Monday, May 7, 2012

On Scumbag Brains & Why The Mind Is The Worst Cage There Is

Wow, it's been some time since I posted anything, hasn't it? But why, one must wonder. Was it because I was too busy with many things? Nope. Was it because I had suddenly and spontaneously grown a life? Nope. Was it because my mind was empty and I didn't have anything to talk about? Hah, far from it! It was simple, run-of-the-mill 'I'm so lazy that I don't even feel like letting what percolates in my mind find its way into the ether.'. It is somewhat pathetic to think about now, so perhaps I should keep the pace up instead of finding myself addressing this again. I mean, one can only deal with so much embarrassment. (Though your mileage might vary with regards to that. I seem to be reminded daily that some people have no shame.)

So, why are we here today? Well, some of you might have heard of the infamous "Scumbag Brain" meme, which makes fun of the fact that the human brain can be quite the asshole at times; forgetting the important things you try to remember, remembering the useless stuff, keeping you up at night for no apparent reason, making you think that the monsters in the dark corner of your room do exist (they totally do, by the way. I had a stellar discussion with the young man with the slit throat. You'd think the fact that he had no vocal cords would be problematic, but...yeah, maybe I shouldn't get into that.) ..but yeah, generally, the brain does quite a few things that it should be ashamed of.

But then again, the brain does a bevy of other things that we are primarily responsible for. We tend to build the perfect cages in our minds, then step into them out of our volition, throw away the key, and then wonder why we can't stop thinking. It might be a shocker to some, but the brain's task is to think. Sure, you could argue that there's a bajillion (totally a number) different tasks that the brain does involuntarily, but when it comes to our own utilization, it really is all about thinking; important thoughts, mathematical thoughts, thoughts that should not be there in the first place, and many others. My point here is, the brain will not mind you using it to think, because there's no threshold on the sort of thoughts you should be entertaining. You won't attempt a thought and find a disembodied voice in your head saying 'No, thou shalt not think of this, because it will probably lead you nowhere and there is no point or reason for you to entertain it. Access denied.' (at least not yet, but I'm holding out for the future).

So, the brain allows you to think these thoughts, and with them you mold that beautiful cage that seems so appealing; the idea that entertaining such thoughts will lead you somewhere. You don't even know if it should lead you somewhere, but you think that the promise of clarity is preferable to the stark lack of knowledge. Perhaps we humans should've had precognition; it would have saved humanity a countless amount of thoughtful hours that really lead nowhere (and, you know, it would've been cool if we did have it.)

And thus, you end up in a vicious cycle; you want to think, your brain relishes being used, but the thoughts lead nowhere, and thus you think more, and more, etc. It's quite funny when you, okay, perhaps you shouldn't think about it. But, you see how hilarious it is, no?

You should break the cycle. The brain, a remarkable organ to be sure, has a finite number of thought threads that it can maintained without them becoming entangled and lost. So, distract it with other things, other threads to would keep it occupied and unable to pursue the vicious - and quite honestly obnoxious - endless strand of thought.

Because, really, believe me, it does nothing. Nothing at all.

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