I couldn’t help writing about this… Scott Adams’ Dilbert Blog spoke today of the Illusion of Free Will.
He refers at one point to the scientific fact that we can make decisions before the neurons in the rational part of our brains become active, and then we ‘remember’ the action as having been caused by rational thought.
This phenomenon is referenced in Robert Sawyer’s most recent book, Mindscan (which we don’t, unfortunately, have in audiobook format yet).
Part of me thinks that it’s irrelevant if we have free will or not.
After all, you can’t really test it, and frankly, it doesn’t make much difference if we do have free will or not, we should just go ahead and pretend we do, and everything will work out the same.
But part of me wants to just start doing stupid things and claim that the absence of free will made me do it.
Of course, then all the other people who are ignorantly still pretending to have free will would either put me in jail, stone me, or worse, not notice.
While the thought of leading a short-lived life of grandeur is appealing, the thought of being stoned overrides it. Then again, if I don’t have free will, none of this matters anyway.
If you read in this blog tomorrow that Sanjay won’t be writing any more due to his becoming a phrenologist’s dream, don’t blame me. I had no say in the matter.…
Somehow my fancy new luxury car with the GPS navigation system, Bluetooth cellphone connection, and aux jack for my mp3 player (hahaha, yes!) … doesn’t have a fast forward/reverse button for the CD player. I mean, it has a forward and reverse, it’s just not FAST. Which is a roundabout way of complaining that these one track audiobooks are driving me nuts?
The book about the Linux founder, the Spanish lessons I took for my trip to Cuba last month, and all those Chautauqua lectures. Are all. on. one. track. Once you start, you can’t stop. Which sounds like kind of a good thing, except it’s a bad thing.
Another bad thing happened to me on the way to work a couple of weeks ago – I finished listening to the first half (5 CDs) of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.
So far so good. Except I didn’t have part II with me. So I popped in one of those lectures. Then I got the 2nd part of Digital Fortress, but now I’m 30 minutes into this 70-minute lecture, and darned if I’m going to pop it out, listen to Dan Brown for a week or so, and then put the lecture back in. I’d have to hold down the ‘fast’ forward button for a good minute to get the 30-minute mark back, and who’s got that kind of time?
So today I listened to the lecture on the way into work, angry the whole time because as good as it was, I’d rather be finishing my Dan Brown book. Why the heck don’t they break these things up into tracks? I’m guessing they’re just lazy. Kind of like the engineers at Lexus who wrote the software for my ‘fast’ forward button. Next time I’m in for a service, I think I’ll leave them a really GREAT audiobook and make sure it’s on a single track. That’ll show ‘em.…