Tuesday, January 29, 2008


You know what has always fascinated me? Well, not always, because its the sort of thing you have to grow to be able to even really think about. Not grow like age but grow like start taking the steps toward the direction of even becoming self aware enough to ask this sort of question. And I know that sounds pompous, like, 'oh, I'm far more evolved in thought than others', but think about it. Look around next time you're in public and tell me most of those people you see have the presence of mind to think about anything other than their basic, animal functions. The people reading these words will see what I mean and feel a kindship in what I say because most of them I know and I know they have the mental facility/mapping for this. But look at the everyday people on the street. So many of them are open books: Eat, Fuck, Phone, Work, Shop, Sleep, or something such as this. "WELL WHAT THE FUCK FASCINATES YOU ALREADY???" I can hear You saying.

My head.

Seriously, sit back and think. Not about anything in particular, just let your mind wander around for a while. Daydream. Contemplate. Whatever. Now think about work (not for too long), think about your school days, the bar last weekend, your lover's face, or Parent's sitting at the dinner table, think about as much stuff as you can. Then pull yourself out of it and become lucid of the N.O.W. again, and think about all those thoughts, what are they? Electrical impulses triggered by inner neural activity yada yada - they're like files in a Mac right (sorry PC users)? Well, look at your hard drive right now, how many MB of your total MB does what's on it use? There's the photos (those images of Ma and Pa at dinner), the song caught in your head (MP3), the conversational points you took away from a political sparing match at the pub last evening (Word file). All of these different types of information flicker across your screen as electrical impulses too, but they are also stored and accessible again and again (except perhaps the finer points of that discussion at the pub, if you were drinking more than you should have been). Stored and accessible and thus they take up room on that hard drive. HOW MUCH ROOM DO OUR THOUGHTS TAKE UP? WHERE ARE THEY STORED?

That's my point in a nutshell. I remember the first time I thought of it like this, and I mean really THOUGHT about it was on a drive to Dayton several years ago with Sara. She had taken the wheel and I think I was still in a quasi hypnogogic state after zoing out behind the wheel for an hour or two in the flat NOTHINGNESS of the Midwest (I love You Midwest) and I sat there in the passenger seat staring out the window thinking and then all of a sudden I was thinking about the space inside my head. There are YEARS and a multitude of physical locations and music and images and people and words and all this other shit, all collapsed down enough to fit inside my head. And if you're like me, when you go wandering through that stuff an enormous, amorphous landscape opens up and to catch yourself lost in thought is like standing on a precipice at the edge of some vast adn epic Savage land, rolling hills of information and feeling stretching out as far as the eye can see.

So where does all of it go? To think of it in possibly more abstract terms, how does all of that fit in this little round box equipped with all these other funky gizmos whose purpose is collecting MORE information ALL the time? What extra-dimensional theory would explain or map how all of these things fold and collapse into our physical form, and then open up for our perusal at a mere thought? 11 dimensional Supergravity? Brane theory? Superstring? I don't know, but thinking about it really revvs that inner landscape...


D said...

The human brain is still somewhat of a mystery to Jon/Jane Six pack and to many scientists. A computer hard drive is basically a double sided CD, computer designers can only cram so much onto that disk or suffer the consequences and GASP, make it larger. Yada yada, you probably knew all this technical bull-shit but my point is, current estimates of the storge equivalent of a human brain is between 1 and 1,000 terabytes, with a educated guess of about 3 terabytes. I think it's Gateway that's going to come out with a desktop this year that has a storage capacity of 1 or 2 terabytes, so that would equal the brain storage space of the slack-jawwed yokels you were talking about. A really technical answer can be found here


When scientists figure out how to store information in a biological object like say gel, water, or a fucking cantaloupe is when it gets interesting. I'm sorry Hal I can't do that

Big In Day-town said...

I've always wanted to be able to film a movie directly from my mind. I had that "appropriate soundtrack" idea YEARS before Tarrantino. ;-)