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1 Challenge Books 003

I read a lot of different kinds of books basically because I am curious about all sorts of things.  I have so many questions all the time.  I am also curious about why I am so curious.  Where does this hunger to know things come from?  

As I read, the answer to some questions generates even more questions.  I have been known to read one book and then read twenty to two hundred more because I am on the hunt for answers.  One thing leads to another.  

When I was teaching students to write good research reports, I broke the assignment down into several parts.  I asked them to list things they were curious about.  Another part of the report was to write down ten questions they had about their subject.  It seemed to me that it is important to hunt for answers rather than to just write down the usual dry encyclopedia, in-one-ear-and-out-the-other stuff that ends up being called a report.

Of course, many of my students just couldn’t do what I considered to be the easiest part.  They didn’t have questions about their favorite subject.  They just wanted to write down what they could find in general and let it go.

I have been interested in the brain for many years.  I was sent to a two day conference on right brain, left brain as it might enhance my teaching and I really enjoyed what I learned.  So many things now make sense.  My hubby and kids all begged me to stop talking about it after a day or so.  I think that this conference did explain my curiosity.

According to Bernice McCarthy, I am a #4 quadrant, an “If” learner and right-brained.
I am good at Modifiying, Adapting, Risking, and Creating.  

Bernice McCarthy started 4MAT and here are some sites that tell more about what I learned so long ago.

http://fenstudent.gordontafe.edu.au/...

http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/...

http://www.aboutlearning.com/

YouTube with Bernice

http://www.youtube.com/...

What jump-started me on the topic again was reading the book My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.  Many people have recommended Jill’s book and I had put it off because my sister had a stroke at the age of 46 five years ago and I was still struggling with all that happened.  My sister was able to go home and is living independently and is doing well.

Finally, I bought the book and I am really glad I did.  Jill’s stroke was completely different than my sister’s, but the book is still very helpful.  Jill’s left brain was completely flooded with blood and so for a while her right side was in charge so Jill writes quite a bit about what that means and how we use that side.  Of course, we need both sides of the brain, but they are really very different.

Wiki says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Jill Bolte Taylor (born 1959 in Louisville, Kentucky) is a neuroanatomist - a brain scientist who studies the anatomy of the brain. Her training is in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. She just started the Jill Bolte Taylor Brains, Inc not-for-profit and she is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine and is the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center. Her personal experience with a massive stroke, experienced in 1996 at the age of 37, and her subsequent eight-year recovery, has informed her work as a scientist and speaker. For this work, in May 2008 she was named to Time Magazine's 2008 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. "My Stroke of Insight" received the top "Books for a Better Life" Book Award in the Science category from the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on February 23, 2009 in New York City.

On December 10, 1996, Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a stroke. The cause proved to be bleeding from an abnormal congenital connection between an artery and a vein in the left hemisphere of her brain, an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Three weeks later, on December 27, 1996, she underwent major brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to remove a golf ball-sized clot that was placing pressure on the language centers in the left hemisphere of her brain…

Following her experience with stroke, Taylor wrote the best-selling book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, about her recovery from the stroke and the insights she has gained into the workings of her brain because of it.

Jill on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/...

Several years ago, I read In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing, a memoir about Bob Woodruff’s recovery after brain trauma received in Iraq.

Wiki says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Robert Warren "Bob" Woodruff (born August 18, 1961) is an American television journalist. His career in journalism dates back to 1989, and he is widely known for succeeding Peter Jennings as co-anchor of ABC News' weekday news broadcast, World News Tonight in December 2005. A month later, he was critically wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

On January 29, 2006, Bob Woodruff and Canadian cameraman Doug Vogt were seriously injured in an explosion from an improvised explosive device near Taji, Iraq, about 12 miles (19 km) north of Baghdad.

At the time of the attack, they were embedded with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, travelling in an Iraqi MT-LB. Woodruff and Vogt were standing with their heads above a hatch, apparently filming a stand-up. Both men were wearing body armor and protective helmets at the time. Woodruff sustained shrapnel wounds; Vogt was struck by shrapnel in the head and suffered a broken shoulder. Both men underwent surgery for head injuries, with a joint Army & Air Force neurosurgical team, at the U.S. Air Force hospital south of Balad, located in Camp Anaconda, and were reported to be in stable condition. Tom Brokaw reported on the Today show that Woodruff had also undergone surgery, with a portion of his skull being removed to reduce the damage from brain swelling.

Woodruff and Vogt were evacuated to the U.S. Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany overnight on Sunday, January…

After leaving Germany, Woodruff was treated for weeks at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

Woodruff was kept in a medically induced coma for 36 days to assist his recovery, and ABC News temporarily assigned Good Morning America anchors Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer to alternate duties on the evening newscast as co-anchor with Vargas. Vogt meanwhile was reported to be awake, mobile, and recovering.

As of March 7, 2006, Woodruff's brother reported that the ABC anchor was beginning to walk, recognize friends and family, and speak in several languages. However, he struggled with expressive aphasia for more than a year after the injury. Woodruff was transferred on March 16, 2006, to a medical facility closer to his Westchester County, New York, home, a sign of "continued progress in all respects", ABC News President David Westin said in an e-mail to staffers. Westin's email noted that Woodruff was able to get around, talk to and joke with his family, but that "months of further recuperation" were still required.

More about Bob:

http://www.wjla.com/...

I am reading Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia by Kate Whouley.

I also have Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy on my TBR pile:

Regeneration Trilogy:

Regeneration (1991)
The Eye in the Door (1993)
The Ghost Road (1995)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy and a Booker Prize nominee

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back to the trenches. This novel tells what happened as only a novel can. It is a war saga in which not a shot is fired. It is a story of a battle for a man's mind in which only the reader can decide who is the victor, who the vanquished, and who the victim.

More about Pat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

I have read the Oliver Sacks story The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and there are many more books by him that would be good to read.

Another good book about how the brain reacted that I found fascinating:

Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

Mike May spent his life crashing through. Blinded at age three, he defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor, entrepreneur, and family man. He had never yearned for vision. Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem cell transplant surgery could restore May’s vision. It would allow him to drive, to read, to see his children’s faces. But the procedure was filled with gambles, some of them deadly, others beyond May’s wildest dreams. Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man’s choice to explore what it means to see–and to truly live.
Wiki says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

In 2003, three years after May's eye operation, the results were mixed. In terms of challenges, May reported being unable to grasp three-dimensional vision and to recognize members of his family by their faces alone.

The effect of visual loss affects the development of the visual cortex of the brain—the visual impairment causes the occipital lobe to lose its sensitivity in perceiving spatial processing. Sui and Morley (2008) proposed that following seven days of visual deprivation, a potential decrease in vision may occur. They also found an increasing degree of visual impairment following thirty-day and 120-day periods of deprivation. The Sui and Morley study suggests that the function of the brain is dependent upon visual input.

May lost his eyesight at the age of three when his vision was not fully developed; he was not yet able to distinguish shapes, drawings, or images clearly. Consequently, it was anticipated that he would experience difficulty describing the outside world in comparison to a normal-sighted person. For example, it would be difficult for May to differentiate between complex shapes, dimensions, and the orientation of objects. Hannan (2006) hypothesized that the temporal visual cortex uses prior memory and experiences to make sense of shapes, colors, and forms. Hannan proposed that the long-term effect of blindness in the visual cortex is an inability to recognize spatial cues.

At three years of age, May's vision had still not reached the acuity of an adult person; as a consequence, his brain was still not completely exposed to the full extent of clarity in relation to the images and light of the environment. Such impairment led to difficulties with regards to normal daily life. Cohen et al. (1997) suggested that early blindness causes the poor development of the visual cortex, with a resulting decrease in somatosensory development. Cohen's study proposed that May's long term blindness affects his ability to distinguish between faces of males and females, and to recognize pictures and images. In spite of the surgery on May's right eye, his newly regained vision is not fully recovered after forty years of blindness. Thinus-Blanc and Gaunet (1997) suggest that people who are blind early in life show a limited ability in the area of spatial representation. The impairment of May's visual cortex, due to the loss of his vision at a very early age, resulted in visual cortex cells that are not accustomed to the stimuli in his surroundings.

However, Cohen et al. (1997) have proposed that, during their early years, blinded subjects develop a strong inclination for tactile discrimination tasks. Similarly, May has developed very precise senses of hearing and touch.

Book Discussion on Crashing Through
Jun 7, 2007

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/...

Robert Kurson talked about his book Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See, published by Random House.

http://www.videoworldonline.eu/...

Where has your curiosity led you?  Did you go from one book to another?  

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! discord and libraries
by SensibleShoes
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Thursday Classical Music, Opus D106: Ralph Vaughan Williams: Norfolk, Tallis and Lark
by Dave in Northridge
http://www.dailykos.com/...

A new book is coming out:

My first book has Daily Kos on the cover
by Mysoreback
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Last week, Mysoreback, left a message:

Hello book lovers,

My first book should be out around 25th Feb. It is titled " I Married My Cousin" and is a set of 20 personal narratives.

It is a mishmash of my personal experiences, things I want to do before I die, College admission, the Hindu religion, fitness, cricket, etc.

I also took two small diaries I had written here and used it for the book.

I was able to get Markos's permission to add the DailyKos logo (mast head?) on my book cover. It also has a narrative dedicated to DailyKos bloggers and Markos.

I am excited as am done with the editing and need to do the formatting and conversion to ePUB and Mobi next week.

It has been a hard slog over the last 3 months to get it done and now the "marketing" starts. Hopefully a few Kossacks wont mind the $2.99 price and get some insight in to the Indian way of life.

All proceeds go to a charity in India.

by Mysoreback on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 05:48:50 AM EST


NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

Poll

What is your favorite way of being creative?

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| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  welcome (38+ / 0-)

    How to find the group Readers & Book Lovers:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    or click on the heart by our tag and we will come to your page.  Please stop by and visit as you can comment in diaries now for a longer time and there are some really interesting diaries there.

    Susan from 29 has made our schedule so you can click on it and read the diaries...thanks, Susan!

    All Times are EDT, EST

    Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule



    DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
    SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
    Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
    Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
    MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery Susan from 29
    Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
    TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
    alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
    Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views Brecht, bookgirl
    WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
    Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
    THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
    Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
    Thu (third each month - on hiatus) 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
    FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
    Fri (Start Feb 22) 6:00 PM Books Go Bang! Brecht
    SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
    Sat 4:00 PM Daily Kos Political Book Club Freshly Squeezed Cynic
    Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

    ……………………….

    I have finished reading:

    My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor

    I am reading:

    Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight of Terra by Poul Anderson (part 6 of the Technic Civilization Saga)  (pg. 363 of 606)

    Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia by Kate Whouley (pg. 49 of 231)

    The Chains of the Sea by Joe Green ( the DKos author john keats) (pg.59 of 749)   Joe was kind enough to send me the book as a gift.

    Challenge books:

    A History of London by Stephen Inwood (pg. 149 of 937)

    Middletown, America: One Town’s Passage from Trauma to Hope (9-11) by Gail Sheehy (Pg. 134 of 392)

    Sherman’s March by Burke Davis (pg. 91 of 302)

    I know, I know…Curiosity is a rover on Mars.  :)

    What are you reading or hoping to read?

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:24:47 PM PST

    •  Getting ready to start land of marvels (6+ / 0-)

      Another Barry unsworth novel and also a booker prize winner.

      Historical fiction set in the Middle East 1910.

      I'm a big unsworth fan.  

      I just finished rereading The Lord of the rings and reading Enders game.  It had been maybe 25 years since I had read lotr and it was much better than I remembered it.  I used to prefer the hobbit.  Now I will have to read the hobbit again to see if it too has improved with age.  I read Enders game because I have some teen nephews I'm trying to get into science fiction and some one highly recc'd it to me.  I'm sure I would have loved it as a kid and still thoroughly enjoyed it, but was a little turned off by the hints of ayn rand in the philosophy.  

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:33:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I stopped reading Card, too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, RiveroftheWest, jlms qkw

        But I did like Ender's Game.

        I am glad you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings again.  Hubby still loves The Hobbit, too.  

        I loved The Chronicles of Prydain by Alexander so much that I bought it for my two sons to take with them when they got married.

        I am not sure about your nephews, but...

        Our own Kelly McCullough has written some books that I enjoyed:

        I wrote this about the first set:

        The hero of the stories is so good at programming that his many times great aunt wishes him to do a job for her.  That she is a Fate is only one part of the problem because what she wants is so terrible, he must refuse.  

        Refusing a Fate is not good.  One should also not believe that Zeus is just a wino who loves to party.  It can be tough to know that Pluto is waiting impatiently to get his hands on you.  And the Furies?  I leave it to your imagination.  When I read the books, I spent my time either laughing or cowering under the couch.

            WebMage
            Cybermancy
            Codespell
            MythOS
            SpellCrash

        His next set with two more coming are darker:

            Broken Blade
            Bared Blade
            Crossed Blades  

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:40:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What I'm reading (18+ / 0-)

    Just finished
    Dead Souls by Ian Rankin. The latest in the John Rebus series of Scottish noir crime novels. I like this series and this is one of the best in it. But it's dark dark dark. Child abusers, serial murderers etc.  Full review soon on Yahoo Voices.

    Now reading
    Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living  by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.

    Thinking, fast and slow  by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

    What hath God wrought? by Daniel Walker Howe. Subtitled "The transformation of America 1815-1848. I am reading this with the History group at GoodReads.  This is very well written, and does a good job especially with coverage of the treatment of Blacks and Native Americans.

    The hard SF renaissance  ed. by David G. Hartwell.  A large anthology of "hard" SF from the 90's and 00's. I think Hartwell takes SF a bit too seriously, but the stories are good.

    On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says - a history of political thought.  

    Far from the Tree: Parents, children and the search for identity by Andrew Solomon.
    The title comes from the phrase "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". This book is about apples (children) who did fall far from the tree (parents). This book got amazing reviews and it grabbed me from the opening:

    "There is no such thing as reproduction. When two people decide to have a baby, they engage in an act of production, and the widespread use of the word reproduction for this activity, with its implication that two people are but braiding themselves together, is at best a euphemism to comfort prospective parents before they get in over their heads"
    I don't agree with all that Solomon says, but this is a book to make you think about deep questions of humanity.

    Rayburn: A Biography by D. B. Hardeman. A very admiring look at Sam Rayburn, former speaker of the House.  Hardeman has an odd but readable style, mostly in that he overuses this structure "the" (adjective) (state adjective) form (e.g. "the crusty Texan", "the wily Missourian") to an extent that's almost comical.

    He, she and it http://www.powells.com/... by Marge Percy. Really only a couple pages into it, but it's near future dystopian SF set on Earth.

    Just started
    Ghostman  by Roger Hobbs.  The protagonist of this excellent first novel is  a "ghost man". He is part of a criminal enterprise of high level thieves (they steal large amounts at each crime) and his specialty is the ability to become other people - adapt their mannerisms, their voice, their signature and so on. In his spare time he translates books from Latin and Greek into various modern languages.  Fascinating.

  •  More books on the brain and so on (12+ / 0-)

    Anything by Steven Pinker

    Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahnemann

    Anything by William Calvin (e.g. The Throwing Madonna; the River that Flows Uphill)

    Melvin Konner, The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit

    ---

    The details of physiology interest me less than their effects and more abstract ideas about the brain and thought.

  •  I almost voted for "doing research" but (14+ / 0-)

    then I saw "raising children" - an inherently creative endeavor.

  •  I am looking for suggestions on (13+ / 0-)

    books about Native American history (Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee has been suggested, and I've read 1491)

    I'm looking for a pretty broad and comprehensive look to get started. Ojibwa's diaries are great too.

    What have you read?

  •  Kate Whouley! (11+ / 0-)

    Glad to see that you've started her book, cfk. Her mother made (brief) appearances in the earlier book about her house. Speaking of books about challenging situations, I'm waiting for the audio version of Until I Say Goodbye to come out next month (the narrator is an acquaintance of mine).

    Since I finished The Good House a few days ago, I've been raving about it to anyone who'll listen, but I'll spare you folks that. Leary manages to nail the main character's voice, the plot, and setting details. My blurb would be: sixty-something professional woman torn between her career success and her “townie” roots in a burg that's become a hot destination for the Boston elite. Also, in spite of said achievement, she's older, alone, and no raving beauty, handling her situation by the fifth. The rehab she attended at the insistence of her family didn't “take” … but that's okay, as she's not “really” an alcoholic. Uh huh … sure. Hildy's an amazing protagonist, one in whom I felt invested more than almost any other novel I can think of.

    I've also been listening to Trollope's The Way We Live Now (32 hours!) towards a May discussion. I loved the BBC production starring David Suchet, but this is a very different experience. Timothy West (husband of actress Prunella Scales) is such a terrific reader that when I went to get a feel for the story, just for a short listen, it was three hours before I finally turned off my mp3 player!

  •  I used to create by building and decorating (13+ / 0-)

    virtual dollhouses in a video game called, Sims2. I hardly ever played the game, i just liked building houses. Now, i have to content myself with looking at pictures online. Reading a new book found while doing laundry, "Island Of Vice" by Richard Zacks about Teddy Roosevelt's tenure as a police commissioner in NYC before the turn of the century,

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:18:46 PM PST

  •  Hillary Mantel (10+ / 0-)

    is in the NYT, seems she wrote something about Kate Middleton that was fearlessly misunderstood.  

    "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

    by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:20:56 PM PST

  •  Rereading (9+ / 0-)

    Die Upon a Kiss by Barbara Hambly -- one of her Benjamin January novels about life in New Orleans before the Civil War.

    Wow.  Terrific.  I have loved this series from the very beginning, but had forgotten how wonderful this particular novel is.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:32:44 PM PST

  •  Did someone say "Curiosity" ... ? (12+ / 0-)

    ... Oh, I see --- continue RBLers

    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

    by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:34:17 PM PST

  •  Did Curiosity Really Kill The Cat? (14+ / 0-)

    I've always found it interesting that in a lot of stories throughout time, curiosity is treated as almost a "sin," since its pursuit & discovery usually signifies the loss of innocence.

    Science-fiction in particular has strong Luddite tendencies that runs through a lot of it. Even though science fiction deals with possibilities and all the wonder that may be, it also has a habit of tempering that notion with a lot of paranoia and suspicion of advanced technology & its application, or the aliens that may be out to enslave, kill, or take over our bodies, or the drug/genetic engineering that may turn us all into zombies.

    "The Hunger To Know Things" is a common theme in literature & mythology, but it's been balanced over thousands of years with messages in a LOT of stories that the pursuit of knowledge may destroy paradise. The Bible uses this trope with the temptation of "The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Greek Mythology has both Pandora & her box, and then Prometheus & his gift of fire.

    For example:

    • In Frank Herbert's Dune, one the highest laws of society is a prohibition on thinking machines. Thousands of years before the events of the book, humanity fought a religious "jihad" against the machines who caused a state of apathy and ruled their lives.
    • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has at its core a fear that science & technology are encroaching on the territory of the Gods (hence the novel's subtitle; The Modern Prometheus).
    • James Cameron's 'Terminator,' Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, & I Must Scream," and Dennis Feltham Jones "Colossus" series all deal with man destroying itself by making machines too smart.
    • While one of the defining aspects of "Star Trek" is its theme of technology & science being mediums through which people will be united (the development of Warp Drive is a seminal moment for humanity in the overall story), the franchise takes a dim view of genetic engineering (Khhhhaaaannnn!).
    • In Ronald D. Moore's "Battlestar Galactica," the characters eventually embrace spirituality, and come to believe "God has a plan" for them & the Universe. They must reject technology in order to have a chance at unity & peace.

    If you look back at the fiction of the 1950s & 1960s, you see an interesting dichotomy with nuclear weapons.

    Nuclear weapons & nuclear energy become both our greatest hope & the greatest threat to civilization. Within a lot of stories, nuclear weapons are humanity's trump card against whatever threat we might be facing. And yet, something nuclear might also be the cause of genetic mutations or whatever accident that creates the hideous monster that's killing people one by one.

    •  Thanks! (8+ / 0-)

      I enjoy your posts so much!!!

      I hadn't really thought about how it is a sin to be curious, but you are certainly right that stories seem to say that quite often.

      I hope we can get over that kind of thinking.  Curiosity on the part of scientists and many others has saved us over and over.

      I worry about children not being allowed to be curious.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:43:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Leave Frank Herbert out of it. (7+ / 0-)

      With all due respect to any lucky readers who actually managed to gag their way through the purple prose of Dune and come out relatively unscathed, the guy was a horrible writer.

      To quote a wit, "That's not writing, that's just typing!" could not possibly be applied to a more deserving typist than Herbert.

      I will never understand how he ever managed to get published -- and not once, but multiple times.

      Excuse me while I go use some brain bleach to forget how truly turgid was the prose of Dune.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:47:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dune was originally published by a car guide (5+ / 0-)

        publisher (Chilton).

        The world-building is fantastic in Dune.

        •  That explains it! (5+ / 0-)

          ANYTHING would be more interesting than reading a car guide.

          Certainly Dune isn't more interesting than anything else BUT a car guide.

          I have been told that the book is wonderful, once you get past the first two hundred pages.

          A FAN of Dune told me that.  "Sure, but after the first two hundred pages, it's great!" he said.

          I am sorry.  Life Is Too Short.

          Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

          by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:00:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I liked the first book Dune, but could never get (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, Monsieur Georges

            Into the others.  otoh, i liked it from the beginning.

            I have read it many times over the years and at least once I can recall in the last five years.

            Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

            by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:51:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  IMHO, judging art is a fools challenge (11+ / 0-)

        If two people can listen to Jazz and one hears noise while the other beauty then which is the truth? Both at the same time?

        Certainly people are entitled to their own opinions but I don't condone such sweeping generalizations. There are quite a few Pulitzer Prize winning books that I find dull and uninteresting as I do their authors. Frank Herbert was the best sort of writer, one who understands what he is, what he's capable of and who he's doing it for. Dune achieves everything a good science fiction novel should do namely tell a good story and relate some truths about the human condition while offering the reader a "sensawunda".

        It's like someone saying Lord of the Rings was a bad book because Tolkien didn't know how to pace it the way a modern novel would be paced. It misses the whole point.

        This head movie makes my eyes rain.

        by The Lone Apple on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:08:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well said (9+ / 0-)

          I certainly was young when I read both Dune and Lord of the Rings and I did find a sense of wonder.  So many great fantasy stories do that for me.

          I understand that someone may not like the books I love.  That is why I like Bookflurries.  I hear all sorts of things :)

          Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

          by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:11:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  But Tolkien knew how to write. (5+ / 0-)

          I was hooked, from the first page.  Reread the LOTR about three or four times, Hobbit too.  Tolkien was a stylist.

          Herbert?  Not so much.  Not at all, in fact.  I tried -- I did, I tried about four times b/c my lover kept telling me how much she loved it.

          Never got past page 20.

          See, I think published books ought to be well-written.

          And Dune?  It Just Is The Worst Piece Of Prose That Side Of Dan Brown.

          (And frankly, even Brown is a better writer.  Oh, sure, he's a terrible writer -- but Herbert makes him look like Shakespeare.)

          Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

          by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:12:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now There's The Difference (7+ / 0-)

            I find Dan Brown's storytelling utterly cliched and his melodramatic plots so full of coincidences that I am unable to suspend my disbelief.

            I suppose this is the reason for the acronym YMMV.

            This head movie makes my eyes rain.

            by The Lone Apple on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:21:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did I not make myself clear? (5+ / 0-)

              I agree with you: Dan Brown is a horrible writer, totally clicheed, can't write his way out of a paper bag, just awful.

              He is still a better prose stylist than Frank Herbert.  By an order of magnitude.

              But they both suck, and I will never again read either of them.

              Because Life Is Too Short to waste on bad books.

              Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

              by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:30:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree that life's too short to waste on books (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cfk, RiveroftheWest, Monsieur Georges

                One finds to be an unrewarding chore.  I feel that way about Faulkner and 100 years of solitude

                Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

                by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:55:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I appreciated the spell cast by "Dune" ... (5+ / 0-)

            ... when I first read it.

            Couldn't stand anything else by Herbert -- even when it was ghosted by Bill Ransom. You just may be right about the late author's fundamental ability.

            Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

            by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:24:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

              I think so.  In my professional opinion, Herbert was a terrible writer.

              I can understand being enwrapped by a writer's spell...maybe I was too old & too well-read when I first encountered Dune.  This is very possible.  After all, I was in college and had read a bunch of good writers like Tolstoy and Dickens and Dostoyevsky, not to mention Tolkien.  Multiple times I had read Tolkien.

              Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

              by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:36:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The "World" Herbert Builds Is Pretty Impressive (8+ / 0-)

        I'm not the biggest fan of the Dune series of books, but I think their appeal is largely predicated on the scope of the world Herbert builds & its eccentricities which touch in allegorical ways to real-world issues. (i.e. The spice = oil, the great houses = nations fighting & manipulating society to control oil, and the Fremen = a native population that wages a "holy" war against their occupiers).

        Dune's scale is one of the reasons movie & TV producers have had problems adapting the story.


        Just as exposition, the story has to set up:

        • The "Houses" (Atreides, Harkonnen, Corrino)
        • Their relationship to each other & the role of the Emperor of the Known Universe
        • What the "Spice" is, where it's located, and what it does.
        • The use of the Spice by the Spacing Guild & Bene Gesserit, what they do with the spice, their motivations, and their relationships & connections to the Houses & the Emperor.

        .....And that's all before ya even get into the main story with Paul.
        •  One important point ... (7+ / 0-)

          ... about the 1960's, when Dune was written.

          Oil is a dam' good metaphor, especially with Herbert's faux sufi-isms and arab-esques floating around the atmosphere.

          But LSD was being seriously studied in those days, plus was used and abused by growing thousands, then millions. We teens and post-teens thought we knew what "The Spice" really was.

          (Unfortunately, real scientists were soon forbidden to conduct actual studies of Psychedelics, so several generations have had to live with abuse instead.)

          Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

          by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:52:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I loved Dune when I read it in (10+ / 0-)

        middle school - for one thing, I was living in Dubai at the time & felt that he really got desert people. The level of detail about desert life was pretty amazing. Read the original series several times through high school.

        Tried to re-read as an adult. Found the misogyny overwhelming - wondered how I missed it the first 5 times. But I don't thing that it is bad to like them -- I did for quite a while.

    •  I read somewhere that the full expression is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Rimjob, Monsieur Georges

      Curiosity killed the cat.  Satisfaction brought'em back.

      Never heard the second part before, but I like it.

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:48:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just got home from Dem club meeting (10+ / 0-)

    planning a recruitment event

    Reading The Sparrow, it is finally starting to pick up -- they're building the spaceship. I am going to hate when she kills off (I'm assuming) all these people she's gotten the reader so thoroughly familiar with. Unless the trauma Sandoz went through is something else. But there's the matter of his physical trauma. so it has to be that they're dead.

    Also reading Fistful of Charms, the 5th (I think) book in Kim Harrison's Hollows books. And Do Life, an inspirational book by a guy who lost 120 lbs. I have such a backlog of stuff in my Audible library, I almost wish my commute was longer. I even have Gaiman & Scalzi waiting to listen to.

  •  remedial storytelling (9+ / 0-)

    Reading time is a bit squeezed since I'm working 10 or 11-hour days, and 7-day weeks.

    I am writing on the bus. Not fancy stuff like characters or plot or setting, but basic storytelling; the basics of what makes a scene work. I'm using children's cartoons to work from, because adult novels are too complicated for my writing ability :)

  •  Oliver Sacks (11+ / 0-)

    had a piece in the New Yorker a few issues back about his use of mind-altering drugs and the insights he gained from their use.  Fascinating.

    Recently read:

    The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollingshurst:  Brideshead Revisited meets Lucky Jim.   If you liked either of those titles, you should enjoy this pastiche, a three generational novel starting just before the Great War.  Interesting sub-theme about the ethics of writing a biography that extrapolates assumptions without much proof.

    Ian Rankin's Standing in Another Man's Grave, in which John Rebus is brought back.  Rebus is great, as usual, but the plot sort of fritters out, and there is one important plot device which I found hard to believe.

    The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway:  a majestic novel centering around Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.  Wonderful prose, but, again, the ending left me wondering if I am just not creative enough to believe the story could dovetail the way Gallaway chose?  But I did love reading his language, and wanted to know how the protaganists fared.

    Charles Todd's Proof of Guilt, was not up to the standards of the authors, in my opinion.  A plot that was all over the place, with many characters I could not care about.  Quite a disappointment, actually, since I usually enjoy the Ian Rutledge mysteries.

    Devil in the White City by Erik Larson:  probably one of the best books I read in the past year.  A lovely rendering of the Chicago World's Fair (the Colombian Exposition) with the competitive fights that ensued amongst the planners and the architects, while a serial killer was brooding just down the street from where the Fair was being built. Popular history at its best.

    I am interested in the right/let brain stuff too, cfk, and remember the revelation I had when I looked at Drawing on the Left Side of the Brain. I started doing some of the exercises and whoosh, I was off, buying all sorts of art supplies, etc.  Still enjoy drawing more than painting.

    Interesting diary, as usual.  Thanks

    Just waitin' around for the new Amy Winehouse album

    by jarbyus on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:16:42 PM PST

  •  Now for something completely different ... (10+ / 0-)

    ... like, how do I find time to sit and read?

    Been screwball busy lately, but managed to finish THIS:

    I'm unsure if it ran as an online serial like its predecessor, but the writing style thankfully starts on the "higher" level where the first book ended. (IMHO)

    There's an odd diversion before the plot starts rolling that may be a clue to where a third volume may venture to explore Valente's Fairyland, but I'll go no further that way -- except to say that it steers toward the emotional turmoil of "growing up."

    A somewhat brooding suspense thankfully replaces anxiety as this book's major vibe, but I still had to work a bit to continue reading after the "Revels" alluded to in the title.

    The climactic chapters are quite evocative of classic dreams, and the resolution of the whole scenario is much more integrated with September's experiences in Fairyland.

    By total coincidence, this little series fits pretty well into tonight's discussion of Mind & Brain. Both books spike the punch of psychological reality from a secretive flask of fantasy.

    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

    by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:16:43 PM PST

  •  I appreciate your discussion of R/L brain (9+ / 0-)

    While I think my left brain is fine, I think my right brain is even better.  Throughout my career, I would have a diagnosis well up or explode out of my right brain.  This sounds weird, but I would feel it on my scalp like a frisson.  Classically, diagnoses are a left brain function, one of several possibilities.  Somehow, I just "knew", and I would be right.  I think this is a right brain function which depended on how something was said as much as what was said.  (Electronic health records eliminate the narrative, and I hate them--just check lists).

    I have always been able to see the whole picture and think outside the box. I like design and systems.

    So, when in high school, they asked if I were like rserven, the math genius, the answer was definitely "no".

  •  I started reading "Edge of the Taos Desert", (7+ / 0-)

    which is about a woman who moved from NYC to Taos in the early 1900's.  I am intrigued by Taos.  The world's best collection of Japanese bamboo basketry is there, and I just bought beautiful hand-dyed rug yarn from Arroyo Seco, NM

    My reading is dictated by curiosity about a subject, for sure.

  •  What a stimulating topic you've chosen for (11+ / 0-)

    tonight, cfk!  Fascinating.

    I've had numerous reading jags in my life.  At one point I desired to know everything that could be known about T.E. Lawrence.  I read his books, his letters home (written in 1913), biographies--I was like a machine, vacuuming up information.

    At other times I wanted to know everything that could be known about life on a military fort in Roman Britain; European witchcraft; First Nations peoples in Canada; and I can't even remember what else!

    For creative endeavors, I picked "writing" on the poll.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:28:18 PM PST

  •  Hope you like the Barker (9+ / 0-)

    trilogy. I loved it. As for the poll, I didn't see my favorite creative burst which is day dreaming!

  •  I'm reminded that (9+ / 0-)

    Samuel Johnson suffered a stroke, which he described to Boswell.  Johnson recognized the stroke for what it was, and he feared losing his intellectual acuity.  I can't remember what he did (conjugations in Latin, maybe?), but he set about testing himself until he was satisfied he hadn't lost his smarts.

  •  did finish reading...... (7+ / 0-)

    .....the John Stuart Mill paperback, and it's now sitting at the book swap locale, probably for forever.  Have started At the Hand of Man by Raymond Bonner, where I'm at the point where the international section of the World Wildlife Fund is getting a huge raking over the coals.  (Prince Phillip doesn't come off too well either.  His wife doesn't get a mention.)

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:54:20 PM PST

    •  3CM ~ Hi! (4+ / 0-)

      What's up for Saturday night?  I'll be there about half past midnight Eastern time & am hoping somebody will be awake!

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:56:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, have drafted the diary..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        ......and it will be yet another autobot posting, so I can set it to post whenever.  Maybe 10 PM CST or something like that.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:05:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  uh, oh (4+ / 0-)

      about Prince Phillip.  That is too bad.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:57:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  mention of Prince Phillip is actually fairly.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk

        .....minimal, and it's in the overall context of the international division of the World Wildlilfe Fund being rather high-handed in its treatment of preservation of African wildlife, as well as internicine warfare with the US division of the WWF.  I'm sort of in a hurry to finish this book for the trade-in pile, and there might be a chance to make a dent tomorrow night.  We'll see.

        BTW, as noted to Youff above, this weekend's SNLC is another autobot posting.  If you're up for blog-sitting, that would be nice, but no particular obligation.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:07:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I will see what I can do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman

          Not sure, but I will try.

          Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

          by cfk on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:52:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no worries, thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk

            BTW, I did make a pretty sizeable dent in the Raymond Bonner book, so I'm pretty close to the end.  There's a lot to offend both sides of the conservationist debate, at least circa 1993.

            Of course, then arises the question of the next book to add to the hope-to-trade-in pile :) .

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:44:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  How Music Works (9+ / 0-)

    By David Byrne, the lead singer of Talking Heads and solo and collaborative musician.  Read his previous book, The Bicycle Diaries, and occasionally look at his blog.  He has a very curious mind and writes, it seems to me, as a way to discover what he's thinking about something.  His book on music, the history, the business, and the culture, is very thoughtful and informed by a lifetime of experience.  Lots of interesting thoughts and lines of thinking here.  Have to type up my notes before returning it to the library.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:57:29 PM PST

  •  I'm nearly finished with (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, MT Spaces, Youffraita, newdem1960, shari

    J.M. Coetzee's Dusklands, which is actually a pair of novellas (they could even be called long short stories).

    Last week I mentioned that the narrator of the first story was rather unpleasant.  Turns out he is an expert on psychological warfare, and sees himself as a hardheaded intellectual and a realist, what I (who have never read Ayn Rand) imagine to be a sort of Randian hero.  The whole picture falls apart, though, when he commits a couple of irrational acts (although he never really loses his faith in his own rationality).

    The protagonist in the second novella, this one set in Africa, is another person who's sure he knows what's what.  So far, he's met with several misadventures on a trip through the wilderness, but I'm not at the point yet where I know how the story will end, or whether the trip will change him one way or the other.

  •  Bet you can guess my choice ;-) (6+ / 0-)

    Just a quick drive by hi, since I only got home from my monthly elected official meeting. Reading: Emilie and The Hollow World-Martha Wells, The Goblin Emperor-Katherine Addison. Both are fabulous. Also rereading LoTR. Wrting: School for Sidekicks: The Totally Secret Origin of Foxman Jr., then 2 more Blade books.

    Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

    by KMc on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:14:58 PM PST

  •  Love what you say about (5+ / 0-)

    curiosity because I'm so perplexed that so many of my students are just not curious about anything. Whatsoever.

    I'm trying to engage them now by planning a project around primary sources. How will people know 10 years from now, 100 years from now, what is important to you? How will you tell them?

    Those who get it make me so hopeful about the future. Too many don't.

    As for what I'm reading, it's all over the map as usual. But George Saunders's 10th of December is glorious and there is a new Kent Haruf novel coming out, Benediction. And I started Louise Erdrich's Round House this week. Oh my. It's definitely the subject of an upcoming Contemporary Fiction Views.

  •  curiosity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Monsieur Georges

    a great topic

    i'm always curious about why people are the way they are and novelists can do a fantastic job in this or least for their characters and the world they create

    however, getting back to the mind brain topic, i have recently read a memoir called The Center Cannot Hold by Ellyn Saks. She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and her memoir is fascinating especially how she describes her world.

    She believes her psychoses serve to protect her from her painful thoughts and feelings and her delusions are triggered by pain and fear. She is not always psychotic.

    She is now  a professor of law at USC.

    definitely schizophrenia is a biological disease.

    currently ploughed through City of Thieves by David Benioff. what fun. it is a tale, verging on being a tall tale, about two young fellas, who are stuck in Leningrad in WWII during the siege, and are just about to get executed when they are given a reprieve. their task: to find a dozen eggs for the wedding of the general's daughter.  

    great writing. some holes in the plot. but still, a fun read.

  •  I looked online for the 4 quadrant test. (4+ / 0-)

    The first one didn't work because of a plug-in problem, I think.  The second was just... well, awful!  I came out as type 1 Pragmatist, afraid to do anything unconventional.  Well, golly!  Heh.

    My favorite test is still the Kiersey-Bates (or Myers-Brigg, same thing).  I came out as INFP when I took it years ago, and still would test that way probably.

    If you're into brain books, you might enjoy reading The Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, a personal autobiography by a doctor with bipolar disorder.  My own doc gave me that years ago.

    About the guy who had his vision returned to him... I've heard many stories like that.  It's also true of people who receive cochlea device implants to restore their hearing.  Depending on when the sense was lost (either hearing or seeing), the ability may not be fully recoverable because the necessary training that we get as children and babies to make sense of and to organize sensory experiences wasn't exercised when it was available.

    I've thought very recently about writing a diary on just this phenomenon.  

    There was a magazine back in the 80s called Byte Magazine -- it's probably still around.  It had a weekly do-it-yourself column with different hi-tech gadgets you could try to make yourself.  One of them was to make a digital camera using a common dynamic ram chip.  It turns out that 64k and 256k Dram chips (at least this was true 30 years ago) were identical to CCD chips, the chips used inside digital cameras and telescopes today, if you pulled the cover off.  The little bits inside the dram chip would flip on and off when exposed to light, so all you had to do was slice off the cover and then hook it up to a computer and, tada!  You had an artificial retina.  Attach a lens to it, and you had a cheap homemade digital camera, at a time when digital cameras were new and expensive and poorly understood.

    BUT... there was a problem.  The bits of a CCD chip are organized so that they can easily be converted and displayed as an image.  They're all where you would think they should be, right, left, top bottom.  DRAM chips are not that way.  So the image from the CCD looked like a bunch of sparkly TV noise.

    So... to make sense of it, it required a program that would try to figure out the organization of the bits of light and set them all up, top bottom left right, so they made sense.  It would figure out a map of the DRAM bits that was necessary to make it produce a coherent image.  After that, everything was cool.

    So imagine that as the poor guy who lost his vision at three years old.  Restoring his vision may be possible, just as hooking up a DRAM chip to a lens is possible.  But the necessary ORGANIZATION of all that noise coming in is impossible because the opportunity to sort it all out and put it in order is lost.  

    I imagine the same thing must be true of many people who get the cochlea implants.  They may be able to sense loud noises but never be able to distinguish violins from flutes.

    We perceive sound through the inner ear.  Tiny little hairs in the inner ear vibrate in sympathy with the frequency of the sounds that they are exposed to.  Each hair has a little nerve associated with it.  

    So when we hear a violin play an A note, the hairs that are long enough to be sensitive to an A (440hz) will get the strongest jolt and send that to the brain.  Other hairs of related harmonics will send lesser jolts.  Violins produce a "saw-tooth" shaped wave, made of a sum of even numbered harmonics, if I remember correctly, so hairs long enough to vibrate in sympathy with 880hz and 1760hz, etc., will get little jolts.

    A mind that hasn't been exposed to sound or music before has to organize and make sense out of these random pieces of information flowing in.  The window of opportunity for us to learn how to put it all together in a sensible way is only open for a while during our young childhood.

    •  interesting (5+ / 0-)

      about the brain

      just saw this little bit, via the wsj, no less, though i think looking at the full article is probably wiser

      about music and the brain

      evidence that early music trainingchanges how people process letters (in reading)  musicians use both sides of the brain whereas non musicians use only one side

      i was an infp last time i looked but i have changed over the years, had been infj, don't know where i am now

    •  Thanks for explaining, Dumbo (4+ / 0-)

      I have so often been amazed about what our brains can do.  That we are able to focus on something is a big deal.

      I have put Jamison's book on my wish list.

      I am glad to see you!!!

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:14:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have been sitting here thinking about this (4+ / 0-)
      I came out as type 1 Pragmatist, afraid to do anything unconventional.  Well, golly!  Heh.
      Not that I think any one small test will ever really be about all that we are, complex human beings that we are...

      But I think over the years raising three kids and now having 8 grandbabies and teaching for many years and so forth that I was forced to become a pragmatist.

      To survive, I couldn't waste time.  I had to move forward with whatever would work, learn from my mistakes, pick myself up and try again.  That I often used creative techniques when I tried again was serendipity.

      There are worse things than being a pragmatist and I am pretty sure that a lot of people think I am unconventional while I think I am normal (whatever "normal" really is).

      So, yeah...labels are not good.  What I got from the tests I took that had a lot of questions so many years ago was an illumination that the things I did a few other people did, too.

      I remember my third year of teaching seventh grade science when I worked so hard to set up several lab stations that the kids could move to...it took hours to prepare...and I said, "Now you can get up and move" with such happiness in my voice...and they just looked at me like why was this so exciting?  My learning style loved it, theirs not so much...sigh.

      One class always had so many questions that the hour flew by and another was dead silent.  Nice kids, but no questions... the class dragged on and on.  It wasn't just me.  A father came in and spent the hour with the silent group and was so wilted afterward that I asked him to come back to my fourth period class.  That refreshed him.  Poor man, he thought he had lost his touch.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 11:13:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wonderful explanation, Dumbo. Thank you! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monsieur Georges, Dumbo, cfk

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