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).

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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.

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