I Haz Free Will!

I just have to monitor my breathing and tell my inner body signals what I want to do…


Honestly the entire free will issue makes my head hurt. I can’t be sure I wanted to do this post, but my fingers type anyway.

I find it interesting our readiness potential (RP) which is an active signal in our brains that happens, before we even know we are about to do something. I don’t know if there is an acceptable amount of lag time between our brains initial readiness to act and our bodies intention to act (W time, the urge or intent to act.) But we are creatures of electrical signals between neurons, and it makes sense to me that an inherent lag time would be reasonable, between the RP, the W time, and the signals sent to muscles required to follow through.

I also have no idea at all how that might have anything to do with me having some ice cream later. But I do know I like ice cream. Well I think I like ice cream, my body may just be demanding it…



2 thoughts on “I Haz Free Will!

  1. Ah, the RP experiments. I think there is a major flaw in their interpretation (there may well be flaws in their execution, too). The interpretation is that the action potential is rising before we have made a decision, so we are just meat puppets! Actually, we need to slow down a little. First of all in the experiment I studied it involved moving a finger, tapping a button. I am typing this right now and I am am not consciously signalling my fingers to tap the buttons on this keyboard. Most physical movements are handled subconsciously. I am thinking about the words I want to type and they get typed.

    So,an event that is normally handles subconsciously is picked to be handled consciously. Then the “free will” is declared to be only a function of our conscious minds. Says who? Well, we identify with our conscious mind as representing us. Then, who does our unconscious mind represent? I suggest also us. I also suggest that many of the conscious decisions we claim to make are really not. When “researching” purchases we can to make (for me it was stereo systems) but today maybe a car, we accumulate data, pick out models, then go on test drives. Then we decide which model we want to buy. But each candidate has various strengths and weaknesses. How did you trade those off? (A had better gas mileage, but B was more fun to drive, so …) The answer is you did not. You just loaded a bunch of data and sensory information into your head and waited for the Magic Ball to pop up with a decision.

    Often our conscious minds are the last to get the memo in these transactions. Quelle surprise!


    • Hey I will be the first to admit this entire concept is an enigma to me. I’ll also admit I am stubbornly trying to hang on to my free will despite much evidence to the contrary.

      In the meantime I do enjoy learning what I can along the way.

      Thanks for stopping by Steve, looks like many decided not to touch this one with a ten foot pole. Oh, wait. I mean they had no choice! Either way, I don’t blame em 🙂


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