Page 1 of 1

An opinion piece on the future of humanity and its predeterminedness

Posted: October 20th, 2018, 3:56 am
by anonymousblogger
Hello Online Philosophy Club!

A recent train of thought has led me to write an article on Blogger. Whether it's interesting, is the question I would like to have answered.
I have posted it here on the philosophy forum because it asks and provides some answers to questions like 'what is the meaning of life?' and 'is our future set in a deterministic way?'.

I am by no means a philosophy expert, but a Belgian engineering student with an interest in a very broad range of subjects. So please forgive the article for being a little science heavy from time to time. But then again, consider that science and philosophy are natural friends.

I would like to thank you for your interest so far and encourage you to have an open but critical view on my opinions. Enjoy!

[Deleted link. See forum policy on new member links]

Re: An opinion piece on the future of humanity and its predeterminedness

Posted: October 20th, 2018, 12:47 pm
by JamesOfSeattle
Hi AB (anonymousblogger), and welcome to the discussion. I should point out that you will get better results (better discussion) if you actually put some content in your OP instead of just putting in a link and saying “go read this and tell me what you think.”

That said, I thought your post was well written and thoughtful, and it triggered all kinds of “I think I know better than you” responses in me that make me want to comment on it. For example, in your discussion of why you think the future of mankind may not be predictable on a small scale but may be predictable on a large scale you recapitulate Isaac Asimov’s concept which he called psychohistory. I’m wondering if you’ve read his Foundation Trilogy (you should).

So, assuming the entire content of the OP is in the title I will comment on that. I would point out that it is possible that the entire future is predetermined, but being able to predict that future precisely is impossible. Stephen Wolfram has shown that you can have a cellular automata program that runs on a very simple set of rules, and yet it is impossible to predict the future state of the system without using more resources than the system itself uses. That is, the most efficient way to determine the future state is simply to run the program and see what happens. If you don’t have more resources than the system then that is the only way to see what happens. If the system is the universe, you aren’t ever going to have more resources than the system, and so the only way to know what happens is to see what happens.

Now in certain cases we can know approximately what will happen. So we know that in four billion years the Milky Way galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy. But things are different when you have culture. You seem to think that the actions of a few billion people will be predictable, but I don’t see how that will be different from a few hundred million people. And the actions of a few hundred millions got us Trump, FFS.

And when you add increasing technology and intelligence to the mix, you simply cannot predict anything past a certain point. That’s why they call it the Singularity.

So welcome to the club! :)

*

Re: An opinion piece on the future of humanity and its predeterminedness

Posted: October 21st, 2018, 2:46 pm
by anonymousblogger
Hello JamesOfSeattle and thank you for the response!

Answers like yours are actually all I'm trying to get out of my post. I am an absolute beginner when it comes to philosophy having read near nothing about it, but nevertheless, 'simple' philosophy questions have entertained my mind for a long time. So knowing who wrote more about these thoughts or developed them into theories are exactly the stuff I want to hear, so I can reflect on and improve my own ideas.

My idea is that a large scale approach to our world allows each individual to be rendered very simple because individual dissimilarities cancel eachother out. So this solves the 'not enough resources' problem. Of course, simplification entails an upredictability range, but I believe that with a good enough world model things like Trump would have been predictable. The relatively limited capabilities of humans simply don't allow us to 1. create such an understanding of the world and 2. compute it through. But fact that it can be computed alone would mean that it is fixed, whether we know in which way it is fixed or not, that is my point.

If you think my article is worthy of posting somewhere, could you perhaps recommend where I could do this? I would like to have more critical responses on my ideas, responses like yours, and posting it somewhere would help me get such responses. I really don't want any money or to be considered smart, because the more I get to know, the dumber I feel. But having other people point me where I'm wrong, or where they disagree is really what I'm looking for, if only for me to rethink my own opinions.

Kind regards and thanks for the welcoming! I am thoroughly enjoying reading the forum pages.

Re: An opinion piece on the future of humanity and its predeterminedness

Posted: October 21st, 2018, 3:35 pm
by Fooloso4
anonymousblogger:
If you think my article is worthy of posting somewhere, could you perhaps recommend where I could do this?
You can post the content of your article, either in full or in part, on the forum. Requiring others to click on a link without knowing what it will lead to in order to respond to you is the problem.