The incredible thinking machine

Every person’s life is worthy of a book. I hope you are writing yours, or saving and collecting the material to one day write it.
I am in the midst of mine.
For those of you who just tuned in, this is the next installment of my memoirs currently in production. The previous installments are available on my web page I hope you find it interesting.
The book is titled, Live Long*, Learn a Little, Laugh a Lot.

Standing next to the great pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu in Egypt, I marveled as have visitors for millennia at the size of each stone, and the complexity of arranging them. I also wondered why did they make this magnificent rock pile. It was, as you know, to bury the Pharaoh, his queen, and treasures they might enjoy in the afterlife.

They believed that if they embalmed and protected the Pharaoh’s body he would live forever. I assume that was considered a good thing. Two miscalculations limited the success of their efforts. The entombed riches attracted robbers who made off with the treasure, often desecrating the corpse in the process.

The second was the embalmers’ own doing. They left the pharaoh’s brain unumbalmed. In fact they sucked it out through his nostrils, and tossed in into the garbage—the first recorded instance of straining the brain. What heaven is like for a poverty stricken brainless pharaoh is anybody’s guess, but it doesn’t sound promising. The Egyptians thought the thinking feeling center of the body was the heart, and the brain was useless. I understand how they could come to that conclusion. I have felt that way myself on some Monday mornings.

The Egyptians were not the only ancients who disrespected the brain. Some Greek philosophers thought it was a radiator on top of our head. Aristotle believed the main purpose of the brain was to cool the blood. Does that mean hot headed people have inadequate brains? I won’t go there.

One notable hot-headed musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven poured ice water over his head when he sat down to create music, believing it stimulated his brain.

In the early industrial age, people called the brain “the magic weaving machine.” We are more advanced. Artificial intelligence expert Marvin Minsky said the brain, “…is just a computer made of meat.”

Future historians will probably chuckle over our simplistic representation as we do over the weaving machine age. The brain has more intuition, subtlety, aesthetic capability and, if you are a believer in such things, spiritual inspiration than even IBM’s BIG Blue super computer that has sometimes whipped the world’s chess masters.

What are the capabilities of your brain? We don’t know. We may never know in this life. It has been said that if the brain were simple enough for us to understand, we would be too simple to understand it.

But according to an article from the Daytimer personal organization people I used to use, here is a score card. “Your brain can record over 86 million bits of information every day. It has more than 30 billion working parts, does 100,000 chemical reactions every second, generates more electrical impulses than all the telephones in the world combined, sends messages at 170 miles an hour, parallel processes information on more levels than we can yet measure, intuits, extrapolates, and communicates on frequencies we are yet to discover.”

The next time you make a mistake, don’t get the joke, can’t figure out the puzzle, forget your mother’s name or do some other dumb thing we all do, before you bang your forehead and say, “Duh” remember what you just read. And if you forget it, remember that you read something complimentary about your brain. And if you forget that, remember this.

Henry Eyring, world renowned chemist and mathematical genius, encouraged us all with this little true story. Walking with Albert Einstein, his friend and fellow faculty member at Princeton University, they passed a vegetable garden. Henry said, “Albert, do you know what that plant is?”

Einstein replied, “No.”

Henry who grew up on a farm, said, “Those are bean plants Albert.”

With all due respect to Doctor Einstein’s genius, Henry would sometimes tell those of us with more modest intellect “Don’t get down on yourself. Even Albert Einstein didn’t know beans.”

Will Rogers, cowboy philosopher and humorist said it succinctly, “Smart people are just as dumb as the rest of us. They’re just dumb at different things.”

We do not yet know the potential of the human mind. Since I believe in the doctrine of eternal progression, I’m thinking our intelligence is potentially unlimited. This much we do know. Our brain, mind, and intelligence are godlike attributes. We should treasure them, develop them, give thanks to God for them, and use them to bless our brothers and sisters in the human family, his children.

What do you think about this part of the book?
Everybody I know is busy, including me. Where are those golden years I was planning on of sitting on the back porch picking my guitar? So I will send just one little part of the book at a time. You can give it a quick read and tell me what you think if you would like.
I’ve slimmed that process down to two questions, and four strokes on the key board (six if you count “Reply” and “Send.”)
The questions are these:
“A” How much did you enjoy this?
“B” How much do you think a person who doesn’t know Duane Hiatt would enjoy this?
The rating is:
1. Glanced at it, printed it out and lined the bottom of the bird cage with it.
2. Sped-read it and filed it with my tax return receipts
3. Thought it was about as interesting as a well written obituary
4. Could have put it down, but didn’t want to
5. Couldn’t put it down. Put it in a magnetic frame and stuck it onto the fridge door
So your response would perhaps be A-4, B-3, (Or maybe A-5, B-5, but since that that would probably be from my mother and she has passed away, I’m expecting a minimum number of those.)
Also feel free to add comments if you like.
Also, also, feel free to forward this material to anyone you want to.