Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Follow-Up" #2


(from A. Damasio,
The Feeling of What Happens--Harcourt, 1999 & Self Comes to Mind--Pantheon, 2010)

Most of the brain's work may be described as image-making; however, where our words pretend to present these presentations straight from the world, they fake it. They fake us past the facts: that cross-signals integrate thousands of images in any moment's perception and interoception; that the words themselves have, likewise, a multiplex of components (play across grapheme, phoneme, and morpheme patterns stored; calling upon concepts and their inter-weavings mapped through learning; allusions and associations not necessarily attended to; and links to the somato-sensory background pat-down, Olson's proprioception, of body-mind-state in any moment); and that images in all modalities, including the five senses, depict processes and entities of concrete and abstract kinds inter-related, convergent and divergent, sometimes concurrent or sometimes super-imposed. "Thought" is the word we accept to denote such a braided flow; "stream," coupled with the fancier "consciousness," goes along as our metaphor for both the braided surface, maybe changing beds, and the weave of currents high and low that is seen or felt by anyone fishing them. In those currents are neural flashes and recognitions mapped against the maps we hold in the "neural machinery which embodies innate and acquired implicit dispositions" (Feeling 319). These mappings are the habits and habitats that enable and inhibit representations. It is their "correspondences," not "the picture," through which our image-making works (321). Funny how Spicer said that too, from the linguistics end of this pile of sticks.

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