices and you get to choose or nor choose one of those options. I think one of the best definitions is found in the description of The Truly Free.

netsplit wrote:Free will is the ability to independently choose an action, or inaction? Correct? If so, and you don't believe in magic, then you have to accept free will functions using the functions the laws of the universe provide.


Why cant I believe in magic and free will functioning to the universe's laws?


Well you can. Although one would argue if magic has document able and testable properties, it's just new science. What I mean by that is in a deterministic universe such as the one we experience, any processes it produces are inherently deterministic. Although a quantum physicist would argue it isn't deterministic, because quantum mechanics sure isn't. but the boundary between classical deterministic physics and quantum randomness seems to smaller than the neuron level. So if you want to believe in a conscience produced by a deterministic universe to not be deterministic, you'd need magic, or something equally bizarre.


Although there is a thought experiment where you put my friend Catherine in a box....
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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:45 pm UTC

addams wrote:I find it amazing how many people 'believe' Cats fight Rats.

Catherine are smart. They do not fight with strong mean Rats.
They take easy prey.


They may not fight rats, but the house cats where I used to live regularly import live mice - without the cats, the rodent population of the house would probably drop...

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:29 pm UTC

netsplit wrote:And you didn't imagine an 8d object, you imagined the 2 and some fractional dimension slice, of the 3d slice of an 8d object, if you actually did, Your brain is wired for your eyes which capture data on 2d plane, with a hint of a fractional dimension due to paralax. you don't see the world in 3d, you see the 2d shadow available from your perspective.
My brain is wired for much that might at one point seemed to be beyond it, and adaptively so.

My brain was never supposed to treat a ton or two of metal as an extension to my body and ensure that it safely travelled at up to 70mph (or safely, but illegally, beyond if I were ever so tempted.. which, alone upon my fellow drivers, I am not). Internally, I have a visualisation that goes beyond your 'slice', reckless as it might be to consider my untrained/uncertified brain to push the model up to 8 dimensions. Some people have such pieces of paper, though, and can prove their proficiency, much as some people have driven vehicles even beyond the speed of sound, with training and confirmed aptitude.

We all can imagine 3d (before even adding time) as a solid, rather than as mere slice/perspective picture (or two), anyway. But that's beyond the point originally in discussion.

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby Coyoty » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:02 pm UTC

My friend Catherine abhorred vacuum cleaners. That could explain why she never did any housework.

She wasn't my first friend Catherine. My first friend Catherine had a habit of sucking on my earlobes. I miss that.

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby PlanesAreStrange » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:55 am UTC

just put this in the substitutions extension and found this:

I'd sell my friend catherine for this black and rose gold pokedex 6s.
-TechnoBuffalo

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Re: 1689: "My Friend Catherine"

Postby wgrandbois » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:29 pm UTC

operagost wrote:
wgrandbois wrote:Ironically, my friend Catherine is actually named Catherine. Well, Katherine, but close enough.

Is that spelling supposed to be ironic?


No, actually. Her whole litter was named after Shakespeare characters, and that's how it's spelled in "The Taming of the Shrew."

(Yes, I know I'm about a year late in this response.)


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