Life is unfair, the environment is often against us, and there’s a lot of evidence that—best case scenario—we have limited free will.  However, regardless of the adversity, I don’t see any better option than to apply myself and do the best I can to hit my targets.  

Because it seems that every other strategy will lead to regret and mediocrity.


10 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I think I disagree with “limited” free will – depending on context… The word “limit” suggests hard stops – the inability to act regardless of a choice to do so. I think our ability to exercise our free will is stifled by many things, however. I would say the biggest suppression of our free will is ourselves. Our morality and our desire to “fit in” are two big factors that govern our free will. But taking away things like that, I would contend that there is nothing stopping us from acting within the confines of reality. The question then becomes how long we will be able to act freely before someone or something stops us. Then their might be some limitations put on free will 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well my hypothesis is garnered from delving into some dark scientific territory. Most people are bound by survival instincts and recognition mechanisms.
      By observing behavioral scientist/artists (mentalist hypnotist interrogator) it seems the majority of folks can be manipulated, and there’s no evidence to suggest that anyone is completely immune to sophisticated or increasingly brutal manipulation (if I were to manipulate someone through sleep and nutrition deprivation and high doses of anesthetic, I don’t think their “free will” would enable them to stay awake). However, evidence does seem to suggest that with the proper background and training, one can overcome certain survival instincts (like the monk who remained motionless as he burned to death), but I find it hard to believe that someone could train themselves to endure all forms of stress to a degree where they’d be willing to endure death (and it would also be impractical, you can’t test someone’s willingness to simultaneously die through starvation, immolation, evisceration, etc., as they only die once). Anyways, much of our behavior is fairly predictable if you’re willing to delve into nuance, and understanding our behaviors under different contexts is the basis behind economics, warfare, entertainment, and a host of other arenas. You can start with the basics; I need to breathe, so I’ll live in a place with air. I need to eat, drink, and stay warm, so I’ll stay in a place where I have access to food, water, and shelter. It goes on, all the way up through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People don’t like thinking of their mechanical aspects or admitting any part of them is a machine, but I believe that taking advantage of whatever free will we may have relies on respecting and navigating these limitations.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ah, a much broader context then. Then yes, you’re absolutely right. We are very limited creatures. We must “choose” to be in environments that are conducive to human survival. We must “choose” to eat, etc. etc. Along the lines of mental and/or physical manipulation tactics, I can only hope that folks like you (and very hopefully me) are a bit stronger and less susceptible to such things. But…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the key is objective experimentation; irony seems to be rife regarding claims to personal behavior. I’ve often heard people vehemently deny that they’d “never do that! NEVER!” Yet they’re the easiest ones to manipulate into doing whatever they’re talking about. So rather than deny I would never do something, I look at the circumstances where I probably WOULD do it, and think about how to make sure those circumstances don’t manifest.


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