Mother Nature’s Own Computronium

Mother Nature’s Own Computronium

As the early morning sunlight levers apart my eyelids, a heavy world and a full bladder force themselves into my consciousness. Eyes open, bedroom ceiling swimming into focus, so to do the pop-ups that the integral HUD jacks directly into my optic nerve. I guess that explains the dreams, though they say there’s minimal bleed-over, minimal probability of ill effects.

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Your Brain on TV…Top neuroscientists (mainly me) in SHOCK FINDING: TV-world NOT real-world

Your Brain on TV…Top neuroscientists (mainly me) in SHOCK FINDING: TV-world NOT real-world

Banner Photo by Murai .hr on Unsplash

TV-land is an alternate reality where rare and oddly telegenic catastrophes happen with alarming frequency. Though limited to a convenience sample, enough screen-time has been spent in certain parts of TV-land that it’s possible to analyse that frequency and see how it mirrors – or not – our own world.

Possibly “…the first quantitative estimate of the size of the pinch of salt which should be taken when watching soap operas,” [1] estimates that in the UK the most dangerous vocation by mortality isn’t bomb disposal or Formula One driver, but being a character in a long-running British soap opera. Death by violent causes is approximately three time more likely in TV-land than in our world, leading to the following the advice to those who are considering becoming a fictional character in a TV soap opera. They:

“would be advised to wear good protective clothing (designed to withstand sharp implements, sudden impacts, and fire) and to receive regular counselling for the psychological impact of living in an environment akin to a war zone.”

From [1]
Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash
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My Brain…heart-themed and channelling the Grim Darkness

My Brain…heart-themed and channelling the Grim Darkness

What I’ve been reading

The heart-themed background is just a happy coincidence…

If – as Larry Niven’ s ‘Law’ would have it – the only universal message in science fiction is ‘There exist minds that think as well as you do, but differently’ then this particular book is a fascinating study of navigating relationships when mutual social cues and basic understandings are not a given. The biology is mostly similar, the technological cultures are mutually comprehensible, and the linguistic barrier has been surmounted – but what if something still just doesn’t translate?

The drama hinges on the well-being of the protagonist – and maybe human presence on the world depicted in the book – being dependant on the goodwill of beings who may not have such a concept. The consummate writing means that despite not being sure I’d be into holiday reading hinging on diplomacy and not PEW!PEW! I was hooked and will definitely reading more of this series, and this author (though that was never really in doubt…).

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