Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life, don't talk to me about life...

I spotted this humorous graffiti today and it made me smirk; but it also made me think about how complex the real world is versus a dumbed down unidimensional "imagined" world that seems to pervade a lot of the media these days. I have a bad back at the moment and would take the escalator, on another day I would take the stairs, context is everything. Life is a complex thing, an infinite number of factors and variables impact our choices all the time.

On this theme, I've been reading an interesting book lately called "Free Will" by Sam Harris, his basic claim is that free will doesn't exist, decisions we take that feel to us like they're freely chosen can be detected in advance by an fMRI scanner up to a second before we're actually aware that a choice has been made, clearly there is no freedom in that. It's a fascinating field, undoubtedly with some exciting discoveries to come on the nature of conciousness. The longer I live the more I realise that pretty much every single one of my basic intuitions is wrong, I'm also acutely aware that my spinal column has a limited shelf life.

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