Monday, 9 April 2012

Free Your Mind- Microrecognize Your Natural-Born Cyborg

Let me introduce you to Andy Clark, Professor of Philosophy and Chair in Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland From Andy’s work you can be immersed into terms and concepts such as ‘microcognition’ and ‘natural-born cyborgs’. I am particularly drawn to his descriptions of our minds/human systems as cognitive hybrids, our bodies as electronic virgins. The Terminator movies with John Connor come to mind with the idea of cyborgs, but so does an image of a brain and all its neurons and circuits. Andy’s work opened my awareness of our neural circuitry and the importance of understanding our biology as a system to recognize our mind’s cognition, network, and composition.

Grasping knowledge of the circuitry and biology of our minds is not only important to aid debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, but allows for an appreciation of how the mind works and perhaps how we can begin to identify with human nature. We may be able to decipher mechanisms behind our judgements and decisions. Knowledge of patterns and trends that result from certain mechanistic interactions between neurons and chemicals flooding our minds should be critical not just for advancements in Science, but should be a critical interest of each human, each biological electronic virgin.
Andy Clark discusses further the significant contributions biology and technology render in the study of human reason in a short essay as a part of Science at the Edge: Conversations with the Leading Scientific Thinkers of Today edited by John Brockman. I have been reading and absorbing the variety of scientific thought presented in Brockman’s book- fascinated by the breadth of scientific discovery that collectively resonates the lack in knowledge of our own biological systems. Brockman’s book is an impressive collection of progressive scientific ideas from the best of the best of distinctive fields. If you’re interested in competing your thoughts and current knowledge and philosophies about human biological systems with the best scientific thinkers out there, I recommend reading Brockman’s book and checking out his web space Also to note, John Brockman is a renowned progressive thinker who has been described as an “intellectual enzyme”. Not sure how you feel about personal descriptors, but as a participant in the scientific and general human intellectual community, being described as an ‘intellectual enzyme’ is quite the proper pat on the back and tip of the hat.  Brockman’s web space is not only a space for Nobel laureates and fancy prestigious and very smart thinkers to communicate, distribute, and create knowledge, but is a remarkable intellectual experiment that I encourage you to discover.

As an aside- as I sit in a coffee shop throwing thoughts together into phrases- I am always reminded of the mind’s power as I attempt to read, listen to music, and write in an environment filled with background noise of coffee grinders, screaming gossiping girls, and mind dulling jazz or indie-type iTunes daily playlist tunes. I am able to meditate in my thoughts and concentrate solely on the analytical ones, tuning the circuits of my natural-born cyborg.

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