The signal vs. sub(epi)strate is not a false dichotomy that I have advanced, since I have no idea what those things are. I think the key to it is understanding how we get to an uncaused cause without magic. Perhaps until I can find the time for additional reading this stuff will remain opaque to me.
I don't think that you mean to advance a false dichotomy intentionally. I was pointing out an error in mechanical perceptual models, they do not hold up to reality. One of the errors in the mechanical model is the assumption of causal chains, rather than loops/tangles of influence. This is the difficulty and impasse I think we are at. Causation as I think you assume it is not true.
I take it from your lack of response that you reject the unfree thought/unfree will analogy in my previous reply out of hand?
I am sorry, I didn't mean to dodge a question.
I think you mean this?
...a thought experiment that you should attempt to anticipate what you're going to think next. If you can do this, then you can say you have freedom of thought, and, by association, freedom of will.
Again, as in the assumption that free-will would require perfect representation of Self(system) by a "self" conception, this requires things which are logically impossible. The added requirement of perfect representation of "all reality" by Self(system), is still untenable. This is asking the Self(system) to be something along the lines of God. You might use this argument to advance pantheism, I suppose. Especially if we are willing to discard the logic in something being greater than itself (informationally), and assume that the universe operates mechanically.
My response again would be...
Why do you set the bar so high for what you consider Self? (Let alone the bar you set for "free will".)
Will you be satisfied only if Self has all the powers of a god?
Why is it, that you require control
rather than influence
for a definition of Self?
This line of reasoning is actually explored a bit in the fiction of Frank Herbert the Dune
series of novels. I highly recommend them. It touches on the distinction between prediction and freedom.