Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Consider the Ant

Yesterday morning I was off, so I went for only the second bike ride I've gone on this month. The first was the night before. Both rides, though not that long, left me exhausted. I had never felt older. Of course, I never had been. Until now. Not that it matters particularly. I've decided to skip the MS Ride next month. I can't really justify the expense. Maybe I'll just go out to the garage that day and sit in my brand new antique chair.
Today, it rained and the weather matched my mood which spanned the spectrum from gray to blue. I'm not really asking you to feel sorry for me. If you want a job done right, do it yourself, and I've got this one covered.
I've been reading Piano Lessons. The author interviewed Tori Amos. She described her piano as her best friend. She loves just being alone at the keyboard. As I'm noodling away here at my keyboard, I can't help thinking, "It's like I've got a twin!"
No, really, I can't. If I understand the latest science on emergence, and I don't, then complex systems arise from the interaction of simple rules. Ants are not intelligent, nor are they guided by leaders, but they create complicated and hugely successful societies. In the same way, our billions of neurons are not guided by a central "me" they are just firing away, although so far, nothing in my head has created a complicated and hugely successful society.

1 comment:

  1. "If you want a job done right..." I love it. I'm going to have to borrow that one next time I'm feeling blue. I'll, er, add a footnote with your name on it.