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Do we have free will?

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March 19, 2013 by karamcaulay

Back on the grid!  Was on a beach for a week…completely unplugged.  Read though.  13 Things That Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

Michael BrooksWell, the chapter on Free Will grabbed my attention as it seemed to relate to my last post about the impact of technology on society – Why Publish This?

How?  My last post talked about how we cannot control our future – especially businesses – and that we should embrace change and adapt to it, rather than trying to control it.  Adapt and you will succeed.

Free Will

Michael Brooks quotes the British psychologist Guy Claxton as saying that it is only OK to believe you have free will if you don’t try to do anything complex like control everything in your life.  He goes on to say that, studies show that neurotic and psychiatric disorders are more common among those who attempt to keep conscious control of life and suppress its unwelcome quirks.  Sanity, paradoxically, may lie in accepting that you are not in control.

Wow!  So, do we really go through life as if we’re traveling down rapids unable to steer the direction we want to go?  Do we accept all  new social media tools  that are constantly changing the way we communicate?  Do we try to control them – ever pursuing the viral video or the next hot meme?  Or do we, as Clay Shirky says, not decide where we want to go, but rather stay upright as we go there?

Perhaps, in absence of free will, we don’t have a choice!

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