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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Free Won't

What is the relationship between opinion, the interpretation of experience, conviction and Truth?

Well, pure science tries to prove what's true whether people believe in it or not.

Empirical reasoning and personal observation seems to be at odds with subjective observations. For me, personal research is the Truth - but of course, it's an operational truth that can always be updated.

So - what is "proof" of reasonable, operational truth? Why - it's the sum total of your ability to integrate the conclusions and insights you've gathered and how you are making use of them. Sometimes it's the collection of assumptions you've decided to believe that other people have told you, you've read, and some of what you've decided to believe purely because it sounds like a good idea to you.

MRI brain research comes out and declares that before we know we've made a decision, our body has already prepared itself to execute it! Turns out because of this background preparation, we only have 1/64th of a second to veto what we've already prepared to do.

We don't have that "free will." Instead, we have "free won't!"

Describing reality "seems to be" one of the irresistible assumptions inherent within the structure of English...and the nature of reality will differ depending on perception/attitude/conditioning.
... AND culture!

Well - let's take the saying "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."(For those in ESL, it's an expression implying that carefully equal revenge is justice, even if violent.) But now Wolpert has proven that a judgment handed out of what is equal violence isn't going to be perceived as fair.

This scientist Daniel Wolpert, (self-described "movement chauvinist.") proved how perception mistakes levels of intensity.  He says people hitting each other are going to escalate the payback, all the while intending to deliver "an eye for an eye." How the brain interprets relative force depends on if you're doing it to someone else or if the force is getting it done to you.

Apparently, relative force is just one perceptual misconception that got measured - there are many more that haven't been measured...yet. Here's another one:

This makes me sort of feel like I'm watching MythBusters... I'm on a roll.

Most of us think in our language. (Actually, that's another way I differ from most people. I don't...think in words all the time. Sometimes, I think in images. When I think in words, they are randomly shifting phrases of words, poetically intermixed and remixed, depending on shifting priorities. I'm a person who intermixes prepositions, the tiny little relationships words.)

I observe one of the culprits for rampant miscommunication is that English doesn't have an adequate way to indicate subjective experience and frame uncertainty. English has... "seems to be," "from my point of view" or "IMHO," but these are examples of qualifiers or frames that attempt to serve this function of describing subjectivity. But these "frames" are scoffed at by the writing professionals. There's a reason for that.

When using those phrases, there's danger that a person's motive will be too easily misunderstood for why they did it. These qualifiers are touted as indicators of uncertainty by editors. Writers will be admonished by editors to come out and dare to boldly say the declaration. But, without these qualifiers, a writer's motive of an open or scientific mind won't be adequately conveyed.

What if the subjective attitude is not meant to be considered a rhetorical point delivered with uncertainty, self-effacement or as a disclaimer? "From my point of view" is not necessarily another way of saying "I haven't taken a poll or conducted my research properly."
For me, using a subjective qualifier is a proud expression of conservatively stating my own open uncertainty toward the possibility of discovery and being wrong.

Readers have reacted to my using language in this way as if I'm obligated to talk this way legally. Because otherwise I'm "making claims" that could be proved false. They imagine I'm afraid that I might be sued for making promises I can't keep.