Many people think that science will eventually be able to explain everything that happens in nature, and that technology will be able to reproduce it. Perhaps that is so, but even then, that day lies far into the future. Probably a more likely scenario is that the further science and technology advance, the deeper the mysteries of the world will grow. Even with topics that we believe science has solved for good, when you take a closer look, you'll find that plenty of problems have slipped through the cracks or been swept under the carpet. Furthermore, these are often the issues that are closest to us and most important in our daily lives. Take hunches or intuitions or premonitions, for example. They may have rational-sounding explanations, but our gut feelings tell us something is not quite right after all. Such examples are not at all uncommon. When you think about it, there are lots of things that modern civilization has forgotten all about. Maybe the time has come to stop for a moment and try to remember. The seeds of forthcoming science and technology are impatiently waiting to be discovered among the things we have left behind.
The function of the cerebrum is actually not so much to “think” as to “memorize.” The memories stored there are by no means limited to words and images or sounds and flavors, but also include moods and premonitions and all sorts of signals and stimuli that are input from the external world. The “internal sensations” constantly produced inside our bodies are surely stored there as well.
Meanwhile, it is becoming clear that various organs in the body exchange signals without using the brain as an intermediary. Such memories may also be stored in some form somewhere in the body.
The act of “thinking” involves outputting such memories. In other words, output signals become “information.” But the output is not only meant for communication with others. Some of it is output to oneself in the form of self-awareness and recollections. Words and symbols are very powerful here, but in actual fact most memories cannot really be expressed in words or symbols. Perhaps this is a dormant ability of humans that IT and AI will never catch up with.
The philosopher Blaise Pascal said that “man is a thinking reed,” but long before we think we are “sensitive reeds.” It is only by accumulating memories of sensations in that big brain of ours that we become “thinking reeds.”
If you try to recollect what you did yesterday, it is surprisingly hard to remember what you were thinking about and what you thought about it. Our memories of yesterday are colored by what we saw, what we ate, and what we felt. That is to say, our sensations.
Humans are rather bothersome creatures.
Wild animals simply live their lives going where their senses lead them.
The human senses, however, are duller than those of wild animals, and our ability to perceive the signals emitted by nature and our surroundings is mediocre at best.
Perhaps it’s civilization’s fault, but humans also have a tendency to put more faith in their thoughts than in their senses, which sometimes leads to unexpected judgments and behavior.
It is hard to do business with such contradictory partners.
Even though the maker believes they have done everything exactly right, there is no guarantee that the client sees things the same way.
Conversely, the client may be baffled why the maker doesn’t notice what is “completely obvious,” and the result is a disaster.
Here are five stories about such bothersome creatures and their contradictory senses.
How about you? Are your senses working all right?