Monday, May 28, 2007

Endless Grand Central

[originally published on 3.19.05, 4:43PM, from GCT]

So, nobody tell the MTA that there is free wireless in GCT. Even though I just told you. By tracks 114 and 113 in the food court. Awesome.

A note to my drug-induced (read the post) comments yesterday. I've cheated, and I've been reading Damasio's Looking for Spinoza rather than the Gary Marcus book, which it turns out is deeply related to Gladwell's latest (Gladwell cites Damasio and talks about Descartes' Error a fair bit, and Damasio uses the work of Ekman, who Gladwell tipped me off to initially). Anyway, like any good cognitive scientist, Damasio manages to weave drugs into the discussion of feelings, emotion, and the brain. And what should he cite as the best resource on drug experiences? Why, Erowid, of course.

This, along with Dennett's extended rant on hallucinogens at the beginning of Consciousness Explained, as well as my own, ahem, experiences simply strengthens my claim that, like the buzz-driven computer science of the 60's and 70's, cognitive science is the domain of drugged up and/or semi-psychotic intellectuals with too much or too vivd mental imagery... Well, this is mostly conjecture, although this article tosses in a number of shady references, such as how Timothy Leary's daughter took up programming (before she shot her boyfriend and hung herself in jail...hmmm).

But some might take issue with this idea, so I'll just limit the extent of that claim to myself and, oh, nearly every cognitive science student I've known at my darling home institution. Although, cog sci, drugs, and mental illness do not always fall in the same boat, as everyone at my home institution would thus qualify to study the mind; however, there may be a case for describing all humans as cognitive scientists. But my train is leaving in 9 minutes, so no time to defend the validity of that particular radical claim.

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