[ExI] Humans losing freewill

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 19 00:49:24 UTC 2016

Obvious? :-) Unless someone holding a gun to your head and making you use
technology, free will isn't at play.


​I guess I lost something somewhere.  What does technology have to do with
free will?  OH, maybe the comment about machines making decisions for you.

Amazon's software suggests books based on ones you have bought from them.
I have bought quite a few books this way, letting their recommendations
guide me.

And why not?  Most of the ones I've bought were worth the money.  Sure, I
could have found them, perhaps, by myself, but simple positive
reinforcement has led me to use their suggestions, though certainly not for
every book I buy.

What does free will have to do with it?  Nothing, really.  I am not
surrendering anything to their software.  I like it and I use it.  Period.
Now if this was a school class and I had to read what the teacher said,
then I have little free will in the matter, and it doesn't matter that it's
a person rather than a machine.

Based on 'likes' Facebook directs users to news sites, either conservative
or liberal (don't think it's more nuanced than that, but I don't really

I can see a danger in everyone letting the software direct their
newsreading sources.  But there are so many other sources out there to
choose from once you leave Facebook.  Pick your bias.  I don't doubt but
what somewhere on the web are reviews telling us just what bias occurs with
which source - a good thing.

It seems to me that the only danger here is people voluntarily giving up
their freedom of choices for a guaranteed result.

Another way of saying this is that everyone needs a streak of contrariness
in them.  Skepticism.  Once again we have to bemoan the fact that this kind
of thinking is not taught in schools.  That I know of.   Anyone out there
know of critical thinking courses below college?

On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 5:36 PM, Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 6:12 PM, William Flynn Wallace <
> foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So your point is..........?
> Obvious? :-) Unless someone holding a gun to your head and making you use
> technology, free will isn't at play.
> -Dave
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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