Friday, July 23, 2010
Killing the Buddha on the sea of possibilities.
Eagleman explains that Frances Crick, the Nobel laureate biologist whom he got to know at the Salk Institute, once told him, “What we lose in mystery we gain in awe,” and the phrase stuck with him. “Our goal in some sense is to reduce the mystery, but that doesn’t reduce the awe,” Eagleman says. If scientists could produce a neural map that explains why chocolate ice cream tastes good, it would still taste just as good. The mystery would be gone, but the experience wouldn’t be diminished. Eagleman makes clear that he is a possibilian, not a mysterian (one who believes that there are things humans can’t understand, problems we can’t solve). Eagleman acknowledges that in his lifetime we won’t come up with the theories to explain everything and that some of science’s stories may turn out to be wrong, but they usually are better than any alternative stories.

La Mer(de)
up there -- there is a sea
the sea's the possibility
There is no land but the land

(up there is just a sea of possibilities)
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