Free will and determinism are topics I’ve been interested in for a while, I’ve talked about it plenty with certain friend, and probably even blogged about it before. My studies in school, and most of the conversations with friends have focused on the philosophical and psychological ideas of freedom and free will, but there are also scientific conversations we can have about choice — which materialists might say are the basis underlying any philosophical or psychological thoughts on choice.
I never realized the effects of postmodernity and the vast amount of choices we have until a few years ago. I guess I’d never experienced a vast lack of choices so I didn’t think much about it. One day I went to a cafe with an Italian friend of mine. We walked in and lined up next to the cash register were about 10 bottled drinks to choose from, behind the barista on the wall was a menu with about 40 hot and cold drinks. This friend commented on the choices one has to make at a cafe in the US, and how terrible it is. In Italy she told me, the choice would be much easier because the options would be far less, espresso or a cappuccino.
That brings me to Radiolab. Radiolab is a one hour long public radio show about science, if you’re not familiar with it, it might sound boring, but it’s a really entertaining show. I look forward to it every week and always learn a lot from it. This week’s show is all about choice. I recommend you give it a listen if you have some time, it’s interesting, I’m sure you’ll learn something, and it might even help you better understand why you make certain choices.