An Addendum...my brain on Nyquil  

Aaarrrggh 44M
35 posts
12/6/2005 9:24 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

An Addendum...my brain on Nyquil


Crippled by ague, and feeling as though submerged beyond depths that even my watch can withstand. I’m convinced it’s a poor attitude that has brought on illness, and I’m determined that a positive one will get me out.

My last blog entry touched upon the idea people’s tendency to judge or comprehend others and their actions using the scientific method. In fact, this is a bit erroneous. The same principles that predicate the scientific method (ergo science) govern our reaction to other beings. This has been referred to in scientific circles as algorithmic compressibility; it is essentially the human tendency to piece data together to form patterns or behaviour that can be understood by our primate brains. If you look at a chair, you don’t sit there and break it into the sum of its parts: the geometric shape, the colour of the upholstery, the materials from which it’s made. Instead you immediately recognize what it is, base on the algorithm performed by your brain. I maintain that we often do the same with people, but with fewer successful outcomes. We abbreviate information, thereby simplifying it into easily understandable terms.

There are no moral implications of this phenomenon. In fact, morality precedes the outcome. Take any observation, and the moral codec of the observer will likely affect the algorithm. Take abortion for example: to some, it’s murder, while to others it’s a procedure. One’s reaction to the outcome (of the algorithm) may likewise be due to one’s own moral precepts. Knowing this, however, may curb one’s tendency to act foolishly, or at least question having a singular, arguably narrow, vision. Your moral take on a situation may induce a ‘fight or flight’ response that can lead to irrevocably poor decisions. Morality is the software, but your response, and the algorithm itself is hard wired, and the software may shape this. Morality is unilateral, exclusive, and deceptive, now matter how liberal or conservative–even the most liberal in our society have spiked trees and felled men because of it.

But then there’s the inescapable: we cannot do otherwise. We walk among like-minded gentry in a governed society, with representatives elected by ourselves to implement a mandate based on these very principles. How can we escape such a convoluted snarl? Simply put, we can’t. We can only mitigate hastiness by choosing to do so, and choosing when to do so. Choice, after all, does away with all such trammels, and does what it is chooses, in spite of everything…in spite of nothing. And know this…there is nothing new under the sun.

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