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So the question in this spiel has to do with extra sensory abilities, should such a thing exist. This, apparently and according to some scientists, does have scientific merit in a world where such ideas are considered nonsense. To a logical mind, yes, absolutely, such a thing is indeed bullshit and silly and something only a child or psychopath would deem worthy of any real consideration. Let's step into our child/psychotic minds and roll with it just for a few minutes. Allow me to move on, assuming that this is a real and common thing, as it very well may be.

The Question of God or divinity is apparent in all of us. The concept itself exists not just because we were taught as children that such a thing exists. The idea of something larger, something omnipresent, something powerful and beyond our bodies, exists. Fantasy and horror writers speak of ghosts and goblins and creatures from beyond, and we can all relate to it in some way, either as a joke or as a way to escape what surrounds. The fantastic is real in our minds and not at all a foreign thing.

Allow me to tie these together.

Let's take the concept of god and the infinite and tie it into ourselves and our beings. We know fundamentally, if not subconsciously, that something exists beyond our bodies in whatever form our conscious minds can conceive. Is this psychosis inherit in all of us? The mind does seem rather eager to see things that don't exist and to hear the words of the dead. There is a heaven just a side-step away and through the little door in the attic that holds the monsters from childhood. Some claim to be able to and possibly can hear others' thoughts, feel others' emotions, see the future, talk to the dead, know things they can't possibly know. Does the monster under the bed grant these abilities? Yes, it does, because the monster under the bed is me and you and the kid down the street whose chain fell off his bike, and the sky, and unity of the belief of something out there that is more than taste and touch and smell and seeing and hearing. Maybe we're all monsters of creation with powers unbelievable even to ourselves and our primitive brains. Hiding beyond our senses may be the world of our fantasies where the Mutants beyond perception roam around and experience the world in a language no one can speak and in thoughts beyond the mind.

That's crazy though, isn't it? I mean, if our brains and perceptions therein hold us from the infinite, then why would they exist? Consider the opposite of psychosis, and stop and think if maybe we don't have things ass backwards when considering madness. I can't taste colors because that's crazy. But I do have a feeling that colors have flavors, only when I'm in a more lucid place than the madness of reason.



Although there is still so much we have to learn about the human brain, we obviously know that the neurological structure is very complex, and it processes information in such a way that I believe it is fair to argue that a human's mind is a computer. With that being said, I don't think humans are fully pre-programmed at birth. There is some genetic predisposition that influences behavior, but what is experienced, learned, extrapolated, and internalized also contributes to how we behave. So, we have some programming at birth, and additional programming is overlaid as a result of our environment.

I heard a story on the most recent Radiolab program entitled "Blame" about a man who had a seizure condition for which he had brain surgery, and after his surgery he apparently became obsessed with child pornography and was charged for his crimes. His doctor spoke on his behalf in court, asserting that this type of impact to the brain after surgery (namely the inability to suppress and control primal urges) was a known and in this case a treatable condition. The man spent some time in prison, but he was treated and essentially recovered. I have heard other stories of people having traumatic brain injuries and having their personalities change completely. And other stories of people developing brain tumors and becoming pedophiles where this desire wasn't present prior to the tumor. And yet other stories about how some people are genetically predisposed to becoming psychopaths, and how vital their environmental development is in determining whether or not that will happen. So, are humans responsible for their actions, and do we have free will? I honestly find myself questioning this, knowing how delicate the structures of the brain are in shaping our behaviors, and knowing that we could all be just one molestation or auto accident or neoplasm away from someone who engages in horrible and ethically deplorable behavior.

As a matter of fact, in that very same episode of Radiolab, neuroscientist David Eagleman argues that our current justice system of blame is unsound for those very reasons, and that we may be better off as a society if we assign punishment based on recidivism--or determining based on data whether or not a person will engage in future behavior that is detrimental to society. It's nice to think that we have free will and that the world is our oyster, that we can all rise to the occasion and stand on a mountaintop with our fist in the air and choose whatever wonderful thing we ever want. But if that's so, why aren't we all doing it? Why do we choose to debase ourselves? Can we learn to be better? Can we even help it?

I don't mean to sound like a deterministic a-hole, because in reality, I don't have an answer as to whether or not anyone or no one is completely responsible for any one thing in particular. But in spite of my philosophical musings, I do think programmers have a responsibility to make ethical decisions in their work, and I also believe that when there are negative outcomes as a result of a computer's actions, that we should investigate the intent of the programmer, if that is even possible. But I suspect a day will come when technology becomes as complex as the human brain, and when we witness machines doing things we never could have imagined in ways we never would have dreamed. When that time arrives, I think we will find it just as difficult as we do (or as we should) now to assign blame unequivocally.




I love this embedded Radiolab episode. When I first heard it, I had already been thinking about the curiosity of language and meaning, and I felt it encapsulated what it is about language that makes me suffer. Concepts that exist don't exist to us until they have a name and a purpose. And then they only exist for each of us within the limited realm of that name and meaning and purpose, and within the context of our unique awareness and understanding of their definitions. We didn't see blue until it was somehow defined and internalized, morphing into the hue that we all seem to know today--the color of the sea and the sky, a part of violet and of green, the shade of my long-longing eyes, and the break of my winter heart.

Our world is only as big as our capacity for language, and a very limited language at that. What else am I looking upon but not seeing, and what lost words have you expressed with meanings that I didn't understand?




Schizophrenic vibrate and awake.

Weirdo translations of sound waves, course in a disaster across the mediocre membranes and forgiven lobes.

Eyes in their being are vivid video screens, depicting scenes of animal mutilation and maggots turned to gods, in the pink bellies of the color purple.

Playing with runes writ on the cancerous stones and murdered eyeballs of a Dodo bird. It's beak being used for other magical happenings performed by a flash of sorcerer's wit.

This yellow morning seems, and in it, that feeling is cursed to little scrutiny and no more thought than the feather gives the flesh.

Trek as a god journeys faith.

My hair is foul and breathes of nicotine and radioactive ozone like the fallen earths of a Martian's history bible.

Laugh in the face of hollow psycho facelifts, intended for a child's birthing ceremony.

I walk outside and gas has lit the air.

I walk through red clouds in red altars of sky.

I summon a gesture which is incantation.

I make the moon folklore and cherish the poison winds.

Downstairs the gnomes have gotten all the apple cores, and the feast is discarded. The party remains to pray to misunderstood deities who favor greater Gods which worship the fabric of water.