so what does this prove, exactly?

i’m reading an interesting book right now, The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.

i picked it up because i’m a big Whedon fan, but i’m finding it interesting for another reason.

psychologists are nuts.

there’s a chapter that explores the idea of free will in the “Whedonverse” which details experiments psychologists have done attempting to prove that humans in the real world do not have free will.

some examples:

  • subjects reported making a decision 500 milliseconds after their brain activity related to a decision increased. therefore, they don’t have free will.
  • researchers could affect which hand a subject moved by “magnetically stimulating” one lobe or the other of the subject’s brain. this doesn’t make me think humans lack free will: it makes me think you shouldn’t put big magnets on your head.
  • by directly stimulating the brain’s motor cortex with electricity, they were able to make a subject move. once again, not a lack of free will, more a sign electrified needles should be kept out of your brain.
  • when the subject’s limbs were physically moved by a lab assistant reacting to taped instructions, three out of seven subjects reported they were in control of the limb movements. this merely proves three out of seven subjects are idiots.

i have a lot of respect for some psychologists. but this kind of stuff really makes me wonder what ever happened to observing the real world and making logical observations – such as, if i electrically or magnetically modify an electrochemical mechanism, it’s not going to function correctly. if you broke it, of course it’s broken, savvey?

quote of the day:

I’m going down to Cowtown
The cow’s a friend to me
Lives beneath the ocean and that’s where I will be
Beneath the waves, the waves
And that’s where I will be
I’m gonna see the cow beneath the sea

The yellow Roosevelt Avenue leaf overturned
The ardor of arboreality is an adventure we have spurned, we’ve spurned
A new leaf overturned
It’s a new leaf overturned

And so I’m going down to Cowtown
The cow’s a friend to me
Lives beneath the ocean and that’s where I will be
Beneath the waves, the waves
And that’s where I will be
I’m gonna see the cow beneath the sea…

They Might Be Giants, Cowtown

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: