Sam Harris’ waking up app is free until the end of the year. His lesson on (the nonexistence of) free will has a good exercise that give me first hand experience that I don’t have as much free will as I thought. He whittled my concept down to: free will is picking off a menu that we can’t control with strong nudges on what to pick and if we’re not paying attention we follow the nudge by default.


He’s certainly got me in a “god of the gaps” trap but I’m not fully convinced that the last bit of free will isn’t there.

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For whatever reason I’m reminded of this joke, “Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress, “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.” The waitress replies, “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but we’re out of cream. How about with no milk?”

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