DayJuly 11, 2014

Cognitive Surgery

Just finished listening to a podcast, NPR’s TED Radio Hour on “The Hackers” in which Talks about the climate, the brain, and the animal kingdom are discussed. I started the podcast sometime at 6am just before my coworkers got in… but rarely do I get to finish a podcast before they come in to the office. At lunch I finished it and I have to say that the last segment on ‘hacking’ the brain moved me almost to tears…

Andres Lozano recaps his TED Talk about how brain stimulation can  help fix some neurological conditions (conditions of the mind) such as Parkinson’s. He talks about how one woman, with Parkinson’s, was able to stop her body tremors with the careful placing of electrodes.

He then went on to talk about how it is completely possible (in the future) for cosmetic neurosurgery in which you can potentially change your IQ. Though the ethics of this are very questionable, it is still theoretically possible.

Lozano, who is chair of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, even used electrodes to help rid a patient of depression and another patient of their excessive appetite which then triggered other sorts of brain states.

All these things really just sort of moved me. I’m not so sure if in a scientific way or in a “we’re able to help people in the ways they need most” kind of way. My empathy is rather questionable, but I was definitely moved.

That we are all broken is assured. But that we don’t have to be is sort of a new revelation to me. The mind isn’t a one-trick pony; a propensity for depression doesn’t always have to be that way from here till the end.

The mind is forever and always beguiling.

(This week has been particularly rough at work. I exceedingly do not want to be here. The problems at work feel petty to me. And people are further and further disappointing and emotional. I myself am completely unstable most days.)

Science gives me hope.

It’s the only thing that does these days.


On my drive home from work yesterday I managed to catch KCRW’s “Bookworm” segment in which poet Alice Notley discusses her new novel-length noir poem “Negativity’s Kiss.”

The segment really helped me feel some sort of excitement about reading and consuming all the wonderful things in the world.

I wanted to say about 10 things more in regards to this segment but then my mind got distracted…

– – –

Here’s where I will now just go into ramble/random thoughts I’ve had this week, in little to no structure:

“When aiming for the best…” just what is left?

Love no longer being a requisite for sustainable living.

In love with people from afar, but never for myself. No attraction. I can love who you are just for being you. So in love. But when I think of myself with anyone it is immediately a repulsive thought. No spark, no connection, just… immunity.

I want to look into yoga. But first I need to go to barre more often.

Since last week I have become an adult that listens to talk radio. When I was younger I would distinctly remember thinking my aunt such a bore for listening to talk radio and not music – music which is a big chunk of my heart, or at least used to be but now my heart wants to consume different things. I am that person that listens to talk radio.

It’s weird seeing my self transform before my very eyes. Even though I don’t have a full-length mirror at my new place yet. (Left it in Long Beach attached to the wall… prolly a mistake, that part. I’ve been guesstimating the silhouettes I’m making with my clothes lately.)

My hair is finally getting noticeably longer after MONTHS of short-ness. This has led to me impulsively putting my hair up into a ponytail or a bun because it’s at just that awkward length. But my hair is curling very nicely again because I’ve been pampering it with delicious oil in the morning and using a lot less heat styling.

I’ve been losing weight these past 2 weeks, even though I haven’t really been exercising lately. My appetite has been decreased for a while… but my love for eating hasn’t diminished, it just occurs to me less often to eat recently.

This has made me very comfortable with my body as of late. I still need some toning and hardening of the wobbly bits but! all my clothes fits with such a comfortable ease that this feeling is nice even if I’m not all stone… yet.

And so many other things. I can’t believe I haven’t been personal blogging lately. So many thoughts and observations. And so short on the time or the vocabulary to make those thoughts concrete – until this morning. Word vomit.