May 21st, 2017: The Brain

We host a discussion club every few weeks where we choose a thought-provoking subject to come together to share and discuss articles and other forms of writing about.  This week's topic: The Brain (science, philosophy, or abstract interpretation of). 


1) The Caretaker  - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

Submitted by Gabby Costa

Description from the composer, Leyland Kirby:

"The Caretaker conjures a quieter, more introspective spirit, lost in his own mind amidst
a low-lit labyrinth of ever-decaying and antediluvian shellac phrases. Sourced from a
mysterious collection of 78s, these vague snippets of archaic sonics reflect the ability of
Alzheimers patients to recall the songs of their past, and with them recollections of
places, people, moods and sensations"


 How Hazardous is Cell Phone Radiation for Your Brain? – Be Brain Fit

Submitted by Paige Emery radiation-brain/


Walden by Henry David Thoreau (excerpt)

submitted by Jenna Goodman

"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy
bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I
would drink deeper fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count
one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was
not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way
into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is
necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My
instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their
snout and fore-paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I
think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining rod and thin
rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine."


The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore (excerpt)

submitted by Sabeeha Mirza

"Consciousness itself is something we value highly and tend to think of as uniquely
human and special, but whether it provides any selective advantage is a fiercely debated
issue (e.g. Blakemore and Greenfield 1987; Chalmers 1996; Dennett 1991). Some argue
that consciousness could not have evolved unless it had a function, while others
maintain that consciousness is not the sort of thing that could have a function. For
example, if consciousness is an epiphenomenon of attention or language or intelligence,
then the selective advantage would be for hose capabilities, not for consciousness itself.
More radically, some believe that consciousness is an illusion, or that the whole idea of
consciousness will ultimately be dropped, just as het idea of the ‘life force; was dropped
when we began to understand the mechanisms of life. Clearly, consciousness cannot
help us explain the big brain; you cannot solve one mystery by invoking another."


Who's Minding the Mind? - New York Times

Submitted by Taylor Boylston


The Buddhist and the Neuroscientist - the Atlantic

Submitted by Mukta Mohan neuroscience-compassion/397706/


The Brain on Trial – the Atlantic

Submitted by Olive Kimoto on-trial/308520/