The brain just knows way too much.

**Please note, There are hyperlinks in bright white text. Click them. They are very relevent.**

The Brain knows a LOT. It’s not really something that anyone thinks about, too often. Because mostly, the train of thought leaves that subject, traverses the land of “The brain knows as much as I know. I mean. it’s my brain. That’s the point,” and boom, trip’s over, move on to your connecting departures, please have ticket stubs and I.D.s ready.

I started this with a point in mind, which involved retelling one of my dreams, but I’m afraid this bit of tangent is just way more interesting.

I often think about how related the brain is to a computer. This is because I’m a nerd, and I do a decent amount of research on the brain and other science-y things, meanwhile I’m still a nerd and am building computers.. The cortex, where all of your motor skills occur, is no doubt the processor. It’s cycling through reading exactly which nerve is in which situation. It’s reading thousands of nerve reports every second, just like a processor -processes(wow!)- every 1 and 0 of the computer billions of times per second. It goes to Nerve #00000000001 and checks if it’s burning, freezing, or being electrocuted. and if that nerve is on your hand, and it’s reporting a burn, because your hand is on the stove, it’ll access a system file in your HardDrive, which I’ll call ‘Move_Arm_Left.exe’ and then you’ll enter the inputs in the prompts -what’s happening, what task do you want to accomplish- and then activate it. You’re arm then lifts off the stove, waving through the air, and you yell, and your mom says she dropped you on your head as a baby. Because you’re clearly retarded for resting your hand on the stove.

I think RAM sits as your conscious thought, because it’s always readily available, and changes often. It also reflects one’s capacity for thought. An old computer with little RAM thinks very slowly, while a new baby thinks so fast, it puts that old fart to shame. If you think too much, the rest of your system will slow down, just like if FireFox is eating up all the RAM on your computer, everything will get slow. If that happens to your PC without having about 50 tabs open, you probably need a new computer. I’ve surfed with much more than just 50 tabs, many many times. Your PC often goes through and removes portions of data that aren’t being used, and we call this a subject change. ADD people are doing this RAM clearing service faster than everyone else. Little tiny bits of data remain, which is why if you haven’t restarted or shut down your computer in over a month, it’s not performing at it’s max (people do this and it baffles me). Sleep is basically a restart, which is why you should also probably sleep more than once a month, as well.

Your eyes are AWESOME. They are storing .jpegs every fraction of a second. What I’m about to explain is really cool. We ‘see’  so many frames per second(I’m not sure of the actual number, so for the sake of demonstration I’m going to say 30). But we’re not actually seeing things move the way we think we do. Think about how a strobe light works. The room is black. FLASH, people appear, some are in the air, some have weird expressions. Blackness. FLASH, everyone is in a different spot. Blackness. Welcome to animation. Your eyes are taking pictures of only half the amount of available frames. frames 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are images, 2, 4, 6, 8 are blackness. Then your brain takes image #1, copies and pastes it onto frame#2, giving your eye time to reposition itself for the next picture, and viola. smooth animation. Some people might say, but wait!! Why can’t we just SEE everything? because your vision really does work like a camera. There’s sort of a reason engineers designed it the way they do. You operate on exposures. If you keep the camera in picture-take mode(leaving the shutter open all day) the resulting picture will just be blurs of everything. So we view in framed exposures. You can see this in awesome detail next time you watch a movie on DVD, if your remote has a ‘next frame’ function (though it doesn’t actually work per frame, you’ll still be able to see it work). Watch Hancock. go to any scene in the movie with fast moving stuff (which is most of the movie) pause it. go frame by frame and study how everything changes each and every time you hit the button. Now pop in the Simpsons movie, and do the same thing. You can usually hit the ‘next frame’ button 2-3 times before the image will actually change. Because the artists don’t need to do more work. the rate at which the anomation changes, paired to rate at which your eyes take in light makes the movement of the cartoon seem fluid enough to never notice, or care.

Here’s another cool thing about watching TV. You never see the image. The TV set NEVER displays a picture. It displays a dot. ONE tiny DOT. THOUSANDS of times per second. If you could slow time down by a LOT, for every frame of imagery you see on the TV, say it’s the title screen of House. You will see the dot move from top left corner, to the right(and down super slightly, but you’ll never be able to see it). for the first few rows, the dot will be black, then as you get the section of the image where his face is, you’d see the dot go from black to skin tone, to white where the text ‘is’.

This is why you only see half of a TV screen if you take a picture of a show. So, anyway. The eyes take .jpegs of what you see, the ears record .mp3s(although it’s more likely a .wav, because it’s better clarity) and you store that information. Eventually your brain goes through in an effort to save space, views a file and then sorts into things to keep vs. things to trash. The most accepted idea is that this is what dreams are. Your brain’s opening of files and viewing them. I believe this is also what happens when in a dream, you’re walking down a hallway that becomes the mall, becomes school, becomes a house, becomes a space ship, because all of those visual files would be tagged under ‘things I’m walking through’ and thus are packaged into the same area. granted you’ve never been on a spaceship, but something made you think about the movie ‘Starship Troopers’ and you’re just borrowing the imagery.

There’s a statistic floating around that ‘we only use 5% of our brains’ and I call shenannigans upon that. I think of the brain as a HardDrive, divided into two partitions. Most people, when thinking about brain usage, only consider the ‘D:/’ drive portion, which is primarily sectioned off for storage(memories, and such). But I don’t think people realize the power in the ‘C:/’ drive, where all the system information is stored. It knows the location of every nerve, organ, and cell. It also has all the .exe programs to accomplish every task we encounter (Including ones it creates while learning). It regulates hormonal flow, and everything that goes on in the body, and It spends a lot of resources(I’m assuming anyway) keeping us OUT. Just like windows does on a brand new computer. When you try to go to the ‘program files’ folder, the computer sits up and yells “OI!!! Git outta there!” I’m pretty sure the brain does that as well, and just doesn’t give us the option to click ‘sit the heck back down, mate’. This is a really good thing. People probably shouldn’t be able to mess with the files and such in there. We’re not responsible enough, yet (If we ever will be. It takes a long time to understand anything, and to understand that would definitely take longer than any one can live, which will lead to theJurassic Park effect. The brain understands, processes, and ORGANIZES… wait for it…. EVERYTHING. And it never really makes itself apparent, ever. And that’s probably because the brain – being so all-knowing – Takes Jack Nicolson’s role. If we start modifying the regulations our brain has chosen for our body, I can’t perceive it ending well. For example, Adrenaline. The brain realizes that crap’s is hitting the fan, and releases adrenaline into your system. I experienced it in a car crash. Everything got really slow, and really quiet. What took about 5 seconds, with music blaring and the CRUNCH of uprooting two fenceposts with a 2500# buick seemed to take about 5 minutes, and was totally silent. There have been cases of what is essentially super-human strength, where Granny lifted up a car to save little Jimmy, and while we’re not talking she lifted above her head, bench pressed it, and tossed it aside like BigMac wrapper, it’s not something she would have been able to do if the time didn’t immediately call for it. So why not give yourself a constant boost of adrenaline and go be super man?

Because you’d die. within minutes, I’m sure. Don’t believe me? find your nearest food-allergy friend and steal his/her epipen. You’ll blow up your heart. Kind of like ODing on cocaine. In essence, you’re going into your system32 folder n your “OI DON’T TOUCH THAT” files, editing some parameters, and CRASH….. blue screen. Too bad you don’t come with an extended warranty.


~ by mcstene on April 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “The brain just knows way too much.”

  1. This is more interesting than I thought it would be Mikey. :)

  2. …nice…what else can I say? ;)

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