The problem of free will is considered a serious and profound philosophical conundrum. The crux of it seems to be this: On one hand, as we live our lives we feel that we have free will and that we can choose our own actions; but on the other hand, we know that a person is nothing more than a bunch of atoms that obey laws of physics, and therefore their behavior could be absolutely determined by physical analysis. The problem is clear: We feel that we can do whatever we want, but physics seem to be saying: We don’t have a choice in what we do, it’s all determined by physical laws. This seems like a contradiction.
Let me present my own take on the free will problem. My answer in one sentence: Every person has free will in certain points of view, but doesn’t have it in other points of view, so the whole problem where on one hand we seem to have free will but on the other hand we don’t can be traced to mixing points of view.
Here’s what I want to say every time I tell a person about my problems and what I’m going through, hoping to get some empathy and a shoulder to lean on, and they instead give me advice and explain what I should do.
I’ve been thinking lately about feeling smart. I’ve got a few things to say about that.
Sometimes I feel smart. Sometimes I’m explaining some thing or the other to someone, be it a topic in programming or product development or math or science or anything, and as I’m pointing out the various intricacies and conflicting considerations, I start having this fuzzy feeling. I start enjoying the sound of my voice as I’m talking about that complex topic, a minefield for laypeople that could be navigated only by the gentle and precise touch of an expert such as myself. I feel like those celebrity chefs on reality cooking shows explaining why such and such a dish is wonderful or horrible in cryptically emotional ways that us mortals, who do not have their level of sophistication, just can’t grasp.
I’d like to talk about a feeling that I’ve felt over and over again in my life. A feeling that is a basis for a lot of my work and my personal thoughts.
I call it, the wall.
We’ve all heard the phrase “hitting the wall”. It’s used by long-distance runners when they feel they can’t run anymore. It’s a general idiom used when someone or something is trying to make progress, but they’ve reached the phase where they just can’t, and they’re stuck.
The wall I’m talking about is similar, but different.
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