Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.
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Free Will is a concept or phenomenon that appears through all literature and common discourse since civilization began. In some sense, it definitely exists, but it means different things to different people. It is a semantic construct, not a defined constant like the physical law of gravity. With this latitude for interpretation, free will has become a favorite subject for philosophers.
Many scientist and religious philosophers argue that there is no such thing as free will. They go so far as to say that we have no more latitude of choice in thought and action than a bee in the hive. Others say we cannot describe the thought as mechanistically as describing a computer or a bee’s brain. They all agree that full understanding of human consciousness will not be completely understood for a long time, if ever.
Looking back on my life, I wrote, in part:
As a child on a farm
I knew the totality of creation
And in that wonder life had no end.
This is the mindset in which free will, as I understand it, can thrive. In my current book, Free Will Odyssey, I have my inventor protagonist grow up on a farm to illustrate the impact country life can have on free will. My father, who in real life was a prolific inventor and is thinly disguised in that same part of the book, advised me to project my mind to a new space when inventing. I received three patents and I now realize I was profitably harnessing my free will when following his advice.
Beginning in graduate school at MIT, I studied cognitive science and AI. Free will kept emerging as an important and misunderstood issue. In this book, I explore it from a number of points of view. I’m not trying to settle a philosophical argument. I’m trying to shed more light on the subject from many points of view and to emphasize its importance in some current societal problems.