DayJuly 8, 2014

Mind Blown.

Because like I’ve mentioned I’m really into neuroeconomics.

On Sunday I managed to catch the tail end of The Moth Radio Hour which included Ari Handel (while I was listening I didn’t actually catch his name…) talking about his days as a neuroscientist in the lab, working with monkeys – mostly one named Santiago. His story was definitely more storytelling than any concrete science but it was just a reminder that neuroscientists are eeeeverywhere I turn these dayz. Btw Ari Handel is a filmmaker these days mostly known for producing/writing Noah, Black Swan, and The Fountain. I mean HELLO. This guy knows what’s up.

And for a very mind-blowing TED Talk that reminded me about just how little our physical bodies mean, Miguel Nicolelis discusses brain research conducted with monkeys that can control robots on the other side of the world. Yeah, forreal.

It’s becoming increasingly frightening this thought that free will is just an illusion and that neurons work independently of the body so to speak. Neurons are capable of controlling more than just the body physically connected to the neurons in our brain. Anything that can interpret neuronal information can act as our body. We are not limited to just these here breakable limbs.

Btw: I’m looking into graduate programs.

Observable Universe.

This past weekend was delightfully long – it felt like the days never ended and there was always one more day off left to go. That feeling is completely unfamiliar to me because I only ever get one day off: Sunday, and even then I must still rouse myself unnaturally out of bed to attend temple service. But for three days I didn’t use an alarm and just went about my day.

On Thursday night I watched Snowpiercer with one of my aunts. The movie had a great plotline, the characters were sufficiently explained without any extraneous details, and there was so much follow-through in explaining everything. The plotline was very utilitarian in that way. There was plenty of action and the cinematography was great considering the movie took place on a linear train with “limited” space. I was completely amazed the entire time… and the end didn’t fail me either. I’m mostly disappointed the movie is playing only in select theaters.

On Friday morning I went to Barre class and got super worked by the instructor. It’s so rare I feel sore and I really like the feeling because it means I’m working new muscles. After, I headed to a nice lunch with Sebz at Luminaria’s in Monterey Park atop a hill.

Since I didn’t commit to any 4th of July plans I spent the day afterward looking for home goods. Then I watched Begin Again alone. It was such a lovely film – with really great catchy music. I bought the soundtrack immediately after.

When the film ended a woman, also alone, walked out just behind me. We naturally just sort of fell into step together because of the hallway. I didn’t really think much of it except notably I thought, “Oh she enjoys films alone, too!” Though I guess I was partially wrong… because as we walked a few more steps together she said something about how we were walking alongside one another. Instinctually I smiled and asked how she enjoyed the film. We exchanged a few words which created this immediate sense of bonding (in her mind, anyway).

She started spilling her guts about how her boyfriend of 4 years had just left her, and she had car trouble that very morning, too. I couldn’t really relate but I attempted empathy which seemed to suffice. But what she said that really struck a chord with me was: “Wow, it’s really nice to talk to someone when you come out from the movie theater.”

I think once upon a time I thought so, too. But I’m no longer of that mindset.

The last few times that I have seen movies with people were not very pleasant. It creates this expectation that it’s “together time” without actually being able to talk to one another. Connection through a shared experience without actually experiencing anything in the same way… doesn’t sound like a bonding experience to me.

For me, now, movie time is alone time, quiet time, time to just enjoy what’s in front of me without having to think or worry about anyone, not even myself.

So for me to watch a movie with anyone else creates worries – about being on time to the theater (suddenly it’s not on my own time), about where to sit, about if we’re going to eat before or after, worries about what we’ll talk about.

I want to rush if I have to, or drive slowly and pleasantly if need be, sit where I please without having to consult any other person, and bring my own healthy snax or splurge on some calorie-licious nachos if I feel so inclined, and NOT HAVE TO TALK whatsoever, not before/during/or after.

It’s very interesting how the same I am, and yet my ability to cope with things has rendered me a different version of the same self.

Image Credits: Huffington Post