Jazz causation

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Jazz causation

Postby Faust » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:54 am

A thought experiment. You are aa jazz pianist, captured by an evil genius, who embeds within you a computer chip. You are forced to play "You Are My Sunshine". The chip ensures that you hit every note and that every note begins "as written" and that the last note is played as written. But the notes don't have to be played at full value (they don't have to be played as long as written - a half note doesn't have to be played for two beats; it can be shorter.

While you have no choice in the aforementioned, within those limits, you can play anything you want. You can embellish, in other words. The first note and the last note are determined, but in between, you have limited freedom. And between each note, you have the freedom to play anything or nothing at all.

The song always lasts the exact same period of time and you always start in the same place and end up in the same place, musically.

Is your playing of the song fully determined, fully free, neither or both?
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:48 am

No freewill there.

It was a nice try, trying to defend death/mara/Yama to this regard though.
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Del Ivers » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:08 am

It's a compartmentalized premise. Example: Humankind is free to exist on Earth. But in reference to the universe it is a planetary compartmentalization. Like a tennis ball floating in the middle of an ocean. You can regard it as being 'free', it could regard itself as free if it had some consciousness, but it's a freedom determined by the ocean.

Compartments within compartments: I am free to live a life as wonderful and fulfilling as I am able to experience. But I am not free to defy the death that ends it all. I will know if I have defied death only after its occurrence and provided I am conscious in some manner to know that I have transcended the previous compartment's limitations.

On a side note, as for Absolute Free Will? Only cartographers of the absolute would now that. I don't know of any that live in this part of the universe. :)
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:03 am

That scenario would still be taking place in the universe, so whatever is happening is within the rules of the universe, which are already either deterministic or somehow allow for free will, would still be that. But if I set aside that....

that scenario is pretty much just a specific case of life as it is already. Regular old prisoners have many restrictions on movement and action, but if we have free will, they still have it to some extent. We cannot fly, in the bird way, so even non-prisoners are choosing from a limited palette, to mix metaphors unnecessarily. We have limitations - at least most of us think we cannot simply choose to do anything at all, so the scenario is merely a difference of degree rather than kind.

I would experience it as not very free at all, but would play around as much as I could, probably sometimes trying to make the most unpleasant version possible of the music in the hope this would annoy my captor, at other times trying to entertain myself. Much the way I have treated certain jobs.
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Faust » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:15 am

So, what if the embellishments, the extra notes, are all played so fast and/or so softly that they are inaudioble for certain beings, beings who know about the computer chip? Those beings would say that the song is wholly determined (by the chip and the evil forces behind it).

Others, who do not know about the chip, would notice that the song is different every time, perhaps very different. Perhaps others yet could hear only the embellishmenrts, which they would say are caused by the player.

My question is about what the event is, or what the events are.

Can the player be the cause of some of the song as heard and not the cause of other parts of the song? Is the song then all one event? Can causation and uncaused events, which may themselves be causes, exist side by side? Can we interpret some result of that mix as caused event?

Does it matter?
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:40 am

Faust wrote:Can the player be the cause of some of the song as heard and not the cause of other parts of the song?
Someone throws a snowball at me. I react with some instant anger, but it's a friend so I chose or 'chose' to express a kind of mock anger - indicating I was irritated, but it's ok. Some of my facial expression - and certainly the general configuration of my facial features and the color of my skin - is automatic. Some seems (at least) chosen. I shifted the scenario to highlight that we always have restrictions on what we can control.



Is the song then all one event? Can causation and uncaused events, which may themselves be causes, exist side by side? Can we interpret some result of that mix as caused event?

Does it matter?
I am not sure it matters. I don't know what an uncaused event is. I would call the song all one event, though one pulled out of the entire event of the ongoing universe.
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Re: Jazz causation

Postby Del Ivers » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:50 pm

Take a measuring ruler and cut it in half, 1 to 6", and put it somewhere in the universe. Let's call it Location 1-6 (L1-6)
Take the second half, 7 to 12", and put it somewhere else in the universe. Let's call it Location 7-12 (L7-12)

You, the person who cut the ruler, knows the cause, the knowledge, and use of the ruler, i.e., the numbers and markings are units of measurements, etc. You are also the 'cause' of it being cut in half.

A person, being, whatever as long as it has a consciousness that can interpret a material object, finds the artifact in L1-6. If the cut you made at 6 is as smooth as the cut at 12 then the piece is going to be interpreted as a whole by the person in L1-6. Use this same event for a person at L7-12.

From that model you can begin to examine all the different interpretations possible as to cause and non-cause by the 3 interpreters: You and the others in L1-6 and L7-12. You could expand and cover other areas of investigation too. (Yes, you could also dip your tootsies in metaphysical waters if you like). You could write a paper or even a book about the subject matter.

A brief example: The beings who find the artifact in L1-6 and L7-12 are going to know nearly nothing about the artifact. All their sensoriums provide is perhaps shape, texture, weight, and the presence of some markings.

The being at L1-6 takes the artifact to some of his buddies. One of them who fancies herself a bit advanced tells him that since there is no previous evidence and no connections to anything known, the artifact is then an example of an uncaused cause.

The being at L7-12 goes through the same process but one of his buddies says that he's seen something like this before, the markings look familiar. Thus a search begins through whatever scientific or other records exist in L7-12. There is a cause, they just haven't narrowed it down to what precisely.

You, the person who knows exactly what the ruler is, may or may not know about the beings on L1-6 and L7-12. For you it was just a simple experiment. Fly your ship down to the atmosphere of L1-6, throw the first half of the ruler out the window and then leave. Same for L7-12.

Connections? Effects? Cause? Uncaused? It all depends on the perceptions, and of course, minor considerations like respective spatio-temporal paradigms of the parties involved. :-)

I leave the reader to his or her own variations.

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