Stupid brains. It's all your fault.

So I got to thinking...

(LIke I do)

And I think I've figured out the problem.

And the problem is this:


Brains are the problem.

You see, we're all stuck inside them, and we can't get out.

They really are the problem. Or, technically, the problems.

For one thing, they're about a kilo and a half of meat basted in a rich chemical soup, whose exact physical composition can either maintain "normal" operation or wreak endocrine havoc with the person stuck inside. Something as simple as dehydration can cause the 3 pounds of so of matter inside your head to completely lose its shit. Can you for a moment picture what a malfunction in processing a neurotransmitter like serotonin can do?

Well, yes. Quite a few of you probably can.

Mental illness is one of the least well-understood areas of health, but also one of the most insidious of problems, affecting as it does the very apparatus with which we process the information about how "we" actually are. Maybe one day we'll be particularly down. Or forgetful. Or foggy, or too hypersensitive, or too hyperactive. Or our thought processes may be fractured as in schizophrenia. Or we may just be undergoing some "normal" emotional process such as love, lust, grief or anger. But because it's our brain that's screwed up, we often can't tell that something's not right - because our brain is the thing doing the telling, y'see?

Introspection doesn't work when your introspection apparatus is on the blink.

We're like the Grebulon ship in Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless", our diagnostic circuitry blown away by a meteor strike. We - that is to say  our brains - have no idea what's going wrong because the equipment that figures out what's going wrong has gone wrong.

Which brings me to another problem.

Meat is not exactly a particularly reliable processor of information in the first place.

You see, even a brain whose physical functioning is tip-top (whatever that means) can be utterly incapable of correctly processing the data rushing through it.

The brain is prey to so many cognitive biases and subject to so many potential fallacies that it's a wonder most of us can even get through the day. Strange feedback loops reinforce perceptions whether they're right or wrong, flawed visual circuitry picks holy virgins in window streaks and fence posts. Auditory circuits are no better, finding as they do EVP and Mondegreens in the most innocuous of inputs.  And the whole time our brains think they're processing just fine.

For fuck's sake, there are people out there who genuinely think the world will end in two days.

Stupid fucking brains.

And if, as we've seen above, we can't tell when our brains are screwed up, how do we ask for help? Well, sometimes, with "transient" problems, we'll become lucid enough to recognise what's been going on, at which point we can squeak "help me" and hope someone with the requisite expertise can help. This may not be likely, because for one thing everyone else is stuck inside their brains too, and for another, it's all too easy for a brain to write-off a brewing problem as "just having a hard time". Because brains are stupid.

And what if we don't even have a lucid period? What if we're so far gone that we're a danger to ourselves and to others? Society, to me, hasn't got this figured out very well, because only in the most abundantly clear instances of potential harm do we act, and sometimes not even then. Brains again, see? Stupid brains.

And then there's their physical position. Yeah, sure it's encased in a kind of bony internal crash helmet, but that just means that a blow to the head results in concussion, haematoma and shear injury, because what shock absorbsion exists is woefully inadequate for a nigh-on two-metre tall primate which, as we've seen above, occasionally has trouble managing to put one foot successfully in front of the other.

And as if that weren't enough, that very crash-helmet we have under our hair also makes it:

a) absurdly difficult for female humans to give birth, what with the big heads and all


b) extraordinarily hard to find and fix a problem inside once it's started happening. Like, say, a tumour.


c) give no wiggle-room for the inflammatory response, a normal immune reaction elsewhere in the body but potentially disastrous should it start happening inside the bony box your meat lives in.

Brains are stupid.

Brains are bad and evil.

Brains are wrong.

Fuck brains.

posted @ Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:38 PM


Comments on this entry:

# re: Stupid brains. It's all your fault.

Left by StaggerLee at 5/20/2011 6:53 AM
But braaaaaaaains are forgot to mention that and they make the pain go away, the pain of being deeeeeeead

# re: Stupid brains. It's all your fault.

Left by jason at 5/20/2011 9:55 AM
I did leave that out, however I'm glad someone else mentioned it.

Yes, brains, in addition to being stupid, also attract zombies.

# re: Stupid brains. It's all your fault.

Left by RipleyP at 5/23/2011 8:44 AM
There is also susceptibility to chemicals that the brain seems to have. Drugs, alcohol and other substances become a regular part of the brains day.

Worst of the entire stupid thing, it starts to crave the damn stuff.

Stupid brain craves the very substances that make it operate at suboptimum. Oh and of course there is the whole zombie thing that really is a serious issue.
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