Thursday, December 28, 2006

College Football's Monopoly

As I gear up to wacth this year rounds of college bowls, I will begin the bowl season with my penance. Over at Counterpunch, Ralph Nader addresses the monopoly known as the BCS.

I do wonder at whether or not that at some point in my life I will have to choose between being an academic and enjoying college football. I'll try to give it one more year before I make a decision.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Science of Free Will

While this seems to be a late-nite coffee-house conversation, an article in The Economist discloses that our brains, and other environmental factors, limit volition. For example:
IN THE late 1990s a previously blameless American began collecting child pornography and propositioning children. On the day before he was due to be sentenced to prison for his crimes, he had his brain scanned. He had a tumour. When it had been removed, his paedophilic tendencies went away. When it started growing back, they returned. When the regrowth was removed, they vanished again.

The article continues to dicuss how addictive chemicals (sugary foods, nicotine) alter our brains and "evolved instincts." If true or discernable, the consequences of this would greatly impact criminal law, economics, and rhetoric-- all of which imply free will to act.