The challenge is coming up with a definition of meaning! Do you think anyone makes choices that they feel don’t have meaning? Imho, it’s sort of like the common situation where no one tells themself the story that makes them a bad guy.
To answer your first question, I think free will got defined in a way that excluded determinism and this has clouded the discussion. My point is that the process of making a conscious choice is embodied/physical/determined and to split it out as something non-physical is a mistake. If that’s a redefinition, so be it, but don’t claim the choice lacked agency. The choice is precisely the physical mechanism that has agency not some other ‘hidden’ process with an unnecessary conscious color-commentator riding shotgun as a secondary process.
Check this out. I’m tempted to say the homo sapien version of capturing free energy is acting to increase meaning. If I could figure out what the eff they’re talking about:-)