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Time magazine’s recent cover story on the brain

Andreas sent me the following email yesterday:

I’ve been reading the most recent Time mag. The brain is the cover story this week. A lot of interesting discussions about unraveling consciousness etc we can discuss more of that later, but one point really stuck out at me, especially relating to the idea of free will we touched on a few weeks back.

Instead of your conscious mind being this orderly linear progression of decision and action, some people speculate that your mind is actually a maelstrom of competing neural impulses all trying to outshout one another. The one who shouts the loudest is the one who gets to be your next thought, and then your mind/self retroactively rationalizes it as a “decision” even though it was effectively the result of this random quantum physiological maelstrom.

So once again, there goes free will. you feel like you’re forming rational thoughts, solving problems, achieving goals, in control…but it’s all just an illusion.

Wow. That could explain a lot about, say, OCD and such. I suppose the common term “chemical imbalance” isn’t too far off in some cases. Perhaps we can think of neurological disorders and as a really bad mix of idea levels in the brain, literally out of balance. It’s like everybody shouting at once, etc. Great analogy.

I’ve gotta go pick this magazine up. Or, at least that’s what one of these shouting voices in my brain is telling me…

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