Choice (Re: Is uploading feasible)

Richard Wilson WilsonR at
Fri Dec 17 11:03:04 EST 1993

In article <Ih47wTS00hsBIloloo at> Michael.Witbrock at writes:
>Excerpts from 16-Dec-93 Re: Is uploading
>feasible? Richard Wilson at LILHD.Log (2736)
>> An FSA cannot handle choice, not because
>> it is finite, but because it's deterministic.
>An FSA can appear to choose "freely" or at random, as long as at least
>one of its inputs varies at random, or even, if such an input is
>lacking, if its inputs and structure are sufficiently complex to defy

I understand your point about randomness but not the idea of a input which
is lacking: surely it then has no influence on the behaviour?

>prediction from outside without complete knowlege of the structure of
>the FSA.  I submit that both of these sufficient conditions hold for
>brains, so there is no need to require non-determinism in brains to
>explain the appearance of free choice in humans.

Unless there is choice: if it is the case that choice is not an illusion
e.g. a random, post-rationalised phenomenon, then any FSA won't cut the

>Michael  (who cannot himself tell whether he is deterministic or not,
>and therefore defies anyone else to determine this from the outside).
>(and who has no strong opinion one way or the other on whether
>"uploading" is possible)

Right: we don't know enough about ourselves. However, we do know that
FSAs are either deterministic or have a random component and so definitely
do not choose.


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