Top critical review
Applications of medical imaging results to various topics
on 21 February 2017
This book explores several consequences of brain imaging experiments that show areas "lighting up" some time before the subject is able to say that they are aware or concious of making choices.
The author models the self as an observer of a film strip able only to watch the output of the studio of the brain but not able to give any direction.
Hence our choices are made within some black box which we are unaware of and are directed by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The "self" is only watching the outcome and deluding itself into thinking that the film is being created on the fly.
With a bit of practice you can think yourself into this model and I found it a little unnerving. It places responsibility for your actions on some daemon in the black box and makes you (or what you consider you) into a passive observer.
There are lots of books that apply logic and superposition to how minds and brains work, assigning functions and chaining them together to explain the how. I'm always skeptical of using any instrument to study itself since inevitably there must be blind spots.
In this case the blind spot is thinking that our unfree will can delude itself into trying to explain why we have no free will.