One of the best things I read in 2018 was a Pocket article entitled "The Empty Brain" ( Here's an excerpt:

"No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies of words, pictures, grammatical rules or any other kinds of environmental stimuli. The human brain isn’t really empty, of course. But it does not contain most of the things people think it does – not even simple things such as ‘memories’."

Certainly, we know more about the brain and how it works than we used to, but we know a lot less than most of us think we do. And those who are really in the know about such things know this: We may never get a handle on the brain because it is so incredibly complex, and it's inner workings don't correspond all that well to mechanical or electronic models.

To make an admittedly poor comparison, the brain is more philosophy than physics. And to make another poor comparison, to imagine we can truly comprehend the brain is akin to mere mortals imagining they can truly comprehend God. Of course, that doesn't stop lots of humans from purporting to know the mind of God and purporting to speak for Him/Her/It.

Still – though such pursuits are doomed to fall short, they are worth pursuing. That's because the pursuit is an end in itself, in that in both arenas, it leads to greater understanding of ourselves. And God knows, most of us are tragically lacking in that regard.

Views: 72

Comment by Ron Powell on January 2, 2019 at 6:55pm

Well said....

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 2, 2019 at 7:11pm

Tom: Ron, how can I ever thank you enough?

Ron: Well, you can't.

Comment by koshersalaami on January 3, 2019 at 9:43am

I never listened to what the Scarecrow said because I first heard it when I was too young to understand it. Never noticed. 

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 3, 2019 at 10:55am

Kosher  Also remember what the dormouse said: "Feed your head ... feed your head."

Comment by koshersalaami on January 3, 2019 at 12:43pm

I’ll throw in a Wizard of Oz tangent. Next time you see it, watch the sequence of the Wicked Witch of the West flying on her broomstick, then realize they hadn’t invented jets yet. 


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