And I want to second Tim’s sentiments.
Stephen, you are an excellent teacher of critical thought. You even have me lie awake at nights, thinking about this…....

Thanks, writer4u.

Others who are not so sure will be glad to know that neither am I.

No, complete knowledge would confirm the probabilities, not the actual results.

Are you saying that if I take a die and roll it there are six possible futures that can arises as a result, given the past and given the precise situation?

And that each of these are equal, so each has a probability of 1 in 6?

Stephen

A single roll, yes. But it is impossible to duplicate the precise same situation in spacetime. The coordinates have changed thus new variables have been introduced, which may influence the outcome of the second roll, which still yields a probability of 1 in 6 but with a different possible outcome. This has been confirmed by the law of averages as we have observed it.

IMO probabilities are not causal in themselves, they are a generic framework which allows a certain flexibility of causality and results. I would say that dynamic potentials are causalities within this framework.

No, complete knowledge would confirm the probabilities, not the actual results.

Are you saying that if I take a die and roll it there are six possible futures that can arises as a result, given the past and given the precise situation?

And that each of these are equal, so each has a probability of 1 in 6?

No, complete knowledge would confirm the probabilities, not the actual results.

Are you saying that if I take a die and roll it there are six possible futures that can arises as a result, given the past and given the precise situation?

And that each of these are equal, so each has a probability of 1 in 6?

Stephen

A single roll, yes.

That’s indeterminism.

Stephen

Sorry, I meant “no”. Each specific condition (the presence of specific potentials at that time) will result in a deterministic outcome. But each consecutive throw introduces new potentials which may produce a different deterministic result. The probability factor (framework) only allows for a limited number of results under any given circumstance, i.e. from 1 to 6. It is impossible to achieve a result of 7

Sorry, I meant “no”. Each specific condition (the presence of specific potentials at that time) will result in a deterministic outcome.

Ok, so given the “specific potentials” only one outcome can arise.

But each consecutive throw introduces new potentials which may produce a different deterministic result.

Yes.

The probability factor (framework) only allows for a limited number of results under any given circumstance,...

You need to explain what you mean by given circumstance? If you mean given the “specific potentials” then you’ve already said only one outcome can arise. (not 6)

Sorry, I meant “no”. Each specific condition (the presence of specific potentials at that time) will result in a deterministic outcome.

Ok, so given the “specific potentials” only one outcome can arise.

Yes, but those potentials exist independent of our knowledge of them. Moreover some potentials emerge during the event and therefore cannot be known to us until they emerge in reality.

But each consecutive throw introduces new potentials which may produce a different deterministic result.

Yes.

The probability factor (framework) only allows for a limited number of results under any given circumstance,...

You need to explain what you mean by given circumstance? If you mean given the “specific potentials” then you’ve already said only one outcome can arise. (not 6)

No I said “not the number 7” The number seven cannot be produced under “any” circumstance of throwing a single die. A normal die has 0 potential to produce a 7. Therefore the probability of producing a 7 is 0 under any circumstance. It falls outside the framework of probabilities.

And yes given the specific circumstance or starting condition, the potential for 6 different outcomes exists, but only one actual result emerges in reality. The eventual result of all existing and emerging potentials, is a “selection” of the number from all possible outcomes.
Example: when a die rolls uniformly in one direction, two of its sides (and corresponding numbers) are eliminated as probabilities. Thus the probability of a specific number has been reduced to 1 in 4. These opposite sides no longer in play may be the numbers 1 and 6. Thus 1 and 6 are eliminated as possible outcomes. As the die loses momentum it may not be able to excecute a full rotation anymore, progressively eliminating more numbers, until it comes to rest on the last remaining probable number, which emerged as having had the greatest combined potential to become reality, based on the original conditions and subsequent emerging potentials. During the roll itself an infinite numbers of variables can come into play, a butterfly flapping its wings in China three weeks prior to rolling the die in the US, a person coughing from a mosquito flying into his mouth, which causes a disturbance in the air, a quantum fluctuation in spacetime, a sunflare, a gravity distortion, all possible modifiers to the potentials in process.
Is this not why in theoretical physics we aways stipulate an event in a “vacuum” to eliminate such random and unknowable modifiers?

And yes given the specific circumstance or starting condition, the potential for 6 different outcomes exists, but only one actual result emerges in reality.

But, now again, that appears to be indeterminism. Are you saying that from the specific initial conditions six different results could emerge? If so that’s indeterminism.

If not what are you saying?

If determinism is true the way it works is this. The specific initial conditions might be different in six different ways and so there might be six different results.

But given they are, what ever they happen to be, only one outcome can possibly arise from that initial state.

And yes given the specific circumstance or starting condition, the potential for 6 different outcomes exists, but only one actual result emerges in reality.

But, now again, that appears to be indeterminism. Are you saying that from the specific initial conditions six different results could emerge? If so that’s indeterminism.

If not what are you saying?

If determinism is true the way it works is this. The specific initial conditions might be different in six different ways and so there might be six different results.

But given they are, what ever they happen to be, only one outcome can possibly arise from that initial state.

Stephen

Phew, this is getting very subtle. Perhaps my intuitive logic (iow, lack of knowledge in physics) may fail me here. But fools rush in, where…...

I wrote four brilliant paragraphs. The result was four contradictions and a headache….

All I can come up with is that only the very quantum instant before the result can truly be called deterministic. A condition offering a potential which may become reality. But even then that brings us to indeterminism. And I don’t want to go there because I believe in the mathematical function as a fundamental constant.

And yes given the specific circumstance or starting condition, the potential for 6 different outcomes exists, but only one actual result emerges in reality.

But, now again, that appears to be indeterminism. Are you saying that from the specific initial conditions six different results could emerge? If so that’s indeterminism.

If not what are you saying?

If determinism is true the way it works is this. The specific initial conditions might be different in six different ways and so there might be six different results.

But given they are, what ever they happen to be, only one outcome can possibly arise from that initial state.

Stephen

Phew, this is getting very subtle. Perhaps my intuitive logic (iow, lack of knowledge in physics) may fail me here. But fools rush in, where…...

I wrote four brilliant paragraphs. The result was four contradictions and a headache….

I think you’re getting the problem.

All I can come up with is that only the very quantum instant before the result can truly be called deterministic. A condition offering a potential which may become reality. But even then that brings us to indeterminism. And I don’t want to go there because I believe in the mathematical function as a fundamental constant.

The specific initial conditions might be different in six different ways and so there might be six different results.

But given they are, what ever they happen to be, only one outcome can possibly arise from that initial state.

If we are still talking about a die roll, here, there could be 6 or a thousand causal factors, each weighted differently each time the die is rolled. Given the exact same active causal factors, weighted, respectively, the same, each time, the number would be the same each time. But in the typical case of a die being thrown, the active causal factors and their respective weights, change subtly or drastically, each time the die is rolled. Still, if die could be rolled with the exact same combination of and same weighted causal factors, each time, only one number CAN come up.

The specific initial conditions might be different in six different ways and so there might be six different results.

But given they are, what ever they happen to be, only one outcome can possibly arise from that initial state.

If we are still talking about a die roll, here, there could be 6 or a thousand causal factors, each weighted differently each time the die is rolled. Given the exact same active causal factors, weighted, respectively, the same, each time, the number would be the same each time. But in the typical case of a die being thrown, the active causal factors and their respective weights, change subtly or drastically, each time the die is rolled. Still, if die could be rolled with the exact same combination of and same weighted causal factors, each time, only one number CAN come up.

Ok, now we can get back to your post that I first responded to.

Does the above fit with:

TimB - 27 December 2011 07:35 PM

W4U, You may be right. Everything that is, is, because it happens to be the most probable “potential” at the moment/place.

I think my response above could fit depending on the definition of “potential”, but that comment was in response to a more global statement of W4U’s before the die roll example was brought up. Honestly, I was thinking in terms of an attempt to unify quantum possibilities with Newtonian possibilities. (I am a novice at considering such things, so I may not be saying that right, but I suppose that if somehow quantum factors came into play as the most acitve causal factors, at some point in an infinite roll of the die, anything could happen. e.g., The die could turn into a black swan, so to speak.)

I think my response above could fit depending on the definition of “potential”, but that comment was in response to a more global statement of W4U’s before the die roll example was brought up. Honestly, I was thinking in terms of an attempt to unify quantum possibilities with Newtonian possibilities. (I am a novice at considering such things, so I may not be saying that right, but I suppose that if somehow quantum factors came into play as the most acitve causal factors, at some point in an infinite roll of the die, anything could happen. e.g., The die could turn into a black swan, so to speak.)

That does bring up two possibilities which were not discussed re the die. And those are the velocity and/or trajectory of the throw. We assumed that every throw would result in a roll of the die. But what if the velocity upward would result in the die escaping earth’s gravity and it did not come down? There would be no result to measure. Another possibility is that the downward trajectory of the die would result in the die shattering and breaking up into pieces too small to measure.

While each result would be deterministic (mathematical), the result would be other than the probability of 1 in 6

A probability of a major earthquake is never exact at all and even if it is anywhere near the actuality of it occurring, it cannot tell precisely when or where it will occur and how devastating it will be.

Same goes for roulette.

The point is there is a probability you should assign it depending upon your knowledge.

There is a great difference between the complexity of the contributing conditions of nature triggering an earthquake which makes it virtually impossible to assign a probability and a roulette whereby it is possible to do so because it is a human designed casino game to turn a profit for the house, where the probabilities are well defined and are not subject to unknown natural factors at all.

Over the years, many people have tried to beat the casino, and turn roulette - a game designed to turn a profit for the house - into one on which the player expects to win. Most of the time this comes down to the use of betting systems, strategies which say that the house edge can be beaten by simply employing a special pattern of bets, often relying on the “Gambler’s fallacy”, the idea that past results are any guide to the future (for example, if a roulette wheel has come up 10 times in a row on red, that red on the next spin is any more or less likely than if the last spin was black)

The Gambler’s fallacy is unjustified belief in induction.

What is true instead are the law of large numbers – in the long term, averages of independent trials will tend to approach the expected value, even though individual trials are independent – and regression toward the mean, namely that following a rare extreme event (say, a run of 10 heads), the next event is likely to be less extreme (the next run of heads is likely to be less than 10), simply because extreme events are rare.

All events are equally probable in a random process

The gambler’s fallacy implicitly involves an assertion of negative correlation between trials of the random process and therefore involves a denial of the exchangeability of outcomes of the random process. In other words, one implicitly assigns a higher chance of occurrence to an event even though from the point of view of “nature” or the “experiment”, all such events are equally probable (or distributed in a known way).