Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I knew it...


...It produces and protects good germs for your gut. ...

... sometimes the flora of bacteria in the intestines die or are purged. Diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery would clear the gut of useful bacteria. The appendix’s job is to reboot the digestive system in that case.The appendix “acts as a good safe house for bacteria” ...


Well, ok... it's not THAT important allegedly, at least not in the modern society. But to know that I don't have that thing anymore always concerned me from time to time, I never could really believe that it can be COMPLETELY useless, it didn't make sense to me. I knew the day would come where I'll regret not having an appendix anymore. Today was it. I guess from now on I'll be extra careful to not get "diseases such as cholera or amoebic dysentery"...

I wonder what exactly caused me trouble with my appendix back then... It was probably because of my "normal" junk-diet but I also suspect that the whole thing might have been mostly psychological. If you want a short story of how it happened, it was something like this:

I guess I was around 12 years old. I had to get up and go to school one morning but I had absolutely no motivation. It's hard for me to say today which came first but I was also feeling some kind of pain somewhere around my stomach. Me and my brother weren't living in the same city with my parents back then. (This may be hard to grasp for some readers but it was basically because the quality of schools we were attending to were higher than the ones available in the city where my parents were working, allegedly. So they were in Bursa, we were in Istanbul.We had something like a nanny to take care of us.) I phoned my mom to tell her that I won't be going to school because I had some sort of stomach pain. Now here's the thing... I believe I really didn't really have that much pain when I told her this, it was possibly a lie, at least partially. But for some reason(guilt or true pain?) I remained in bed that day until my brother came back home from school. Meanwhile, apparently my freaky mom had been doing some research in the other city but I didn't know about that at the time. Anyway, my brother -3,5 years older than me- was on the phone with my mom and he was following her instructions and doing some kind of examination on my body; touching some spots around my stomach area and asking if it hurts or not. Without me realizing what was going on, either that evening or the next morning, my mother arrived at our home. She was telling me that I had appendicitis, somewhat proudly since she figured it out, and we went to see a doctor. (I don't know why she even suspected appendicitis. I doubt that I told her more than just a "My stomach hurts" kind of thing over the phone.) Now, after that point I clearly remember feeling real pain like a patient with appendicitis is supposed to feel. I mean it was really real pain. It felt like real pain. Then it didn't took long before the doc also did an examination and confirmed the appendicitis diagnosis, after a few hours I've been operated. I still have a cute scar. It seemed weird at first but I just got used to it in time.

This story might be highly inaccurate but this is how I was able to reconstruct it right now. And I had never told about the part with my lack of motivation to go to school that day to anyone before. So this was sort of revealing a long-hidden secret right there. :) But the main reason I didn't reveal that "secret" to anyone was probably because I didn't think it was significant. I'm still not sure if it is. Could I have been that "skillful" at literally turning myself into a sick person to a degree that an operation was necessary so that I don't have to go to school? Within a day? I can imagine it being true, since there were times when school was absolutely repulsive to me, but the overall feeling I get from remembering all the details of the story I told above -i.e. the pain- causes me to think that it's more likely that I really was in trouble with my appendix at the time.

Plus, we still keep the strange thing in a small jar to this day -like this- and it really never looked like a healthy organ to me. :) But I don't know how a healthy appendix in a jar would look like so it's hard to say how unhealthy mine really looks.

I'll never truly know I guess. Maybe my mother or brother can clarify it for me though...hmm...

UPDATE: I made a few (1 or 2) weak attempts to discuss this with them (or maybe just 1 of them) they didn't take me so seriously. Neither did I apparently; I didn't insist on talking about it and let go of it.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Consciousness > User Interface



Norretranders compares consciousness to a concept invented by the computer scientist Alan Kay: ''the user illusion.'' Sitting at the computer dragging documents into folders or into the trash can, the operator is under a machine-induced hallucination. Inside the computer chips there are no documents, trash cans, words or letters -- just voltages and charges representing the ones and zeros of binary code. Instead of overwhelming the user with a flood of useless information, the computer projects a simple array of metaphors: icons that can be manipulated to get things done. In a similar way, the brain, throwing away unneeded data, generates its own user illusion: the interpretation called consciousness. No wonder people constantly surprise themselves as their bodies are led through an impossible turn on the ski slope or their brains are seized with an idea that seems to pop out of nowhere.

Maxwell himself marveled at this phenomenon in a quotation used as the epigraph here: ''What is done by what is called myself is, I feel, done by something greater than myself in me.'' But it was not some supernatural force using the great scientist as its instrument. He was merely in the grip of his own brain.

Why not directly act from unconsciousness instead of trying to increase communication between consciousness and unconsciousness, instead of trying to feed the "consciousness" with our richer unconscious resources? Possible to live always unconsciously? Would it be more productive? Is consciousness necessary/useful? Advantages, disadvantages?

Consciousness = Piece of Art(ificial) ? Are "we" all pieces of art?

In the future people will get over their consciousness, they'll recognize the potential their unconsciousness has and will decide to become unconscious organic robots so they can achieve greater things. Or will they? Can I consciously choose to let go of my consciousness?

"Unconsciousness in Development" ?
"Conscious Unconsciousness in Action" ?

"...we have to forget things like "I should be mindful of this or that". If you are mindful, you are already creating a separation..."

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness#Zen_criticism
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