The philosophy thread (reminder philosophy is not politics nor conspiracy theories)


As for me too… ive seen posts on other platforms…

Things from twitter to forum posts…and rando askme’s… and even the so called lockerroom talk of both men and women.

Some criticisms ive come across:

Falsely using it to get revenge
Clout chasing
attention seeking

Thing is about those criticisms…the common thing among them are that some people are being snakes.

However The people who are snakes dont solely belong to a singular specific demographic…there are snakes in every demographic.

The why for metoo… i thought it was this thing but i made the mistake of going by the media…burke herself stated in the video the messed up relationships some women were in…and those women that were in those situations needed help…to get out and rebuild themselves.

A woman having self respect and a sense of self worth and they should have those things like any other person.

Ive had my own criticisms of what the media interpreted and therefore what i interpreted the movement and other movements to be…was i right…nope, was i wrong…idk

To me some of the things about what i was hearing just did not add up. Hence some of my past criticisms.

But thats neither here nor there.

But there also this thing with consent and getting signals crossed…and people being different personalities and reading other peoples cues non verbal and verbal and whatnot…

My opinion just be direct and clear if its no then move on and treat the no as a final answer.

And Women should be more and very direct in the rejection.

The only thing that i do have a problem with though is the bullying by either gender.

But other than that…ive been on different sides of this issue. Not all sides just some of them. So i have some idea about some of it.

Also im not trying to sell myself as a perfect holy saint that shits happiness and daffodils…nor am i scumsucking trash cockroach dungbeetle…

But whatever. So. Haveth ye a good day.


Two wrongs dont make a right
Two rights can make a wrong


Squid game.

Human nature, greed, survival…

Id say its good because it shows just how darwinian people are, but it also examines the ethics of it, and flaws in human nature. The old man and “67 the woman” were my favorite characters.

Oh i wanted to do a philosophical analysis of squid game… hence why i posted in the philosophy thread.


Its a Korean TV-series gone viral, why would you make that the basis of any philosophical framework? It would be prudent to examine the assumptions it makes first. ‘Human nature is such and such’ which is based on what exactly? A social experiment with certain set conditions? What we call international human society IS a social experiment within the current set of extremely large numbers of parameters and is ontologically unsolvable. Within the current frameworks truth no longer exists because it has all been declared subjective and unwittingly we have slithered into an absurd world where worldviews are generally like ‘The Big Lebowski’; everything is just like, their opinion man, or yours. No more frameworks built from the ground up. no more considering the fundamentals of philosophy as a science, no more reading the classics. Just opinions farting against each other.


Seems to me that by having that choice to create chaos demonstrates free will. If you had no choice but to be good… maybe life would be good… but it wouldn’t be moral… and it might be boring.

Noam Chomsky said (paraphrasing) “The best evidence for free will is that those who don’t believe in free will still bother to explain why their choice does not exist.”

If their is no free will… what’s the point of arguing about it?


Profound Poetry @psyber … not surprising given your ability to compose.

So when do we hear some vocals in your work? Or perhaps I’ve missed some? :man_shrugging:


Point well taken… @bfk but I would say “dismisses” rather than “laughs”

But then Nature doesn’t care what I think :thought_balloon:


Well said @twilitez And as we all have heard “opinions are like …”

And the death of Reason is this newish consensus that facts are a matter of opinion. No way to reason with that… and it gives every A-hole “Self Esteem” and disdain for anyone who doesn’t agree. :scream:

It’s a very tidy and even democratic philosophy :sunglasses::sparkles:


@twilitez – It’s one of those things isn’t it, subjectivity. To me, the conclusion that it is all subjective and that all meaning depends on having a particular interpretive schema in the first place seems unavoidable.

Even with philosophy, a statement grounded in some set of axioms may only be considered true within those axioms. But there is no objective basis within which to ground the axioms. It is all “given” at some point or another, and any causal relationship to events in the world can only be incidental, for our conceptions of the world are a construction of the mind where our senses are mere suggestions to our world model, so whilst there may be some emergent and loose isomorphism, it cannot posses any true identity with the world.

Though – and I think this is the crux of the issue, and why I call myself a practical nihilist – while I do not think that there is any objective basis for anything without a given foundation, I don’t think it is wise to dismiss these lines of thought – there are many common human experiences which any sane individual would agree are reasonable given axioms.

And from that stems the possibility of rational discourse over shared subjectivity. It is fortunate (probably necessary in some way, evolutionarily) our variability is not too great, as we have more in common than we do not.

You seem like you are interested in philosophy, so I’ll expound a bit more on the practical nihilism, I’d be interested to hear more about your views.

I have intrinsic biases that compel me in a particular direction, and to work against them induces suffering, one of my biases is desire to remain living, and another is to be happy – there is equally no objective foundation for why I should fulfil these needs as for why I shouldn’t.

I accept that any bias is intrinsic to my form, but not necessarily immutable, and I accept that any value I apply or framework I adopt is in the same way, even if some several levels removed, subjective, and ultimately meaningless outside of my perception. Any meaning shared by others, whilst perhaps there might exist some loose isomorphism, for similar reasons of nihilism, there is no correct comparative operator, and even if there were, there may not be any way to actually “reach” the perception technologically, and too neither in a philosophically sound way that doesn’t require making some underlying assumptions.


@bfk – Hey, apologies, I missed your replies! You’re right, I did get lost in that detail. While I do think it is important one, I do commend their cause, and think it is reasonable, for there is definitely a problem that something must be done about.

And again to my point of some unavoidable utilitarian ethics when making decisions that affect the masses, we must accept as an unavoidable loss some small increase in the risk of a malfunction of the system that negatively affects the innocent in order for any serious changes to be made that actually solve the problem in a practical and reasonable way.


@1roomstudio – I wouldn’t try to compare myself to Noam Chomsky, and he is a very smart guy, but not all very smart people are right in everything they say. I would say the same about Roger Penrose with his microtubules (which thee is zero evidence for) and his ideas about making QM even more confusing. Or if you want to get obscure, take Christopher Langan, guy with highest recorded IQ who is alive (maybe changed since, who knows) with his Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe, and while I won’t claim to understand, few do, those who do have pointed out serious logical flaws in it, namely that it assumes its own consistency.

And, with me it usually goes without saying, but primed with this prior chat, I will add: right as in practical nihilism, make the right assumptions, mainly that our material perception (our ability to measure in some sense) of the world is correct, and then we can talk right and wrong haha.

Put it this way, every single cell in our body – any of the smallest computationally divisible units, are all representable in a computable system.

So, consider that I mapped every cell in your body and brain – setting aside the technological limitations, in principle this is possible – and then simulated it on a computer, feeding in perfectly simulated perceptual input.

You would think you were you, your brain patterns (if the initial conditions were identical to the external world) would be very similar at first, but there would be drift due to it being a chaotic system and the if QM is true and it is truly random then the noise will be unpredictable and unmeasurable. If we could control this external noise in the real world, then we could make it identical to that introduced into the virtual you, and the result would be exactly the same. So randomness can’t possibly be the differentiating factor, when consdering that loose equivalence.

And remember, all of this is happening in a purely computational system, no quantum woo, and even if there were, that doesn’t make it nondeterministic, it just introduces an element of uncertainty – effectively randomness. But randomness is not free will is it?

It would have the same effect to simply introduce a bit of noise into the system. In fact, this is exactly what happens with machine learning, introducing a bit of randomness into the system makes it produce different results each time, which is a useful property sometimes. But it’s still strictly deterministic as far as this randomness is concerned, for it is mere pseudorandomness (but does that really matter?).

But the noise in your own brain? That comes from various things, like the incidental positions of chemical elements as they react to eachother. It’s incredible how loosely tied many parts of chemical systems in the body are to eachother. For example, many components of your immune system work by just floating about in the hope it bumps into someone, depending on the part, maybe a friend or an enemy.

And indeed some uncertainty/randomness from QM has an effect on the chaos introduced into the system. But is it truly random?

As we’ve discussed before, if it turns out that some computational model of physics, like the Cellular Automaton Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Gerrard 't Hooft, is an accurate description of the world, then this process is entirely predictable (given the seed information).

And even with QM, it could be a reasonable interpretation to say that doing true QM simply requires a hypercomputer, but that doesn’t make it nondeterministic as it could also be simply a problem of sufficient measurement and lack of the necessary information to predict/compute the outcome. And for example if space is fundamentally continuous any operation on its geometry would require need infinite resource in a computational world, but that doesn’t make it nondeterministic either.

And all this is to say, I think my issue with free will is that people think this means that their choice determines the outcome of their live.

But it doesn’t, everybody’s choice is a necessary consequence of some antecedent cause.


I should add to my above post by saying that I think it is wise to allow ourselves to think we have free will, and to think we have meaning, because depriving ourselves of these things often leads to a hopeless and pessimistic life of suffering.

It isn’t a contradiction to indulge myself in these fantasies given my worldview because my worldview is encompassing of these conceptions, which includes how they relate to my intrinsic biases.

They’re not in in the same category, or even directly related, in my world model, which could be considered as some computationally distinct unit that receives its input from an outside source, just as well as it could be considered that we are all one and the same and that any line we draw is but a moat in a castle of sand – I guess in some sense its like navigating a loose superposition of interpretations.


Since you are arguing that Free Will does not exist, I would say “point Chomsky” although even he admits that his cheeky position is not definitive… regardless, I’ve yet to hear a definitive refutation of it as well.

So glad you brought up Penrose… you saved me the time as I was going there next! (It is rewarding having discourse with someone who is both intelligent and educated! :pray::sparkles:)

Agreed that “microtubules” may not be the mechanism… but I do believe he is on to something… namely “Sentience may create Order out of Chaos.” Penrose may not see it that way… but it’s what I get out of his basic premise.

Two closely related flaws here: 1 assuming that humans (or for that matter any sentient being) are a purely computational system.
2. Assuming that making an exact copy of the computational aspects of any sentient being demonstrates anything other than the randomness of QM and “noise” in general.

It’s possible that Free Will is the ability to nudge probability in a desired direction. This is what I get from Penrose’ proposition… microtubules or not.

After reading your post I spent time going in mental circles attempting to come up with a “Zinger” demonstrating proof of Free Will… until I remembered that this line of reasoning (been there many times) creates postulates that reflect equally on both positions. It is entirely similar to the “Is there a God” debate as well as “what happened before the Big Bang” and my personal favorite “is Infinity real or a concept.” (In order … my beliefs are no, don’t no and no…) and yet I believe in Free Will for no better reason than that I experience it in nearly every conscious act. I accept that there is no proof in that experience… nor is there disproof.

So… you are a “Practical Nihilist” hmmm :thinking: that seems oxymoronic… the word practical implies decision making, which implies Free Will. (Not to mention deciding on “Practical Nihilism.” )

If you truly are merely computational then you have no choice whether to be Practical.

So what am I? :man_shrugging: never thought about in those terms… but since you’ve made me think about it (freely or otherwise) I would say I’m a Rationalist who believes there is much to be learned from pondering Irrationality (Pi, square root of 2, spirituality, creativity etc.)

The Rational world grows, seemingly exponentially while the Horizon of Great Mystery ever recedes… it seems we humans have no will to stop pursuing that Horizon.

Onward :sunglasses::sparkles:


It is not an assumption to say that we are representable in a computable system.

There is nothing going on in our cells that cannot be replicated in a way that doesn’t impact the outcome.

This was the whole reason behind talking about how much the “noise” affects the determinism of the result.

It doesn’t affect the result beyond typical drift when you substitute supposedly true randomness with pseudorandomness.

This is a demonstrable fact too, you will find no algorithm that can discern between well distributed pseudorandomness and “true” randomness (if it really exists at all).

And here in links my point about whether space is fundamentally continuous or if noise from quantum measurements has any significant effect on the computational determinism of our cells.

There is good evidence for this given that protein folding simulations have greatly helped medicine, and give accurate results.

Even though, in this scenario, even if space is fundamentally continuous, then the computational description is an approximation, but does not alter the outcome any more than the chaos introduced by noise and random quantum fluctuations.

So the whole basis of the argument was to demonstrate that it doesn’t actually matter if QM is true or not, it doesn’t affect the end result that the operations are deterministic.

The mathematics of QM isn’t nondeterministic, its just that to truly represent the world using the mathematics of QM, then we may need infinite resources in a computational world, and hence may need a hyper computer.

But the fact we could only approximate our calculations hasn’t changed the fact that the mathematics worked!

I don’t feel this is even a debate. I don’t think we can prove this, due to reasons of solipsism (hence making an underlying assumption), in the same way I cannot prove that you really exist and aren’t a product of my mind.

It’s not even the same category as the creator debate, because that talks about thigs we cannot observe, and the concept itself also contains logical fallacies in most conceptions.

And look, of course I make decisions, but I also don’t at the same time. It is not an oxymoron because you are interpreting my worldview through the lens of your own.

I was predetermined to make all of the decisions I ever have.

And I don’t think there is objective basis for any meaning. But I’m a practical nihilist because I don’t bother trying to integrate reasoning into every single emotional response/intuition.

Under nihilism there is equal reason to abandon reason as there is to take it up.

I’m not an insane nihilist that thinks not even reason can exist, even if you make the right underlying assumptions about the nature of our perception.

Also, much of the latest on cognitive science and AGI research is showing us that computational descriptions are already capable of expressing similar behaviour to what we observe in our own brains.

I must dig out the list of Joscha Bach talks I occasionally send, he is one of the best orators on these subjects, as he links them all together with formally defined foundations.


Conceptually true… assuming one knows everything that is going on in our cells. So there is still an inherent assumption. In fact, it’s not true (at the moment) that we can replicate all that is going on in our cells so this is a proposition… not a fact.

There is that word again… “infinite” which implies “unknowable” especially in terms of computation with a finite outcome.

“Hyper computer” ah yesss! Here again is Godel and Incompleteness… if only we can get outside the system with something “Hyper” then we could not only define the complete system, but define what is not complete in the system.

Don’t get wrong @psyber your logic and reasoning is solid, deep and well structured; but not by any means conclusive, as evidenced by resorting to such indeterminate concepts as “infinite” and “hyper.” This is not your fault… this is the nature of the debate.

True enough… if one sticks to only things one can observe, then no need to invoke a creator, or for that matter infinity or “hyper computers.” This is the crux of my argument… I observe free will… in my actions and yours: however, I do believe it’s debatable.

Citing current advances in biochemistry notwithstanding, these advances may bolster the notion of determinism, certainly so in the field of biochemistry… but again, it assumes that all we are is reducible to biology which is reducible to chemistry, which is reducible to molecules, atoms QM and ??? Who knows what else dunno :man_shrugging:??? And that’s only looking at the reductionist method.

If we knew that QM is the ultimate reduction AND! we knew all there is to know about QM then… depending on that knowledge, your position may well held water. I don’t believe we are there yet.

Sure sounds like you have made these decisions freely to me… but if you maintain that you are an automaton, who am I to disagree?

Automatons computing endlessly with other automatons is certainly one possible reality. Not proven… but possible.

Please do. You have brought much to my attention and I do enjoy and appreciate it.



Firstly I should apologise for the slightly frustrated tone of my last reply. I wrote that on my phone on the way back from work after a very long week.

That’s true, and philosophically we can never reach a position where we do know all there is to know about anything at all.

Everything we have discovered thus far is representable in a computable system with sufficient accuracy that the divergence in simulation due to the approximation (assuming a continuous space) is no greater than that caused by random QM effects.

Our cells are effectively like a little Turing machine, and are actually Turing complete, they even have little read/write heads and tapes (DNA).

All of the chemical reactions, all of the motions of the molecules, all of the electrical activity, are all representable computationally.

While it is true that until we have actually implemented every cell computationally, it is not a fact that all cells are representable computationally. But why would anybody think there is some hidden cell that will defy all of the logic all the other cells and suddenly do something non-computable.

So far, we haven’t found anything in nature that cannot be represented computationally (think the Cellular Automaton Interpretation of QM, and there are other similar models which hold promise), or if it isn’t true, at the very least approximated with a loss in precision that has an effect that is down in the noise in comparison the effect of the perfectly deterministic computations.

On the very tiny scale, quantum effects can have a comparatively large effect, however, it is an accepted fact about QM that these quantum effects do no affect the macro scale in any significant or even measurable way (above a particular limit, the lowest being the theoretical maximum precision of we can engineer a machine to take measurements to maximise the scale and precision).

So, what is it precisely that makes you think that our cells are doing something non-computable, with no evidence equalling or greater than the weight of the evidence for the contrary?

You’re right, but I use fact a little bit provocatively there, perhaps to the detriment of the point. But, there is no sound reason or evidence that I’ve encountered that suggests it is untrue.

I agree, which is one of the reasons I’ve described from both angles, from the non-computable classical angle, and from the computable angle.

From the computable angle, this problem doesn’t exist, hence the point that if the computational model of physics pans out, then this is not an issue.

I agree, I don’t mean to suggest it is so conclusive as in provable in a philosophically sound way (given the underlying assumptions mentioned already).

However, so far I have not encountered any actual reason that counters any of these points.

I’m not resorting to those terms, and it isn’t indeterminate IF hypercomputers can exist. That’s the crux of it, if they cannot, then the idea is fallacious and hence indeterminate, undecidable, unknowable – take your pick.

But still, IF the universe IS doing non-computable operations, then it isn’t indeterminate.

To be clear, I don’t think that this is the case. I think the universe is perfectly computational – again, I’m presenting the argument from both sides to show that it actually doesn’t matter which side you pick.

That links into the idea that, IF the universe is non-computable, then perhaps WE are just bound to the constructive, and hence cannot every actually implement anything that is non-computable, and so stuck in the computational realm we can never realise the logical operations to see it as anything BUT indeterminate.

And this I think is partly where Roger goes wrong, he thinks our brains are doing non-computable mathematics, but he doesn’t have ANY evidence for this.

Haha, I actually do agree, I shouldn’t say that any idea is not open to debate! Besides, would be kind of boring for me if nobody thought any different about any of this! :stuck_out_tongue:

(Edit: that’s not to say the ideas aren’t entertaining in of themselves, it’s why I learn them! But I also love talking about them with people.)

Exactly, can you actually point to anything that counters any of this? I’m pointing to lots of actual, real, tangible things and showing how they are computational (or at least the information that matters to the processes is representable computationally, if space is continuous et cetera).

It’s similar to what Roger Penrose is doing, and what I feel people generally who want to believe a particular outcome is the case do. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but as recount of my perception of this.

That’s taking my words a little too far, I must say.

But what does freedom mean? If you think freedom means that it feels like we make choices, then sure, I agree. It certainly feels like I make choices and that those choices determine events in the world.

But if you mean, does that actually happen, then I must maintain my previous position.

Sure, to be honest I think you’ll really enjoy his CnC3 talks (the last four links), he’s entertaining yet being very technical. But I do recommend the first links too.

A dialogue/debate between Joscha Bach and a UCSC professor of physics

The following talks are from the 3nC3 series, and are in order.

From computation to consciousness:

Computational Meta-Psychology:

Machine Dreams:

The Ghost in the Machine:


@far_darrig – Hey, I want to tag you here, as you’ve spoken about nihilism before, and it is something I can relate to.

I’m very interested to hear you views on this, but you’re very quiet it seems – or maybe you’ve had your day of debating and discussing these things. If you don’t want to elaborate on your thoughts on this, that’s absolutely fine.

We’ve been discussing nihilism and various related topics above, perhaps you have something to add. I kind of feel that you do, but, at least to me, you evoke an air of mystery, so I’m really not sure what to expect!

I must say, and observation from what little I’ve seen is that you never seem like you have anything to prove or to project. That’s very interesting to me, people so seemingly stoic often are – I’d like to hear more about your views on this, (not that I expect some magic silver bullet!). I admit to getting caught up in these things in various ways, and it is distressing to witness myself become gripped by it. Even now in some way haha.



Regarding nihilism.

In simple terms I believe in nihilism, but optimistic nihilism. There’s this perception that nihilism equates to pessimism. That a belief in nothingness means that you must be void all emotion and never be happy. But for me it’s the opposite. A belief in nothing to me is liberating, it’s makes me value the life that I have now more than I ever would if I weren’t a nihilist.

And yet it’s not that simple.

Some people might say that “oh well if you’re a nihilist then why don’t you just do what you want all the time? Why do obey the rules of society? You’re not a true nihilist if you don’t do whatever you want!” But why would being a nihilist mean that I have to reject society and hurt others in the process? I absolutely could choose to do all the things I wanted to do all the time at the expense of others, and sure maybe it would make me a “nihilist” but it would also make me a monster. And yet the idea of good and bad, pleasure and pain, hurting others and helping others is just a construct of society. We behave the way we do because it’s for the greater good of the species. So if we were truly nihilistic nothing would matter. There would be no difference between pleasure and pain, hurting and helping, right or wrong. Living and dieing wouldn’t matter. And by the extension of that logic then the existence of the universe or the nonexistent of it wouldn’t matter. And when I think about that for too long it makes my head hurt. It’s like trying to think of nothing. When you try to think of nothing you’re actually thinking about trying to think about nothing. So while there may be no purpose there is no non-purpose either. It maddening in a way really. So I just gave up. There’s a question but there’s no answer.


Thank you for weighing in!

I agree with everything you have said, somewhat similarly, I call it practical nihilism.

I completely agree!

I think I have something to add to this – it’s a question that has gripped me.

In my view the concept of nothingness in our conception presupposes the something. True nothingness (i.e., not grounded in a “something”) probably cannot exist, for why would something exist at all?

If something exists, and nothing was before, then how can the nothingness before it have any bearing on the probability that this something arises in the first place? Therefore, existence must be the default state. As to why our particular existence exists, perhaps all constructible systems do exist, in some way, not necessarily within our reach. Even if a creator brought the world into existence, some underlying necessity must have brought the God into existence.

Well said, that’s a good phrase! Though, something occurs to me: for what reason does there need to be question? Even the question, or that which lead to it, is given, otherwise that would imply some objective grounding of the question itself.

There’s not even a question, but then, if nihilism permeates all levels, and we are optimistic/practical about it, then we might as well pick a question, choose some underlying assumptions, and find an answer, even if the true way in which we do that is somewhat more recursive!

It is, it’s why I obsess over this stuff! Though I haven’t given up… yet! One day maybe, you never quite know…

Thanks for elaborating.


@1roomstudio – Joscha shows one of these in one of his talks, but I think these are worth posting here, too.

These are all generated by computational AI, granted not by systems capable of human perception or understanding, but these go to show just how apparently biological and continuous the results of these discrete computations can be.

This system is effectively working as a hierarchy of classifiers, and when you amplify activations at certain levels, and feed the results back into itself, it forms these very trippy images.

The basic principle is similar to how our own visual classifiers work, and this is a system we have begun to map out pretty well, we have even replicated the exact dynamics of particular levels of our hierarchy of classifiers.