Free Will and Magic

I was recently reading a few New Scientist articles and reader letters on the topic of Free Will and Consciousness. Always a popular topic which I usually file in the ‘why do I care’ basket. However my mind wandered to Arthur C Clarke’s third law of prediction ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’

Having thought of this I came up with a few statements of my own.

  1. Any sufficiently advanced recursive analysis system is indistinguishable from a conscious system.
  2. Any sufficiently advanced recursive analysis system with a blindfold layer is indistinguishable from a system with Free Will.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced recursive analysis system with an internal random source is indistinguishable from a system with Free Will.

I should probably explain the concept of a blindfold layer. A blindfold layer is a part of the analysis system which only provides inputs to the rest of the system, it is not recursivley linked. This means that the consciousness which comes from recursive analysis cannot see what is happening in this additional section of input.

2 and 3 are linked via ‘Any sufficiently complicated chaotic system is indistinguishable from randomness’.

Finally, I conclude from my thoughts of the above postulates that ‘Any system of free will which is not based on 2 or 3 involves data sources which are neither random nor deterministic.’

So umm… yeah.