Ask A Genius 478 – Freely Give and Ye Shall Freely Receive

In-Sight Publishing

Ask A Genius 478 – Freely Give and Ye Shall Freely Receive

December 19, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How does this free energy principle fit into the framework of thinking in animals?

Rick Rosner: I have started learning about this. That it’s thinking in animals. Maybe even animals are not sophisticated enough to think but have some agency in the world or it is not a true agency because it is not based on thinking.

It is still moving along a gradient moving some wavering poisonous substance, like an amoeba. They are minimizing their free energy, which goes along with a general trend in cognitive science. It is in the right direction. That the thinking in the brain as predictive tools.

These predictive tools are for your brain’s main job. Your brain’s main job is to predict what happens next and prepare you for that to do it, thus reducing risk and increasing longevity. This free energy minimization also has something to do with a bunch of principles of physics including the path of least resistance.

The shortest path and time that the light will always pick. A light will pick the path that gets from one place to another in the shortest time, which can be used to explain things like refraction.

However, free energy minimization is a tendency of thinking systems without being the absolute determinative factor so it might be better. I am sure the guy is Karl Friston who has written more than a thousand papers. He addressed a lot of stuff that I have not come across yet.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

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  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
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License and Copyright

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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