[FRIAM] Breaking Bad and Free Will

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Fri Jan 26 11:00:39 EST 2024

On 1/25/24 13:34, Jochen Fromm wrote:

> Could you say that a strong character or personality reduce our free 
> will too, because they restrict our choices and decisions?
On 1/26/24 8:18 AM, glen wrote:
> Absolutely. If we parse out what character or personality means, we 
> might come to the idea that it's a forcing structure comprised of the 
> cumulative consequences of past decisions. If one's "identity" is (and 
> has been) quasi-stable around, ...

I like (who cares what I like?  who cares who cares... ... ....? )  this 
formulation as it matches my own intuitive conception of "self", 
"self-image", "ego" and the adaptive value to either/all organism, 
collective, species...   the more stable the "identity", the easier one 
is to integrate into a larger system (even if the "identity" is highly 

for the individual organism in predator-prey systems, this can make you 
an "easy" (or predictable) prey.  I think that is what Walter White was 
doing as he "broke bad", he went from trope-predictable "victim" to 
"wiley-prey" to "wolf in sheeps clothing" to "socio-psychopathic 
pachinko ball" (IMO).

> The more one identifies with some (set of) narrative(s), the less free 
> will one has.

I really appreciate (whatever that means for someone/thing which has no 
free will?)  this view as well, it feels (caveat, caveat...) like it 
helps me (caveat, caveat...) to parse and understand your (Glen's) many 
references to the distinctions between "episodic" and "narrative" on 
this forum.

As a proxy for Sopolsky, I can't directly acknowledge free will being on 
any spectrum since it is in fact (apparently (caveat, caveat...)?) an 
illusion?   Did I mention "hard problem"?

As "modelers and simulators" many of us can perhaps relate 
"narrative(s)" to model(s) and notice our strategies for "model-fitting" 
and the risks of "over-fitting" and the opportunities (pitfalls) of 

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