Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thinking Way Too Much

My brain is tired. I've been doing research for my book. Yes, every once in a while a writer needs to stop making things up and check the facts. The best lies contain a grain of truth and when you're planning to twist the truth, you need to know where to start. Especially when you're writing a novel in the political thriller/romantic suspense genre.

I'm convinced having to do all this research is karmic payback for not paying attention in history class. I even dragged out my daughter's high school history books today. If he could see me now -- and if he were capable of it, the dour old fart -- my AP American History teacher would be laughing his ass off.

Have you ever visited the website for The State Department? Or the CIA? Or the Defense Department? It is amazing just how much stuff is available for public consumption. Of course, I probably just got myself put on several watch lists. Sigh.

In the course of my wandering through the internet, avoiding any real work, I found an article about free will and whether it exists. Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, occasionally discusses this topic on his blog and that's where I found the link. Here it is, if you're interested:

Financial Times article: I think therefore I am, I think

Geez. Talk about thinking too much. Even I will admit that thinking about this theory made my head hurt. But I also find it rather fascinating.

I think I'll use it as a defense if anyone ever wants to know why I was doing all that other research. It was simply the result of random neurons firing in my brain.

7 comments:

Jennifer Talty said...

Thinking in general makes my head hurt. I try to avoid it at all costs.

McB said...

Interesting article. I've read variations on it before. As for the guy who wants us to rethink morality, he's missing the whole point. Sometimes people just think too much.

orangehands said...

i've read things like this. i'm just going to say, ditto MCB.

and yes, i've been to thsoe websites. one of many reasons i am on watch lists. :)

btuda said...

Knowing full well history was my weakest subjest, I decided to take "The Dark Ages" in college. Huge mistake. The class was depressing as hell (hence the title, "The Dark Ages") and all the reasons history does not stick in my brain came back to bite me in the behind. I did learn one thing - never set any of my story ideas in the Dark Ages.

And what I do need to know, I can look up.

bon cheri bomb said...

MCB and OH, you read the article! I didn't think anyone would.

One of the things I find interesting is that they are defining "distinctive build-up of electrical activity in the brain" as the process, when it might in fact be the result of another process we can't as yet measure. One that works in conjunction with free will.

Makes me think of the generally acccepted theory that we only use some ridiculously small percentage of our brain. And they determined this how? Just because we haven't yet figured out how to "see" something and don't have the ability to document certain activity doesn't mean it does not exist.

FTR, I don't believe it is possible to think too much. It is possible, however, to talk too much.

orangehands said...

you post, i read. sometimes late, but i read.

book done yet?

we use a very small amount of our brain, and they aren't even close to discovering its potential. its kind of amazing how much they could learn in the future...providing global warming doesn't kill us.

Mary said...

Well of course will isn't free. Wills are expensive these days.

And I judge any scientific research with a grain of salt (sometimes with a shot of Tequila as well), since no matter what they 'prove' someone else will come along and disprove it. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle between free will and fate (or neurons with a mind of their own, as it were).