Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bosses, Art, and Neuroscience

Today will be a good day. First, my task list has grown greatly at work. Typically this is viewed as a negative and only brings on stress. However, I'm actually looking forward to banging through a number of these projects. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I receive regular positive reinforcement and appreciation for my good work from superiors. It's amazing how this can affect motivation levels, as I nearly had forgotten what it feels like after so many months of the exact opposite.

Another highlight of this young day is the arrival of a book I ordered: Johan Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Despite staying busy with Newsweek and Eggers' The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, this book looks particularly interesting (I also follow his blogging here). It argues that, "artists...discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering." Pretty exciting, huh?

My favorite quote thus far...and just from the, "Take the the human mind. Scientists describe our brain in terms of its physical details; they say we are nothing but a loom of electrical cells and synaptic spaces. What science forgets is that this isn't how we experience the world (We feel like the ghost, not like the machine.) It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know."

Clearly, I'm in for an awesome ride. Perhaps caused by long, isolated periods on a rural farm, I've always felt like the most amateur of artist and scientist. What I feel right now is a desire to have longer commutes to spend with Lehrer.

Once again, art and information collide.

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