There is something about the human brain, but I don’t think animal brains, perhaps because they are smaller and less developed, which in some situations, can become interested in something in a way that we would consider obsessive. My hypothesis for the cause of this behavior is the fact that our brains are overdeveloped. Something about the way that our brains have become so much larger and more complicated than the brains of any other species, and the way that they have become so much more important than any other part of our bodies, seems to be an acting out of this sort of behavior. Our brains are like the product of an obsession; one aspect of a being that was doted on by evolution so that it (far surpasses all other body parts in importance). Our bodies became vehicles for our brains; we began to walk upright so that our brains were at the top, so that thye had less chance of getting injured. We lost the hair on our bodies, but grew long hair on our heads to protect this precious body part.
After evolution “allowed it,” we continued this obsession with our brains ourselves. We built institutions which were intended for th
Our brain usurped its original purpose of regulating the functions of our body so that, as a being we would pass on our genes effectively. It usurped it because it became conscious, and able to explain things like its own existence to itself. Consciousness allowed us to understand ourselves, and begin to understand the processes which allowed us to come to life.
After our brains made it possible for us to survive with more certainty, we crept away from our original purpose of survival and biological reproduction, and our brains became the target of our lives; it has become common to put a career that fascinates us above having children, at times letting it override our biological instincts so that we never do have children.
In another regard, we push ourselves to expand our brains even further – to the farthest extent that they can go, which is a lot of what art is for.
The parts of our brain that were a part of our animal selves is used less and less, and we make conscious decisions more and more, so that our prefrontal cortex, the newest section of our brain, is of utmost importance. We have divided our jobs based on which parts of the brain they engage: blue collar workers, versus white collar workers.
We know which direction we are headed in, and the institutions which humans value the most are those which prize innovation. We value “creative people” mow, and people who have ADD, because they have entered the newest frontier of brain activity, which is imagination, and they can imagine new realities for themselves which forgo the physical reality completely, and they can imagine new ways of being and doing things, and humans can improve themselves, and they can make the whole world that they live in look like the human brain, which understand things in terms of abstract concepts, which do not encompass physical realities, but instead, are by definition, perfect, as they are patterns that human brains have picked out in the world, but they are not related to physical realizations of these patterns, and therefore are not concerned with “imperfections” (add sentence her, connecting the two ideas) Therefore, our buildings are composed of perfectly straight lines…
Things that we imagine, are like blueprints, are like instructions for something actual, are like Plato’s forms. Therefore, we understand the world in this way, and create things that are based off of our ideas. We create things that fulfill specific needs, like buildings fulfill our need for shelter, and since our blueprints are only instructions, they do not have certain information that things that exist in the natural world have, for example, they are not composed of fractals like flowers are, because they did not evolve like humans and flowers did, but instead were synthetically realized. Our buildings are not build necessarily with any understanding of the inner mechanics of shelter – they are built, rather, to solve a problem – and so our buildings have straight lines, because a straight line is the “easiest/fastest/best” way to get from point A to point B, and that is all we are interested in doing – getting from one place to another. Apartments are the very direct solution to the problem of housing a lot of people (who do not want to live together). They, and each room in them, is like a little idea, by which I meant that apartment buildings are artificial – that they are not effective in the way that natural things are.
“Decoration” is an attempt to replicate the intricacy of nature – a manifestation of understanding a problem in the way that evolution does, which results in intricacy. The product of evolution is intricacy, and decoration is a failed attempt to replicate this.
The way that our society is going, and the kind of jobs that are most valued these days, are the ones which use the parts of our brain that are specifically human – the parts that can understand problems and respond to them with imagination – all the things that separate us from machines.
If we invent machines for all of the things that can be mechanized (think automatic bank tellers), then we will be left with jobs that respond to problems, and jobs that require invention, which requires imagination.
Perhaps it is because our society is based off of an obsession with the brain, that obsession itself is so important also in our society/to us.
People no longer learn all subjects, but instead are encouraged to specialize in one area, and become experts in something. Our model for interest encompasses an obsession with a single thing – point, followed by an extension of that point, to as far as we can take it, which is again, like the way that imagination may have extended to the farthest extension, the role of brains in society, in ourselves.
Obsession makes us successful. Our brains are geared towards becoming obsessed with things. Our brains no longer must expend energy on survival, which requires a small understanding of a lot of different things – how to find food, protect against enemies, keep ourselves healthy. We have distributed, assembly line style, these jobs that some people have become experts in. That leaves our brains to grab ahold of one interesting particle, and (become obsessed with it), and take it a direction, as far as it will go. We choose one hobby – we choose painting, and then we follow it as long as it will go. Not only do we learn about paint quality, the kind of hair that makes good brushes, the best way to make a canvas taut – they key to painting is to become obsessed with our subject, be it a nude model, or the feeling of grief. In order to paint it well/accurately, we need to go inside of it, to feel what it’s like to be in its skin and bones (inside of grief). It’s not hard to do these things, because we have a lot of time and brain power that is not going towards us surviving, that we can devote to these things. We become experts. At a certain level of expertise, we understand the paint at the same level of nuance that we understand life. We begin to find metaphors while we are painting, because the paint is as complicated as our lives.
This is a lot like masturbation. We touch that part of our body, our genitals. Instead of doing something else – playing ping pong, or going for a walk, we keep doing it, (again).
We touch it so many times; we reach a new level, a level that comes from excess – the excess of doing something so many times. We orgasm, which is the manifestation of the new level we have reached.