I know but you have to consider:
He’s a neuroscientist.
He’s NOT going to find free will from a purely neuroscientific perspective.
He is heavily biased by viewing things strictly from his field and from his field alone.
This puts blinders on him and what he researches.
This doesn’t make him wrong per se. It makes him correct from a neuroscience perspective.
Can you see how he could be “not even wrong” about it?
People who are heavily into mathematics will have theories on the nature of things that are based solely on mathematics.
People who are heavily into theoretical physics will have theories on the nature of things that are based solely on theoretical physics.
People who are heavily into evolution will have theories on the nature of things that are base solely on evolution.
This doesn’t make any of them wrong per se: It makes them correct from their studied perspective.
To them, their field is expressed in everything in the world around them. Everything will be painted with that same exact color paintbrush.
Again, they’re “not even wrong”. They bring GREAT COMPLETION _within their fields only_ – and can offer us, by using their field as a Metaphor for other things, great insight into other things.
But it makes them blind to other perspectives as well.
That’s ok for them – that’s their field. That’s their speciality. That’s their perspective and that’s their jobs.
But for the rest of us, we have access to NOT ONLY that perspective and those that agree with it, but we have access to multiple overlapping perspectives, each with something else to add.
His _presentation_ in the speech in the video was the trickery.
It’s a ridiculous thought experiment, the stuff of stage magicians. It only convinces the believers and perhaps a few who want to believe but need a nudge more convincing.
But the rest? It doesn’t cut it. It’s nice, but it gets a #fail – sorry.
Giving a bad thought experiment to try to prove a point doesn’t invalidate his research as a scientist. But a thought experience isn’t science. It’s a thought experiment. A teaching tool. A metaphor. A story to convince. That’s not the science – that’s the selling.
Choices are quite different. Of course thoughts arise before we’re aware of them. That’s basic stuff.
Remember: we can change our minds. The thought arises, enters our awareness and at that POINT we can inhibit it (reject it) or accept it.
PLUS you can have awareness that kicks in BEFORE the semantic systems.
I know the point Sam Harris is trying to make but he’s seeing it wrong, as are you. What a disaster if the world believed like Sam Harris. Selling no-free-will is a horrible thing, the stuff of Mormons who figure their fellow Mormans will act as lawyers on their behalf in heaven, therefore they can be lazy and do nothing their whole lives and sit around and play video games.
In both cases, it pushes the responsibility away from the individual.
If that’s what you like and it appeals to you, go ahead. But I’d rather be responsible for my choices. and not blame it on the Universe, God, OR my conscious awareness having lag time (you CAN make it faster than the n400 mark you know – that’s almost a 1/2 a second).
I make music on the piano. I don’t know what I’m going to play until I play it. It feels “as if” something is taking control of me and I’m just “playing”.
Yet, I chose in speeds FAR FASTER than the 400ms mark because my fingers move far faster than that, and i’m aware of EVERY FINGER as I’m playing it,even before I hear it or could say a word about it.
I can also change the very next note, even though I didn’t know the very note before what I was going to play and not enough time to process what I *did* play, according to the slow poke N400 BS stuff of the semantic systems that gets all the damn focus.
Stick a musician in an fMRI machine. Shove some electrodes up there.
Oh absolutely. And the changes (when it’s improvising – which is the kind of playing I do; I don’t know what I’m going to play until I’m playing it) are effortless, nimble, quick.
There’s no pressure there. no worry. No distraction. It’s a very free state to be in. Quite addictive. I haven’t sat behind a piano in about a year (damn thing is unplugged and i’m too lazy to find the speakers), but whenever I do, I can go for three/four hours without stopping.
And yes the Muse. I can completely understand belief in the Muse or “possession”. or inspiration and what not.
The experience of creating things is something it’s hard to put to words.
I think it’s hard to put into words because it happens BEFORE the semantic systems kick at the 400ms mark.
But you can have a LOT OF experience in less than a 1/2 a second, especially when in “the zone” as it were. [god, all these buzzwords tongue emoticon ]
Agreed. I’ve been trying to apply that to everything in life.
It’s like an emotional transparency. I try to express the stuff that buried under all kinds of layers of social armor, the stuff you build up from the age of 7-8 onwards, and let ‘it” just come out.
I’m doing it now. I don’t usually edit after I write. I just write. I start typing and get ‘it out’ until my fingers get bored and I stop. I edit on the fly, as I go and then Send.
The more you do it, the more you’re able to express yourself – not just your rational logical thoughts, not just your emotions, but as-much-of-you as you can possibly transmit at that moment through the thin wires and Wifi tendrils of the Internet so that it reaches the cognitive processes of another person or people and hopefully shift their state systems just a little bit so that they can be somewhat in alignment with your own opinion, or at least give decent challenge to push back at you so that you can adjust your own until at some point you each reach a point of homeostatis.
Indeed. I’ve tried convincing friends who are into mathematics-as-the-nature-of-the-Universe that mathematics is an invention of humans and they get rather enraged at the notion. The finger that points to the moon isn’t the moon. There’s so many ways to say that but it’s hard to get across when someone is passionate about their chosen symbolism.
I love Naveed – he’s awesome people. I can’t say Naveed is any more closed minded than I am. I’ve got as many blinders on as anybody else on this planet. After all, we have to inhibit far more information that comes at us than we can EVER possibly take in.
I just know that Naveed is firm on this issue and I’m ok with it. His absoluteness gives me a backdrop to challenge and the challenge process improves my own abilities.