Archive for November 19th, 2008

19
Nov
08

a thought

the further science goes, the more we’re learning that there is no difference between the mind and brain. that being, that theres no difference between our distinct anatomies and our distinct ways of thinking and processing the wrold. neuroscience is discovering more and more that psychological phenomena start physically in the brain. they come through function, stucture, neurochemical transmission, blood flow, and all that physiological goodness. even more than that, there seems to be a genetic basis for much of this. now, i’ll not get into whether or not thats true or believable. its science.

however, the impostant question lies in the implications of this research. if every things genetic and physiological, what then does it mean to be human? are we programmed by nature to be the way we are? this isnt a nature versus nurture debate as nurture is a part of our nature. i dont mean nature as in instinct, i mean it as just a manifestation of our behavior. we all, typically, act in similar ways and our social constructions are a part of this nature of ours. its not separate. we facilitate development in other humans. i digress. the implications, though, these are big. for example, is there free will?

how can there be if we’re genetically predisposed to act and behave a certain way? and if theres no free will, where does responsibility come into play? the existential responsibility sartre advocated cant exist in this model. so then, what makes us human? is it the metacognitive functions and all that jazz? the fact that we can think about this as a question? we can wonder whether or not our nature is nature? does that not boggle your mind? anyway, we’re coming to a world that doesnt need or want god, and we’re coming to a world where explanations are coming to light, so where do we fit in this world?

we are what weve always been. but its scary to think what people could potentially do with these implications. every thing becomes permissible because of this. well, its not my fault, i was meant to do this, its in the genes. and that very thought scares me. that we can subvert our better judgment and explain away all of our atrocities with this simple fact that we’re biological machines.

and the soul, the soul, the soul. i think we’re afraid to explain everything as a physical reality, a materialistic view of the world. but it feels right. though, wheres the hope there? does this lead to some strange form of predestination? i dont know. its a bit troubling, not just for me. i imagine the religions of the world will eventually be up in arms about this research and the debasement of man. makes me a bit scared nervous for the future and the past and the present.

anyway, a different vein of thought. i found some nice youtube videos of cocorosie performing with an orchestra.

oh, too, im getting published at the end of this month. i’ll link it when it happens.

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19
Nov
08

brief recap of a trip to the north

every time i come to this sight it makes me re-log in, which is annoying. its not a big deal, but it takes me at least thirty seconds to remember how to login here. yeah, not a big deal, maybe just means i need to be a better web logger.

also, the title of this thing. in the time of clover, i mean. it was supposed to be ‘love in the time of clover’ as a reference to marquez’ novel that ive not read, but whos title i love. anyway, that was so long ago it seems silly to change this title now, though i dont much like this ‘in the time of clover’ thing. i just wish i had remembered to remember where the idea came from so i wouldve given it the proper title and not this bastardised version.

but, yeah, went to northern ireland this last weekend. a very cool place. we went with the butler program which includes a lot of children. maybe one hundred[?] or more. but the thing is, these other folks didnt seem to want to meet any of us. they were seemingly content to remain with their friends from school, who, i can only imagine, they met about two months ago. its not a big deal, just surprising is all. i was excited to meet some other irish wanderers.

i had a roommate this weekend. his name was john and he was a pretty awesome cat. he goes to the art school in burren which is quite a ways from where i be, but hes here for the year and i may run into him again. i wouldnt mind it, anyway. but, yeah, it was a fun weekend where we got plenty of free food from the program. always a plus.

we went on a tour through northern ireland and got to learn bits of the history involving THE TROUBLES which is all that strife between the catholics and protestants up there. we also got to see some great sights and what have you. a walled city, a castle, and the giants causeway, which was formed by a scottish giant running away from an ulster giant. but the giants causeway was fantastic. its a valley-esque type place right on the ocean with strange rock formations that stretch into the water. so windy, too. i walkd deep out on the rocks, a couple hundred feet from shore where the wind tore past and nearly knocked me over. the rocks were incredibly slippery, too as the ocean water broke against the rocks. i stood out near the edge for what seemed hours all by alone. just standing there. looking out. it was an enormous feeling. the only sound was the wind rushing by, the only feeling was the spray of water and the wind tearing you down. i literally leaned against the wind with my arms outstretched to keep balance. jesus christ pose, yeah? but i stood there and could stand there all day. my head emptied of thought, unconscious almost, maybe superficially conscious; aware of myself, but unaware of the earth or the people around me or the sky above me, well, more like all those things swirled together, the sky, ocean, rocks, and me, i mean. some feeling of majesty. its hard to explain really how i felt, but it was great.

that night we wandered the streets of belfast and ran into a creepy and aggressive irishman. it was an all right night, i suppose.

the next day we wandered the streets during the day and looked through queens college and the botanical gardens. wondrous places, those. i also found three dm thomas books, which excited me greatly as hes a hard man to find. then we went on the black cab tour.

the black cab tour takes you through the places where THE TROUBLES started and where the most bloodshed occurred. they even have a peace wall there, not like berlin or palastine, but a wall that both sides wanted to be erected for personal safety. very intense. it was lit on fire two weeks ago, apparently, and our trip was almost cancelled. it was intense, though. all the pain and suffering that happened there. i mean, you dont think these things happen anymore, especially in western europe. we’re modern and sophisticated and past barbarism, but not really. there were still murders over these religious issues within the last four years. murals are everywhere depicting ‘heroes’. these heroes were typically murderers, but only murdering people of the other side. can you imagine looking up to a man because he killed thirty catholic men? and the catholics had it hard there. hunger strikes and brutalities. they were second class citizens in their own land.

i felt it there, whatever it is, i felt it, and it made me contemplative and morose.

anyway, we spent another night there and returned the following morning. ive pictures, but theyre not yet up. i’ll do so eventually. it was a very cool weekend, though, powerful and all that jazz.

read a bit of lacanian psychoanalytical theory, too. difficult stuff, but i kind of dig it, despite it being impractical. interesting philosophy, though, just not good psychology or science.

losing steam. this isnt a very detailed post. im getting a bit tired of recapping my life, to be honest. im going to paris this weekend and i really need to learn a few key phrases before i go. elsewise the frenchll hate me and not help me navigate. or so ive been told.




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