How do I find my way to good information in this age of global dissemination?
I mean there is so much available on the W.W.W. During the height of a recent mania I wrote a little ditty about my Grandad, who suggested (in my fevered imagination) that the web could be called the Wish, Wonder & Why.
Although he never would have imagined a link between a wiki & a why.
I mean I’ve just started a blog myself using Google’s lovely blogspot.com which has a great little tab on the design bar called ‘monetise,’ and when I clicked it showed me the wonder of adsense. Wow! I can actually make some money through my little blog, if I get enough hits & clicks apparently.
I must admit that would certainly help me to survive while trying to write about my own experience with bipolar disorder, yet the nature of the Wish, Wonder & Why and how we use it disturbs me just a little.
In my own efforts to educate myself about my disorder, I must have clicked on thousands of pages of ‘information’ by now.
I must have ‘scanned’ thousands of links in the millions of lines that Google throws up in response to search enquiry‘s, clicking on those taking my fancy and scanning the pages for my desired information.
During my five year reading quest to educate myself, I’ve used Dear old Google & Amazon.com to great advantage - eventually.
‘Stay with me, the ‘scanned’ gets interesting, promise! I’ll use ‘plausibility’ to inform you?’
Books from Amazon, cheaper than I can buy at my favorite bookstore, have been invaluable along with the websites and documents that my book reading led me to, here on the W.W.W. My quest led me over here to Thailand in January 2010, with enough money to see me through a couple of years, and the opportunity to read more and write about my life experience.
I came here feeling that I had absorbed enough information and gained enough insight to allow me a slightly different perspective on the nature of my condition. Early on when I sat down to write though, I was frustrated by the sense that I may not have absorbed as much information as I had thought. “Sit yourself down and read all these books and PDF documents again,” I ended up telling myself.
After many more months of reading and re-reading I slowly got a deeper, felt sense of what I previously ‘thought’ I knew. Re-reading was like watching a favorite movie the for the fourth time and still being surprised by the little things I didn’t remember from the first time. Strange! How new ideas pop into my head while I’m out walking, more often than not, eureka, light bulb type moments, epiphanies, metaphors generated by those neurons and their crazy networks in my brain perhaps.
‘Its the energy processes of metabolism, bringing oxygenated, warmer blood and vital nutrients that are helping to fire new synaptic connections in your brain as you exercise,’ a friend has said. Doesn’t roll of the tongue like Epiphany or Eureka though eh? Maybe my deeper felt sense is a gut thing though, my second brain as they say?
This second brain as some have called the unmyelinated vagus nerve which contains some 100 million neurons and connects our stomach’s to our brain produces 95% * of serotonin in the body, causing many a plausibility seeking ear to prick up when the association between serotonin and mood disorders, fires in the limbic region of our triune brain**.
‘Ah! The link between plausible information and sense in the headline?’ You may be thinking?
Perhaps this is where scanning comes in to the equation, in the way we use the W.W.W. Most spin doctors know that plausibility is the key to effectively communicating information, perhaps aware that our evolved triune brain has an innately wired aversion to distress, an instinct/affect/emotion that may well stimulate the KISS (keep it simple stupid) approach to any complex knowledge acquisition. Perhaps we become our very own spin doctors, due to the innate affect*** we label distress?
Wait! Honey just came home from work and frowned at my furrowed brow as I think about the numerous ways to write this article.
‘You not tink toooo much, nah!’ She tells me before she smiles and giggles in that delighted three year old child sort of way, always infecting me with her joy, and I choose to ignore the mumbled ‘stupid falang’ as she hugs me close. The joy I feel may be sparked by innate affect perhaps? Some ancient neural network deep in my brain?
Silvan Tomkins, the father of affect theory described the furrows on Einstein’s brow as being caused by his constant rumination on complex ideas, an affect of innate distress perhaps, maybe a high tolerance for the arousal caused by innate distress helped fire new synaptic connections in his brain. Plausible?
‘So where is the ‘scanned’ gets interesting?’ You think? You’re still with me, I assume.
Its complex of coarse, more to do with our metabolism**** needs than a mere objective description about clicking on links and quick reading can convey. Like on Facebook.com as we see a nice image come up in the news feed and click on ‘like,’ as sensations rise with the smile that has spontaneously creased our face, changing the rate and temperature of blood flowing to the brain and firing neural networks, for which we find labels like interest and joy. Some say that innate affects are the instinctual, neural roots that spark all of our complex emotions. Plausible?
Instinct, affect, emotion, what part do they play in the metabolizing of energy, needed by the brain to sustain its activity? This brain of ours with its primary task of sustaining life, the way it has for millions of years of mammalian evolution all the way up to the higher primates like you & me? Which brings me to more plausibility and Stephen Porges new concept of ‘neuroception,’***** which sheds a scientific light on Freud’s ’id,’ the in-famous unconscious and how we scan the environment for resources or threat at nervous system speeds that are hundreds of times faster than thought, and make speech seem positively snail like.
Instinctual unconscious scanning to find the resources needed for metabolism, may underlie our addiction to social media, with the positive affects of joyful interaction with others stimulating desirable surges of neuronal firing within the brain. Similarly the instinctual scanning for any threat that may stimulate the fight/flight defense’s of our nervous system, may underlie our preference for easy plausibility over complex, distress triggering conceptualizations. Plausible?
Of coarse I could come up with a thousand plausible things to write about, which might keep you clicking away on my little blog here. I could embed links to other articles I have written within this particular article.
I could even click on that tab in my blog that say’s ‘monetise’ hoping to make some money by way of my friends at adsense. ‘Now that’s more than plausible,’ I hear you say.
So what do you think? Is this information full of sense or nonsense? Oh! How I’m tempted by the adsense.
** Triune Brain
*** Innate Affect