Monday, April 14, 2008
Here we go again - the media and other scientistically inclined elements leap on the latest gobbet of 'evidence' that we are the helpless victims of mechanical processes of which we are entirely unconscious. Yes, our brain makes the decision, not us. Hmmm. Even in the course of this account, the inflated claims as the start are looking pretty sorry by the end, and the man who did the experiment seems to see the weaknesses as clearly as anyone - the fact that the experiment is entirely artificial and unlike life as lived, the unimpressive 60 percent 'prediction' rate, the unexplored possibilities of changing one's mind, the fact that anyway conscious and unconscious will are the same process, and, in the end, the huge uncertainty over what such findings actually tell us. Still, these stories certainly entertain and gratify those who feel the need to believe we are machines. The more interesting question is why anyone should be so desperate to believe such a thing.
Posted by Nige at 7:51 am