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This is the first "blog" of any kind I've ever had, so it's probably not the greatest...

Just a little snippet about me:

I'd like to consider myself relatively tech-savvy; obviously I use Linux (Arch to be precise; K.I.S.S. FTW), and I enjoy learning new things about computers in general (both software and hardware-related).

This blog is mostly just for whenever I feel like telling the world about my experiences with computers/Linux (or just life in general), or just posting for the hell of it.
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Surveys, statistics, and human behavior...in combination, they make me sick

Posted 06-21-2010 at 04:36 PM by MrCode
Updated 12-28-2010 at 08:25 PM by MrCode
Tags rant

This is my first blog post, ever. Seriously, I've never done this kind of thing before, not even outside of LQ, so this might not seem very "bloggy", or whatever you want to call it...

What set me off to start writing my own blog was a recent thread posted in the General section of the forums: "Learning in the Linux Community".

Seriously, any kind of study like this rings alarm bells in my head. I end up seeing it as nothing more than yet another attempt to reduce humankind to some kind of organic machine.

Behavioral research, learning theory, etc. all make me sick inside, because they all seem to suggest (to me, at least) that there's nothing special about intelligent life, and that it's all just one really long main() function being executed by the universe...

I've even devoted a thread of my own to this issue. It's been closed for sanity reasons, so don't bother trying to post there anymore, but to me it reveals the general consensus: most people (at least most computer people) see life and living beings as nothing more than automatons, i.e. there is no free will, and that all of our choices, actions, and thoughts have been predetermined since the Big Bang (or however the universe really started). Basically the perception is that we are computers ourselves, and life as we experience it is just the software program that runs on our organic hardware.

This viewpoint is very cold and heartless IMO, and it gets to me on such a deep level that I become horribly depressed whenever I think about it. However, is it right? Are we nothing more than automatons? I analyze my own thought processes all the time, and I always see a chain of causes for each successive thought that enters my mind. I know, this probably isn't something healthy to be doing, but it's like I need some validation...something that gives me hope for my freedom.

What is freedom? It is a state of being without restrictions, is it not? But then again, what are restrictions? Just where do you define the distinction between "freedoms" and "restrictions"? Most people see "freedom" as being without political or social restrictions. I see it as being without behavioral restrictions. This is where the problem lies, I believe...

I understand that certain parts of living existence have a certain rhythm to them. For example, one wouldn't tend to expect their heart to stop beating at some random moment, for no good reason. However, where do you draw the line between these "rhythms", and other behaviors? Does such a line of distinction even exist, or does all behavior follow a "rhythm", or pattern?

If not, then why do only certain things fall into a pattern, when others don't? If so, then why do we have such a perception of freedom? Why would be be deluded into believing that we're free if we're really not? Is it part of our evolutionary nature, something to keep us from going completely insane? If that's the case, then why are some people (such as myself) even capable of questioning it? Are we at some kind of evolutionary disadvantage?

I realize that a place like LQ probably isn't necessarily the best place to be talking about things like this, but honestly I don't know where else to share my thoughts about these problems...
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    You've come to the right place, my friend.

    I didn't really got into reading of all thread...
    I also wrote some thoughts about life: Life as in Linux.
    The short answer to the question "are we free" is "yes, if you want it to".
    You are free if you want to be free. And if you are free, if you feel free, nothing can take that freedom from you. Nothing.
    You are free. Yes, you are.
    --
    from Kernel with Love =)
    Posted 06-21-2010 at 09:02 PM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    While your objection is obviously sincere, the basis for your rant is confused. There is no implication either in the thread or in the survey of predestination and the absence free will.

    Lighten up.
    Posted 06-22-2010 at 08:30 PM by 2ck 2ck is offline
 

  



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