Incognito Thoughts

I am currently reading a book called “Incognito” by David Eagleman. The book was written in an attempt to give us a better look in to the human brain. I am only in chapter one and am already finding myself thinking in circles, or am I simply just realizing something my subconscious brain had been working on for years? Let me explain my thoughts.

I’ve come across a section that discusses the polymath, Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz (inventor of calculus, the binary system, several new schools of philosophy, an equation for kinetic energy, and that’s just scratching the surface), and I find myself already having to put down the book as I fight with emerging realizations in my head.

Liebniz suspected that these thoughts “pouring out of him” were perhaps coming from somewhere deep inside him, a place he can’t even begin to fully comprehend, like his subconscious, which Eagleman describes as the man behind the curtain, the real writer of our thoughts.

That being said, my thoughts rest on this: if Liebniz claims these thoughts come from deep within his mind, does this imply that everyone already knows everything and it is just a matter of who becomes aware of how to unlock the knowledge first that receives the credit? If someone who doesn’t know calculus suddenly creates it, it begs the questions: Why them? and Where did this knowledge come from? To be able to create something out of nothing is an act of God. That being said, where do we get the knowledge we didn’t even know existed?? Bringing me back to my point: if we create these theories and mathematical theorems out of a “deeper” part of our minds, who’s to say we don’t all have this knowledge already and are just unknowingly waiting for our mind to crack the lock and unleash it? Are we all the inventors of all theories and just do not realize it before someone else gets the idea out on paper and is thus deemed the inventor? And if we all already “know” the things we don’t know, can anyone really lay claim to “inventing” it? And going past that, if we all already know everything without knowing we know it…who’s to say God didn’t create all of the theorems and inventions we lay claim to and decided who would “discover” them first? (assuming we can still discover things at this point with everyone knowing everything).

The Good, The Bad, and the Meh

Wednesday we discussed whether people are good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.

With the aspect of being inherently good, we brought to light Rousseau and his Noble Savage theory, as well as Marx with the concept of true communism. The idea is that all people start out good, and if they were left to their own devices, with no debilitating form of government or sovereignty, they would remain good.

On the other side of the coin, there is the idea that we are all born bad. Hobbes explains that without society, a group of people holding one another accountable, and/or a form of government holding the groups of people accountable, humanity would possess too much freedom thus causing a war in which everyone fights everyone.

The last grouping was the Meh column. It can simply be known as The Blank Slate. We are born neither good nor bad and are effected by our environment, experiences, and/or memories.

I recap all of this information to get to this point. We were asked at the end of class which column we most agreed with. I can’t help but wonder: what if it is a combination of it all three?

It could almost be compared to the Good Wolf/ Bad Wolf story. The idea being that we are all born with good tendencies, bad tendencies, and the ability to sometimes remain indifferent. If we are born with these tendencies, we technically cannot have blank slates, but what if they just aren’t as blank as we painted them to be? They are “blank”to an extent, not because we start out as these empty machines waiting to be swayed one way or another, but because we are given a blank slate and the choice of what to put on it.

I like to think of it like this: we are given our “blank slate”, our paint-by-numbers. Along with it, we are given two colors of paint; for argument’s sake we will say white for good and black for bad. The last thing we are given with the paint-by-number and the colors is a choice. The Choice being to paint that picture however we see fit, whether it is through memories, experiences, or those we surround ourselves with. We can splatter it with black, sprinkle it with white, or take the two colors and mix them to get another outcome entirely: grey. Because, at the risk of sounding cliche, the world can’t always be labeled as black and white.

For this reason, I choose to believe all three columns intertwine with one another creating us.

Feel free to give me some feedback on your own thoughts!!

Emily, out.

Incognito

I am currently reading a book called Incognito by David Eagleman. I am only in chapter one and am already finding myself thinking in circles, or am I simply just realizing something my subconscious brain had been working on for years? Let me explain my current thoughts.

I’ve come across a section that discusses the polymath, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (inventor of calculus, the binary system, several new schools of philosophy, an equation for kinetic energy, and that’s just scratching the surface), and I find myself already having to out down the book as I fight with emerging realizations in my head.

Leibniz suspected that these thoughts “pouring out of him” were perhaps coming from somewhere deep inside him, a place he can’t even begin to fully comprehend, like his subconscious, which Eagleman describes as the man behind the curtain, the real writer of our thoughts.

That being said, my thoughts rest on this: if Leibniz claims these thoughts come from deep within his mind, does this imply that everyone already knows everything and it is just a matter of who becomes aware of how to unlock the knowledge that he’s the credit? If someone who doesn’t know calculus suddenly creates it, it begs the questions: Why them? and Where did this knowledge come from? To be able to create something out of nothing is an act of God. That being said, where do we get the knowledge we didn’t even know existed?? Bringing me back to my point: if we create these theories and mathematical theorems out of a “deeper” part of our minds, who’s to say we don’t all have this knowledge already and are just unknowingly waiting for our mind to crack the lock and unleash it? Are we all the inventors of all theories and just do not realize it before someone else gets the credit? And if we all already “know” the things we don’t know, can anyone really lay claim to “inventing” it? And going past that, if we all already knowing everything without knowing we know it…who’s to say God didn’t create all of the theorems and inventions we lay claim to and decided who would “discover” them first? (assuming we can still discover things at this point with everyone knowing everything).

As I said, I am still in chapter one, but man do I have some brain food to chew on.

Emily, out.

1 year of college complete

I grew up with a family that was very…protective…of what I was exposed to as a child and very careful of how much of the world I experienced. I hold no bitter feelings toward this. They were just protecting me.
I moved away to attend college last august. My first year is complete and, man, was it an eye opener. Now I want to be clear that it isn’t just the “bad” things one experiences in college that I’ve observed. No, I am discovering that for 18 years of my life, I was told who I was. But upon further inspection, I’m learning I have no idea WHO I am. Artist? Musician? Friend? Loved one? I still don’t know, but I DO know this: I have the next 3 years to find out. I look forward to discovering who I am for once in my life. No guidelines. No limitations. No one is deciding what I can and cannot do. This is my time to figure out life.In the words of Gandalf the Grey, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Emily, out.

This I Believe

        Have you ever been to another country, one that dwells in poverty and destruction? Picture it. Picture millions of people homeless or living in makeshift tents put together out of scrap cloth and tarp. Picture little children with their stomachs bloated and hernias protruding. Picture teenagers filled with worry as they try to find food for their seven or eight siblings, knowing that each brother and sister is at home praying that they find food so they can live another day. Picture the destruction and waste around every corner, impossible to tear yourself away from. Now I ask you this, do you picture a world of endless sorrow? One filled with turmoil taking place every second? Now comes the surprising realization: the place I just described is the home of the most joyful people I’ve ever met in my life. They don’t have the distractions to make them “happy” that the U.S. is filled with. We often think that 3rd world countries are a lost cause and past any chance of being saved, but the people in those countries have something most people in the U.S. go their whole life without finding: joy.
        Now, let’s talk about the United States that lies on the opposite end of the spectrum. Even though the news in the United States at the moment seems to be consumed with the terrible economy and fear of a recession, the fact that the majority of the population have a home to call their own and food to fill their stomachs proves that we are far better off than most economies in majority of the ever-struggling countries around the world. Yes, there is that minuscule minority that finds themselves homeless and without jobs, but even then we provide them with homeless shelters, clean clothes, a place to sleep, food, and even job applications to get them back on their own two feet leaving them better off in a plethora of examples compared to people striving to survive in 3rd world countries such as Haiti or Nicaragua.
        Further more, I’ve come to realize that the people in the United States that are well off still aren’t “happy”. We never seem to have enough of this or enough of that, always thinking the more we receive and hoard and hold on to, the happier we will be. After all, that’s what we hear every day through media and our society as a whole. There are those of us who are provided for daily, yet we still find ourselves complaining about countless chores to keep up with the house or commenting negatively on every tiny thing because we didn’t receive the raise we “deserve”, we didn’t get the outcome we expected in our test scores. Think about it this way, we have a house to clean. We have the privilege of waking up to a job every day that we can call our own, that pays for our needs and even, at times, things that aren‘t so necessary. We have the honor of receiving a proper education in hopes of moving forward in our lives to accomplish something that will change the lives of those surrounding us. Yet we dwell on our selfishness, our wants.
        Now look at the world through a new perspective, through eyes that don’t take quite as much for granted. We see a blessed country drowning itself in selfish, materialistic, empty ideas. We see a home that most would give up a limb to stay in, even if only for 24 hours. We see a society that won’t accept anyone unless they “look the part” or pay pocketfuls for the newest gadget that no one on Earth could ever truly need. We see that our society, though seemingly selfless at times, is actually dying from selfishness and deceit. Our society is a sickly breed that is a mutated form of the original definition. How often do we complete kind tasks with a goal of just wanting to make someone feel good? If we look closer we will see that we are trying to make the wrong person feel good. Sure, we may be “helping” the needy by delivering a meal, but then we move on with our day, ego enlarged, never again thinking where that human being’s next meal will come from or even when.
        The people of Haiti, the people of Nicaragua aren’t focused on all of the things they “think” they need. They aren’t dwelling on acceptance. They aren’t even trying to obtain luxury. The people of these countries know what it means to truly need something. They know this because if they don’t get what they need, they’ll die. This is much different from the mentality of those resting in elite societies. Consequences are not the same if we don’t receive the laptop we wanted, though we may hear ourselves claim death if we do not get our greedy hands on what we “need”.
        I do not say these things to anger anyone. I do not claim to know how every society works. I state these observations in hopes of starting a change in the human mind. I hope to show people existing in crumbling societies what true need is. We often think that 3rd world countries are a lost cause and past any chance of being preserved, but the people in those countries have something most people in the U.S. go their whole life without finding: joy. Now I ask you, are you truly happy?

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Hello everyone, or no one, who ever read this,

I just got ungrounded! Everyone makes mistakes right? The important thing about times like this isn’t that we messed up or even the consequence we have to pay, it is learning from your mistake and adapting  and readjusting your life so you aren’t put in the same predicament again!

I just want to encourage you all not to dwell on the past because it simply cripples your FUTURE. If we learn from the mistakes, we gain strength. If we don’t let them go, they are simply a hinderance and will do nothing but cause us fear and regret and remorse. Life is too short to waste time on these emotions. You have to be strong and take that bold, terrifying next step into the unknown future with the knowledge you gain from each mistake. THAT’S what keeps us living for God and keeping our hearts on what is truly important.

Love, Emily Alexandra

Listen Closely

I’ve noticed that over the past six months my generation has become even more desperate then before. Teenagers are craving the attention of others and are getting it in the worst way. Everyone’s problems are worse than the next person’s and each one is convinced that they deserve the attention. If someone doesn’t currently have a problem in their life, they create  one so they can receive the pity and sympathy of anyone who will  give it. Everyone is determined to be the needy person, the one who is the worst off. What a selfish  concept! This shouldn’t be a contest! I’ve found people who are mourning over people who are suddenly their “best friends” that died even though, in actuality, when they were alive they didn’t even hang out. Are we so disgraceful and low that we are really using other people’s deaths to get the attention that we feel we deserve? Our generation is broken beyond repair! It’s tiring. It’s nauseating. It’s horrifying and it’s low. We lean on people who can’t even howl their own  lives together, expecting them to fix ours. Such a cycle leaves us constantly falling  which leaves us constantly creating more  problems to get attention which leaves us to be eaten alive by depression that we wrapped ourselves  so willingl in. We are a sick generation piled so high in our own ideas and drowning so deep in our own self-created pity. Our society has taught us that we deserve  the attention and we deserve it now.  The problem with that philosophy is that we DON’t deserve the attention. We don’t deserve our LIVES. God was merciful and died so we could live and this is what we do with our lives? We throw them away. We’ve been provided a lifestyle that only leads us to despair and pitiful self-serving thoughts. You think your life sucks? Tell your story to any person in a 5th world country and you’ll realize in a heartbeat  that we have it good, my friends, but we’re too busy complaining about not getting the new phone we wanted or not getting to hang out with our friends or even not getting the car our parents were going to buyfor  us. Wake up and move away from society before it drags you down any farther. I’m sorry if this offended you and I’m not trying to tick anyone off, I’m simply speaking my mind and I won’t apologize for my thoughts.

Emily Alexandra