Thinking the neurons would congregate sufficiently in action to support the cognitive endeavor, he soon realized…

Thinking the neurons would congregate sufficiently in action to support the cognitive endeavor, he soon realized…

 I’ve learned a lot about writing since my early childhood, however,that’s not to say I’m an expert by any means.  For instance, one thing that I’ve learned  along the way about writing is that when you make a promise to the reader that you have to keep it.  Obviously one example of that in this case is the title.  While it sounds a little bit like mad Libs or ad lib.’s which was an old favorites of mine as a kid, tonight my cognitive endeavor if I can call it that is an attempt to write this whole passage or blog with my Kindle using audio dictation or voice recognition.  

 Tonight I’m sitting in the swing under the moonlight in the backyard surrounded by woods and mosquitoes which are unfortunately for me enjoying it a bit too much and alas I wanted to write this blog completely outside.  Additionally, I’ve been playing around with ultra portables also called convertibles or hybrids; these are touchscreen devices that have a keyboard like a laptop, they’re also very light and some of them fold all the way around or have a detachable screen like the Microsoft surface.  Originally, my plan was to use one of these ultraportable devices to write the blog using a standard keyboard but I haven’t figured out how to do that comfortably in the swing. I was gonna build a frame out of wood to hold the device and fit in the swing but I haven’t done that yet.  So that brings me to where I am currently and I’m using the Kindle Fire HDX which is a standard tablet and voice recognition to write all of this and so far so good.  Yay.
 So to finish out the title of this blog, he soon realized that speaking is not the same as typing when writing as apparently it uses a different part of the brain and mine isnt quite as exercise as the typing part of my brain.  While the Kindle is doing pretty good with accuracy I can still tell it’s having difficulty with my southern English.  This reminds me about reading some twilight zone history about Rod Sirling’s writing method that with a lot of those old stories he actually recorded on audio while he was outside by the pool with a nice view and had somebody dictate them later.  While my view isn’t quite as nice as Rod’s was probably I’ll take what I can get.  And so far this little experiment hasn’t been too painful.  I have learned that with the Kindle I have to say the word period quickly after finishing a sentence or it ll put a space before the period like this .  

 While writing this I’m also using a Kindle app for WordPress so I’m not sure if it’s saving it every so often like the web version does so I maybe taking a little bit of a risk here.  I guess I’ll have to hold my breath when I press the publish button and hope for the best. 

 I have a long commute to and from work so I also use an audio recorder for a lot of my science fiction writing ideas and this is a little bit similar that when trying to collect thoughts and record them with audio. I’d also consider getting some PC software called DragonDictate and play around with it but their versioning schemes were very little bit much for me and I was afraid that the functionality I needed would not be in the version that I acquired.  If you don’t have a Kindle tablet you can also use I’m sure a different device such as an iPhone or even Google’s voice recognition.  I will probably try one of those other devices with a future blog post.  I’ve used Apple’s voice recognition and Google’s voice recognition and I’ve had various results with those so I have to say that Amazon’s voice recognition isn’t too bad. Tonight I probably got an accuracy of somewhere around 92%.  

 I meant to time the blog tonight to see how long it took me to compile it but I didn’t do that. I suppose it’s about 45 minutes so it’s not nearly as efficient as typing but it has been interesting nonetheless.  Okay so I guess I better press the publish button now and see what happens.  There are two firsts tonight, using voice recognition to do this whole blog (mostly) and using for the first time the WordPress app on the Kindle. I kind of feel like one of those wheel of fortune contestants that will spin the wheel and clap while saying big money big money so…  big money big money or please dont lose my post wordpress.  🙂  And if you’re wondering… I did get that emoticon or emoji (I  always forget which) by saying the word although it added a nose and I did take the nose off 🙂

how connected to past you is present you?

how connected to past you is present you?


unsplash-logoLuke Chesser

This evening I’ve been listening to a playlist i created on amazon music a couple of months ago – (a lot of people don’t realize that if they already pay for amazon prime that they can get access to a lot of music included with their membership just by downloading the amazon music app.)  The songs roughly a dozen carefully chosen and sorted are by only two artists – sia and rachel platton.  I know listening to the same songs over and over would drive most people crazy but I’m weird like that.  Before dark I fed all the animals – 6 dogs, 1 cat, and 9 chickens while listening to the playlist.  Then i cooked some frozen zipper peas (that I bought from a local farm last summer that me and my family shelled by hand back then) and washed dishes while listening to the playlist.  Then spent some time on the treadmill while umm well you know.  Then to cool down i went outside to the backyard swing (the one that swings fast) in the cool night air – again same playlist.

I chose music to talk about because a lot of people relate to it when tying to memories from their past.  Usually in that context it’s just one song or maybe even one way of listening to a song such as listening to an old album you had on vinyl that had a scratch on one part of the song.  Maybe it’s a song that you and an old friend related to or maybe it’s one that only holds special meaning to you.   It’s pretty undeniable that when a past event or events are tied to specific music that listening to that music helps you recall and experience in more vivid detail those old memories.

I enjoy being a life long learner especially when it comes to the sciences so i’ve always been fascinated by psychology and neuroscience.  Therefore, i’ve noticed something strange about the “strange” way i listen to music.  It took me a long time to utilize playlists on the many music devices i’ve had over time but several years ago i started building special playlists of carefully selected songs.  I used these playlists for weeks or even months at a time.  I had an old one made of celtic music, love and rock songs, instrumental, and even a few country songs that i listened to when i started walking and trying to get in better shape several years ago.   Some of the songs in the collection were from movies that I liked and some i watched with my wife and daughter, and some were instrumentals from documentaries that I liked.  Therefore, a lot of the individual collection were handcrafted from different pieces of my past and some that friends had recommended.  It’s almost like the playlist was a type of tapestry of a timeline from my life.

Back then i listened to that playlist which was roughly 90 minutes long because a lot of my walks were 90 minutes at that time.  I had some custom walking tracks that i cleared through the woods here and I also walked very consistently at a public park in Alabama in the city where I work.  I found that old playlist a while back and listened to the songs again and I remembered specific rainy days where i walked my 90 minutes here at home in the rain refusing to call off my walk due to weather.  I remembered many windy days at the public park in great detail just from listening to the songs in the same sequence that i had listened to over and over.

The playlist is the same concept as you experience from that one song you remembered from high school or your childhood but with the playlist and the additional number of songs, it’s like you have more resolution within your brain to map to those old memories.  That is if you can stand listening to them over and over.  It’s probably not something you should do if you don’t already enjoy listening to playlists but if you do then maybe you should save all those playlists so years from now you can recall them and maybe even get back to some of those old memories.  Assuming you want to get back to those memories.

I’ve done a similar experiment with memory by trying to remember the many books i had as a child and reacquiring them cheaply from thrift stores or from online stores like amazon.  It’s been amazing that when i see certain pages with unique color patterns that i can actually remember seeing those pages as a child and thinking wow that’s a weird choice of colors on that particular page.  It’s neat to re-experience the artwork from those old children’s books too.  A lot of them have beautiful and very unique art styles in addition to the story woven within the book.

The real question that I pondered tonight while swinging high (as in fast not as on drugs b/c drugs are bad mmm-kay) on backyard swing is how is current me connected to past me.  I’ve read in biology articles and books that we as a living organism are really made up of mostly water and bacteria (some symbiotic, some evil, and some in between)  in addition to our many specialized cells and then those are made up of atoms are actually rebuilt nearly in their entirely every so often.  So in some ways your cells (an thus atoms) if you can say that they are you are mostly new and not the same cells and atoms that made up you just a month or two ago.

One common thread at least a little more so, however, is our memory.  But even that is questionable because is the current you really the same you as 10 years ago?  Unfortunately other than sharing experiences prior to that time with old you and having the same genetic material, you can’t ever be that old you again.  You can’t even be the person you were yesterday or last week precisely because you can’t unlearn or unlive all the experiences and memories since whatever point in history you choose to consider.  So in that way each day we are a new person and are never quite that person we used to be.  It doesn’t take a life changing event such as loss of a loved-one or a breakup with someone close to us for that to be true because it’s always true.

The memory experiment with music and playlist is just one i chose to illustrate as a way to recall memories but it doesn’t really change anything.  It’s just an interesting observation and if you enjoy listening to music like me then it can be an entertaining little experiment.   And i always try to include a few nuggets of knowledge that I’ve learned or a quote here are both.  The quote by T.S. Elliot which i suppose the place in the quote may be a physical place like home or it may be a place within our mind meaning that one day we may come full circle back to all our memories before us and truly understand them for once in our life.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
And what is a talk about memory with mentioning deja vu?  And if you’ve ever wondered if there was an opposite of deja vu then you’d be happy to know there is.  It’s called jamais vu – it means you’ve seen something before and thought it was the first time you’ve seen it but in reality you have seen it before but only forgotten it.  Maybe if the memory of it had only been connected via music that wouldn’t have happened.  🙂  Good night.




Infinity’s Conveyor of Numbers and Thoughts


Infinity’s Conveyor of Numbers and Thoughts

If I take the concept infinity as it applies to numbers and add something to it such as thoughts then do I still get infinity even if that something else isn’t purely a number?  So David Hilbert had his infinity hotel and I have my infinity of thoughts?  No?  Maybe?  LOL.

And what does this have to do if anything with Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise?  And more importantly will these thought experiments lead to an infinite loop inside ones mind?  Nah, that would only happen if you were more connected to the other yous in parallel universes of course assuming such things exist.

So why even consider such profound and incomprehensible ideas that some people would consider useless and headache invoking?  I think I agree with many ideas Max Tegmark lays out in his book Our Mathematical Universe and Andrew Liddle summed up nicely in a review for Nature,

The culmination that Tegmark seeks to lead us to is the “Level IV multiverse”. This level contends that the Universe is not just well described by mathematics, but, in fact, is mathematics. All possible mathematical structures have a physical existence, and collectively, give a multiverse that subsumes all others. Here, Tegmark is taking us well beyond accepted viewpoints, advocating his personal vision for explaining the Universe.

Ok, now may be a good time for me to admit that I’m a Math major and a bit obsessed with math and physics but please don’t hold that against me because if Max is right then we’re not only related genetically as humans but also as numbers.  🙂

And so you don’t consider me as being totally biased I’ll even include in this fanboy glorification of science, physics and all things math, for your viewing pleasure since you’ve made it this far – a dissenting opinion from an old show I somehow got exposed to as a kid and still enjoy today…

Not every show can get away with having a weather balloon as the evil villain:

And so you don’t think I’m the only one who thinks of the risks of infinite loops, I end with an interesting thought by Douglas Hofstadter ingeniously named Hofstadter’s law that says “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”  The “it” in this case is describing my point.  Good Night.  🙂