The Impossibility of Knowing Your Own Future

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Cyperium, May 10, 2012.

  1. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    But the message is part of the future, therefor we can't write the message only once. We would have to write the message and account for the events that he message itself has every moment onward. We can't write a message about the future in such a way that the message itself isn't part of it.

    Ok, fair enough.

    The future is 'known' but not written as a message that can be read by us.

    Yes, I'm with you on this. As long as you shoot exactly as you predicted then the effects are going to be what you predicted (assuming that you followed each trajectory without error and also made no errors in the prediction).

    I know, IF a prediction could be made THEN it would be accurate, but my argument is that the prediction can't be made in the first place.

    We could predict all the events in another solar system, but as soon as we give them the message, then that message has to be predicted as well. If we didn't give them the message then everything would play out as predicted, but as soon as the prediction has any influence on their future then it can't be predicted because we would have to have the full message before it was completed (as the message is only a part of the future).

    Yes, so we would need to factor in the prediction before it was fully made. The prediction that we predicted would only be as completed as it is at the moment we need it. This is a real consequence that can't be escaped. We would have to have a full prediction in order to accurately describe the prediction itself.

    We can complicate things and talk about trajectories and other such things, but knowledge about if the message can be completed doesn't have to include all those trajectories, we need only one example where such a message can't be created and that is that it can't predict itself and how it influences the events. It could never be reached as the fully predicted message would have to be done in order to describe itself.

    Determinism doesn't say that we can know the future, it simply says that there is a future which is already determinant - it doesn't say that we can actually know it, because of that it is still relevant to determinism and doesn't contradict it.

    If the names are accurate to the physical then it can describe the physical. Otherwise the physical couldn't be described at all if we never would be allowed to use names for physical entities.

    Yay! I have the last word (for a while at least)!
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  3. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Why would a message have to be written down in this manner? It makes no sense.

    Now, I apologize. The distraction of the Zimmerman thread has had me off kilter for a while (Squirrel and Yazata, if you would like to see me eat some tasty crow and tolerate HEAVY ABUSE, convoluted intellectual dishonesty and misquoting... read that thread- you'll love it)
    I really haven't had time to think about this topic and really work over how I understand it as opposed to your view. Give me some time to catch up.

    So... gonna try here:
    If the determinant result is written on a message - then the prediction has been concluded.
    The factors the play into the result do not need to be known by us, to be written down as successive predictions within predictions or messages within messages.
    The process of measuring the trajectories would yield the inevitable result- not POSSIBLE results, depending on how you react.
    Since the future is determinant (Or can be termed loosely as 'known') before this, then it does not matter how you react- only an act of Free Will can change it.
    This assumes I was not told the outcome of the prediction.
    Rather, not IF I shoot...- I WILL shoot exactly as predicted. I have neither choice nor say in the matter. To do otherwise must be an Act Of Free Will.

    But, Cyperium, It doesn't matter either way, man!
    You seem to be thinking that our trajectories are determinant ONLY because we do not know what they are. That if we did know, we could somehow alter the physics of the Universe.
    We cannot alter the physics of the Universe. We can only abide by our properties.
    So if we assume I am told the prediction, I would not shoot the same way you say...

    Well, I agree a different prediction would be reached- the prediction in the first scenario would never have been created, considered- it simply wouldn't have happened.
    That the prediction would happen was a factor in the process of making since the origin of time. The factors of me trying to change it- also determinant from the origin of time.
    They would not have Suddenly Appeared In The Universe when you saw the message, as you appear to be thinking.
    The ONLY message that would exist would be what the result was of those factors. One message.
    One prediction.
    Only an act of Free Will could change it.
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
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  5. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    I don't care..
    (tried to elaborate and make this long winded..but this is what it boils down to, so i'll just leave it at that..)


    I think Issac Asimov tried to address this in his foundation series (I read them all)

    he posited Psycohistory, where the action of society as a whole can be predicted, but the individual cannot be predicted (the Mule)

    which asks if free will is just limited to the individual.

    my point with this post is shouldn't we distinguish in the argument between the individual and the society??
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  7. keith1 Guest

    Prediction: I will return to this post at 12:35pm today and place a small-case "o" into the following space between the parentheses: (o)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2012
  8. keith1 Guest

    Post #124 has successfully refuted the OP's claims.

  9. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

  10. keith1 Guest

    A page snapshot from my timezone (Pacific U.S.) is easily documented if required. It's all a part of the prediction strategy. The prediction will hold up as valid, and the OP remains refuted.

  11. Neverfly Banned Banned

    After all your whining and complaining- You don't care. LOL you shoulda just said that the first time instead of whining and complaining.

    Fictitious nonsense and utterly irrelevant to the topic. I have read all the foundation series too.

    And incidentally, the reason Psychohistory could not predict small motions was because the method of measurement relied on group activities and trends as a whole. It was not determined, it was statistical, based on averages.
    "The Mule" disrupted that because he was not a part of the Human Society. He was a member of Gaia, which was an isolated SuperOrganism planet experiment of robot Daneel Olivaw. Gaia was unknown about by Hari Seldon. Daneel Olivaw also took great pains to keep the Gaia experiment separate from the psychohistory experiment.
    It all stemmed from Asimovs three laws- Olivaw and another robot formulated a "Forth law" that demanded that humanity could not come to harm, by action or inaction. Even from itself. This inspired them to form the two experiments in order to influence events directly themselves to protect humanity as a whole.
    As you can see, even in fiction, none of it related to actual predictions.
    Says 1:35 on mine, Squirrel... Different Time Zones.
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  12. keith1 Guest

    It helped that there was a time stamp on the prediction initiating phase. And a time stamp at the conclusion, and one at the verifying station(s) (Squirrel/Never).
    Interesting symptomatic condition of dealing with prediction and time frames?
    I should think so.
    But there were interesting hang-ups at my end at prediction initiation (PI), which I will divulge, so as other minds can find some erroneous condition, which might salvage the OP's claims:

    The PI time stamp remains the same (1:26pmPST). The message was altered and resent (at 12:35PST, instead of the originally planned 12:30PST), to compensate for the fact that the "last edited" (LE) time stamp fails, if the time interval between "message sent" and "first opportunity to engage LE time stamp" is not long enough. However, I do not believe this act changed the results of refuting the OP.

    I readily admit and add:
    --The short time interval lessened the complexity level, even though the simplification makes the basic tenets more easy to examine.
    --Some room for ease in the technical equipment advantage.
    --One should have an onsite observer to witness the "o" being place at the promised time. This is a minor issue and one not questioned by the station observers, as the LE time stamp does show the required "o" in place at that time, as promised in the prediction eventually observed.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2012
  13. keith1 Guest

    Using analogies from the movie "Back to the Future":
    The similarity of the "o" to the lightening
    and the time 12:35 PM PST to the clock,

    Where I was given more play in adjusting the event parameters (space and time coordinates), to meet the intended event prediction.
  14. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    Because your future has the message in it. How could you know your future without the message? How could the prediction account for your knowledge of the future (that is something that will have to be accounted for as part of the prediction), if the prediction doesn't account for the message?


    But how could it be concluded when the result has to cover the message as it is within your future? Everything must be accounted for in order for it to be a true prediction, we can't leave the message out of the prediction as the message influences you to a great deal.

    Then you must agree that we can only predict a future that doesn't itself have the prediction within it. To be frank, you say that the prediction itself doesn't need to be in the message, but the prediction exists in the future as the full prediction, while before we got to the full prediction we would have just parts of it. Because of that the prediction will not be able to predict your reaction to the message, since it doesn't have the full message when it gets to that point.

    All trajectories that lead to the message itself will also have to be measured, already we have a message within the message. Every act of measuring, in the present, will also have to be considered in order to account for anything in the future. It is a futile attempt.

    To have a true prediction of the future, we can't only look at the variables outside of the measuring process, we would have to account also for the measuring. This clearly shows a infinite loop, the message already has to account for the message even at this stage.

    I don't think that, but you conclude that the message can even be made, while I conclude that it can't be made, if there is no message then there is no knowledge about it to consider.

    This is knowing the past, not the future, only when you succeeded in posting that specific time did your prediction come true. Before that anything could have happened to prevent you from posting exactly that time. You could say that it was indeed a true prediction - but we would have to take your word for it, saying that it was a true prediction is only true when it actually happened as you predicted, before that we would have to take it on faith that you were actually able to make a solid prediction before it happened.
  15. keith1 Guest

    It is the quality of the prediction that seals the level of it's successful fate.
    In a qualitative sense, the odds were very good for repetitive success with that particular prediction. If I added time, those odds would diminish. Who knows if there will be an internet in 100 years, to support the transportation of my lengthy prediction. I would have to increase the predictions odds of success by careful construct.
    You have my word, many time checks, and a correct and solid result. You cannot ask for more, and not look impossible to please.

    You will need to choose less "viscosity" in your sentences that oil your "appearance of wisdom" around areas you are plainly at a loss for "validity".
    It has been a slippery walk with you, starting with the OP's first sentence.
    Maybe we should restart there:

    I demand a more comprehensible rewrite.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2012
  16. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    let me clarify..
    I don't care that you "eat some tasty crow and tolerate HEAVY ABUSE, convoluted intellectual dishonesty and misquoting..."
    so your point of "you'll love it" is irrelevant..

    just because you say so?(you expect me to just take your word for it?)
    you have claimed that the mind can be now you argue against a possible means?
    this is an intelligent exercise,to which a conclusion can never be ascertained.

    plus where is you claims of fictitious nonsense to the square circle and the immovable rock?

    how does that go? without any proof to the contrary,then any hypothesis can be possible
    (I know..i seriously misquoted that one...can someone correct it?)
  17. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    True, but it wouldn't apply as knowledge in the strictest sense. You believed that you were going to be able to make that post at exactly that time. When I say "know the future" then I'm using "know" in the strictest sense, not just being "very certain" of something. I mean you could have chosen to break the prediction instead, would it then count as knowledge? Some event could have taken place when you decided to post it so that you lost your connection or something, did you in fact know you were going to post it at exactly that time? Or were you just very certain of it?

    What does "and not look impossible to please" mean? It wasn't impossible to break your prediction, in fact it could have been easily done just choosing not to follow through with it.

    Let's say that you predict each footstep you take in the next day, how easy would it be to follow that prediction?

    I don't see the trouble with that quote. To know is to know, if you don't know then you don't. This thread assumes that you would know the future, not just make a guess. But if you have trouble with it yet, then go ask at the linguistic forum instead, I have no wish to discuss the fluidity of words with you as it is straying the topic.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  18. Neverfly Banned Banned

    None of what you just described creates a futile attempt.

    Let's quote myself and address this one bit:
    If the determinant factors have been bouncing toward the outcome of the measurements being made by a human and the determining factors bouncing toward the resultant prediction since the origin of time; please explain as best you can how it is that a message can ALTER trajectories already in motion?
    Can the "message" add or remove causality?
    Or is the "message" non causa pro causa?

    Off topic Whining of my own:
    You cared a great deal when you were demanding that I consider I can be wrong.
    I told it's possible and I've had to eat my share of crow.
    You cared a great deal when you claimed I was so heavy handed.
    And I said there's been far worse on the forums...
    So I show you that I, Too, must deal with "Heavy handed" replies and I have shown what you asked- I DO sometimes eat crow.
    But since it wasn't you- you do not care.
    I think this is very telling about all that whining you and Yazata did, trying to explain to me how I am supposed to TREAT YOU.

    So here's the deal, Squirrel, I conceded to make an effort to not stomp on your poor little toes. Consider that rescinded. Buck up with real science if you're going to participate or take the heavy handedness without crying like a baby demanding to be pampered.

    Back on topic, again...
    More gobbledogook and total nonsense. I spelled out what's in the fiction clearly in the post that you quoted.

    Post an intelligent response, one well thought out and researched with scientific papers and not works of complete fiction and your liable to get a better reply.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  19. keith1 Guest

    Yeah, I was certain of it, because of experience of doing it many times before, and expected no other outcome. Knowing by rote.

    It would take planning it out ahead of time. Another aspect of tightening the parameters of the prediction to ensure a desired outcome.
    Such acts are the mainstay of Guiness Book of Record feats. Difficult, but doable.

    I didn't mean to knock your communication skills.
    I like the subject. That's why I was persistent in understanding your intended gist.

    I can know the present, which is the past's future.
    It is futile to try to adjust the future without the technology to approach the issue.

    I feel sorry for the last generation having to set in horse wagons and know rockets were coming into the conversation.

    I feel sorry for our generation in the same way.
  20. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    It isn't that it removes causiality, it's that it has to account for its own causiality - in the present - when the message is made. I don't think that there is a system to measure in such a way that the measurement doesn't need to be accounted for. This is about the ability to create the message in the first place, not if causiality can be broken (which it obviously can't in a causually determined universe).

    Yes, but that is insufficient knowledge. There hasn't been any confusion as to whether or not it was actual knowledge about the future. Everyone that has responded has been clear that it was knowledge and not educated guessing - it is a requirement for the idea.

    I could probably be more clear at some points, I didn't think it was necessary and having to think about the possible 'other' meanings of each word or concept I use would make the posts very hard to write. I'm kind of convenient in that way.

    You have a good point, we don't have the technology and because of that we wouldn't know how the present could be measured in such a way that we would know the future without being able to change it because of our knowledge of it. I have found, though, through some simple thought experiments that it should be impossible. Each measurement of the present, is a event that has to be measured itself. In order to accurately account for all the events, we would have to account also for us measuring them and also plotting them into a medium that can be read later.

    Another, easier way to see it is that if we have a message that contains the information about the future, IF that future has the message in it then the prediction can't account for the message itself, as the future has the full message, and the prediction hasn't got to the full message yet (as it is the message).
  21. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member


    it seems you are talking Schrodinger..the act of measuring changes the outcome..
  22. Neverfly Banned Banned

    OK, agreed then, we cannot break causality.
    No causality is added nor removed.
    So how is there a paradox?

    No one said the measurement doesn't need to be accounted for- in fact, I've been saying the exact opposite all throughout- Why are you suddenly claiming the opposite of what I have been saying? It's falling under ALL the factors. I've said and you have quoted me, the message is accounted for. It must be - it cannot NOT be accounted for.

    About the only thing you've said that is unrelated is your concept of time. Which is irrelevant in a determinant universe.

    You have not answered the question- not explained what can alter a set trajectory. You have not described a system in which causality can be altered in any way.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  23. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

    It seems that way, but I haven't looked into that area, my idea assumes that all events can be measured. But that is also what causes the infinite loop when producing the message.

    If certain interpretations of quantum mechanics are true then we don't have a predetermined universe, or at least not all events can actually be measured (like we can't measure both position and momentum at 100% accuracy).

    Because the message can't exist in the first place. If it would then that would create a paradox (for all the reasons I've stated). We would have a infinite message (as the message is in the future and would have to account for itself), also I still think that it is impossible to know everything about the future without being able to change at least what we are capable of changing. There is no limit on the message itself on what we can know about it. This is actually due to the inability of the prediction to account for the message and how that itself can have effects on the future. So it's not far off to show that the message can't be done to show that the knowledge of the contents of the message would enable us to change the future - it is simply one of the effects that the prediction can't account for as it doesn't have the full message before it is completed, because of that it can't account for the knowledge we would have about the message either.

    If there is a impossibility to account for the message in the first place then that certainly has to be considered. But taken that the message could in fact exist, then we get the paradox that we know the future but are unable to change even those things that should be easy to change. How can we have a entire future written down and easy to read where no event could be easy to change because of our knowledge of it? If not anything else we would feel very restricted. But it boils down to the fact that the message can't account for itself. There's no reason to assume the impossible.

    I haven't described it because that system would be impossible - if the message can't exist, then there would be no system to be able to hold it. It would be a infinite message where any knowledge of the message and the consequences thereof would fail as the prediction got there (because that is when it has to account for itself).

    So in other words; the answer is that the system that could alter the future would have the message within itself in infinite regress, it couldn't be read as it couldn't escape the moment we read it (as that moment is when the message would have to be accounted for). If we were to just skip the message and the information of us reading it then we would have to skip a infinity of pages.

    However, we can read about the past, what has happened since the message was made and until the moment we read the message, but when we get to the place in the message where we start reading the message (or when the message was handed to us) then it would be just a repetition of the message up until that point (because the message could be made so that the message itself wasn't accounted for, it could describe a system where the message itself has no influence on the future). Because of this we can't know our own future but there is a possibility that we can know the future of other people, or even the entire universe, as long as we don't know anything that the message itself could influence, because then we would have the infinite regress.
    Last edited: May 22, 2012

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