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Archive for June, 2010

For those of my readers as fascinated as this Labrador by the mysteries of the human mind, I encourage you to  visit Errol Morris’ series at The New York Times.  Morris explores something called anosognosia and asks the question –important for any detective– can the incompetent ever recognize their incompetence?   The lemons pictured above are significant.  I will say no more.

June 25th, 2010
3:45 am

Readers of this site will know that this thinking dog takes an active interest in the science of the brain.  When he is able to shake off the shackles of melancholia (as well as survive sundry external existential threats) and find his way to the computer (alas, it has been far too long), he relishes bringing you something to savor from the world of neuroscience.

Today, it is this fascinating report from NPR by way of the ongoing investigations of Oliver Sacks.  The story is this: a Canadian writer of detective fiction awoke one morning to discover that he could no longer read.  All text looked like gibberish.  He had suffered a pinpoint stroke.  A writer not being able to read is newsworthy enough, but the story relates his progress from this apparently career-ending event to the triumphant writing of books again.  Yours Truly heartily recommends the story if only to remind all of us that our brains are plastic.  They can be improved.  They can be strengthened.  Dare I say it, we can become smarter (although, admittedly, this comes both from personal experience and other research, not this particular story).  This is important news for a world that seems content with loitering at the cerebral status quo and being self-satisfied with selves that could be developed (how often have I encountered a reader who complains about difficult or “overly hard” prose when, really, they should be complaining about their “overly soft” selves?).

Yes, it is time to stretch.  Both you and I.  Not only to reach that delectable appetizer peeking out from the table ledge above my head, but to return to my books and the strengthening of the gray “muscle.”  To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield et cetera.

In other news, the Italians have released book #3.  Once again, I must thank them for a fine job on the cover (I’ve never looked so dignified even if my Labrador back is still aching from having to stand up so straight and proper like):

June 21st, 2010
10:39 pm