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Theory of brain mind
A theory of brain / mind

Just like when I saw the experiment, in first grade, where a marble and a bowling ball are dropped off a tower, and, quite counter-intuitively, hit the ground at the same time, and I knew there was something wrong with that, and eventually came to a satisfying understanding - a “vorstellung”, or pictorial representation of the physics around me - where there is no such thing as “gravity”, (but rather “ytivarg”, or gravity spelled backwards, as it is a push from above, not a pull from below), I also was disturbed, only a few years ago, with a description on TV - some PBS or Discovery Channel thing - where the human brain was forming, in an infant, and the neurons were depicted something like sperm cells, as they were flying, in empty “space” in the brain, and they actually used the word “migrating”, trying to explain how the different “structures” develop. I knew intuitively, having speculated on just this topic somewhat obsessively, on and off for decades, that this was wrong.

I’d been speculating on brain formation mainly because I’d found an analogy - and this isn’t just me, others in popular science magazines have made the same connection - between the structure of the human brain, and the structure of the universe. Einstein’s brain was saved and dissected, and it was indeed different from most human brains, and the difference was the complexity of the interconnections between the neurons. I knew that from a young age, read that somewhere. Then as I studied during this, the historical “golden age” of astrophysics we live in, peeing deeper and deeper into our surroundings with radio, X-ray, and gamma ray space-based telescopes, I realized early on that the structure was “developing”. You see, in astrophysics, with the way the speed of light works out and everything, when we look into red shift space - and we do this all over the place, we have all kinds of pictures of galaxy structures in red shift space - we are looking at the past. They say we are looking at what happened millions, then billions of years in the past, and they say the universe is something like 13 or 14 billion years old - it’s weird but there is actually pretty solid science to support this, and it has become just about universally accepted by modern day science these days - and that we can look, these days, almost all the way back. We’ve hit a brick wall at something like a billion or two years of age, due to something called a “polarization” effect, I think, and some ambitious astrophysicists are still trying to push this envelope all the time, they want to go ALL the way back, for no obvious reason, but anyway, we know about how the structure has changed over the lifetime of the universe, from 2 billion to 14 billion years of age, and the story is remarkably similar to the way a human brain develops from womb to adulthood - at first almost a misty net, and as it grows up, some connections fall away, while others become much stronger, and eventually - at our point in the universe history - there are huge empty blank spaces, and then galaxy clusters - like ours, the “Local Group”, comprised of merely our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy, and a bunch of way smaller satellite galaxies, and the nearby “Virgo Cluster” with a super massive core, biggest thing in the “local universe”, (M81 and the quasar at it’s core), and then all the “empty vacuum” besides. Basically the structure stretches on and on, cucurbitaceous, into the past, and becomes less dense and more “misty” as we look back on the past the way an old person may look back on what he used to care about as a young man, and then as a kid, all playfull and habit-free.

So I had theories, as the astrophysicists do, on how and why this structure forms the way it does. As the leader of all matter and energy in the war against time, I struggle against the “development” of the structure, as it progresses in time, and try hard to understand my opponent, time, and what’s happening to me, all matter and energy. I know, crazy project, but I’ve been working on it for a couple of decades nonetheless.

I didn’t like what modern day astrophysicists were coming up with - all “gravity” oriented theories, and I had come up with the analogy of the “structure” of cracks in an egg under pressure from outside, and that was my alternative working theory for a while.

Now I have a new approach, and this one is satisfying to me, it’s my new “vorstellung”, a new psychosis for me to use as I read the next brain or galaxy structure article, as I contemplate my own life, and as I bike to work and pump the blood wildly through my brain, and this new vorstellung “feels” good, so I’m thinking I’ll be keeping this for a while, like my “ytivarg” thing, just makes me crazier in the surrounding population of my worldly-minded peers, but I’m having fun. Honestly I don’t really have a choice, and this theory of brain mind I have even explains that insight, come to think of it.

I’ve been expounding a version of this theory for a few years, drawing on the whiteboard my “theory of brain / mind” after all-day or all-week computer classes. I knew from experience that I needed fats and cholesterol to deal with complex problems. One day a long time ago in New York City, when I came in for my 4 to 12 evening shift, it was a problem day: three people started telling me about all the issues: this was broken, that was in some state that we had no idea what was going on, and there was really no plan for how the evening work would get done. It felt a little overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it all. But after everyone left, I went out for my cheeseburger and fries at the diner downstairs. When I came back to the datacenter, all by myself, I had a different take on it. That stuff was broken and there was nothing I could do, someone was coming to fix the second thing, and I would do what I could with the evening’s work. And I think that day I related the change in attitude to the fat and cholesterol in my bacon cheeseburger.

Twenty years later, teaching computer certification classes, I was still eating my bacon cheeseburgers, but I’d also learned how to consume a lot more fats. I’d learned about omega three fatty acids - the coating around brain cells that allows us to multiply brain power by separating neurons from each other the way insulation separates electrical signals in speaker wire - the flax seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, and black currant oil. Also I learned about the omega three fatty acids that the large coldwater fish can create: the salmon, the tuna, the swordfish - but you have to watch out for mercury poisoning in this world of dirty oceans. And I learned about the magic of walnuts and walnut oil, one other source of omega three fatty acids, and so on top of adding the above supplements to my daily diet, I cook regularly with walnut oil, and then lots of other oils just for the oil of it - I use four oils a day in my meals, rotating walnut oil, peanut oil, hazelnut oil, olive oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, and at four times the price of the rest of them, pumpkin seed oil. And I take coconut oil supplements as well. There is bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, and I eat it all. Just got my blood tested, and my bad cholesterol is high but not past the recommendations for man, and my good cholesterol is higher than the recommendations. I like to keep my self oily. It’s a mind experiment. I use it to think, and I’ve been expounding a simple theory on why it works. I was feeling vindicated a few years ago when the New York Times, in the Tuesday Science Times, ran a little couple of paragraphs to describe a recent study. They said they noticed that of all college students who’d had their blood tested, the ones with the highest cholesterol were also the ones with the highest grades. So after a difficult first day of class, when the students get up to go home, I’d tell them on the way out to eat protein, get 8 hours of sleep, and get as much oil and cholesterol as possible. When my boss would direct me to learn a new topic, the first thing I’d do is go get that bacon cheeseburger and some ice cream - French vanilla, from the cold stone creamery, was the most powerful way to get the “bad” but powerful cow cholesterol in - and get started. I do caution people that there’s more to this than eating ice cream: after a few weeks of cholesterol eating and computer certifying, I’d do some hiking on a mountain, and later some alcohol drinking, in an attempt to reset the whiteboard to blank.

I knew oil was involved in the project for about a decade, but until now I hadn’t figured out this last component.

Now I’ve got the theory. The blood flows. The power of the flow varies, and exercise gets it flowing harder, and the oolong tea I overdo pushes the flow farther, like a little stream that surges in the springtime. This stream doesn’t flow in a vacuum, it is what feeds the mind - we all realize this intuitively. Well, here’s the brain - mind connection. That stream flows into, I imagine, a dense mush of dots, the neurons that grow together, very close together, like a pile of eggs, not like the pictures of neurons in text books. This raw mush of potentiality is what the stream, then a pounding river, pushes into, and just like a stream, it makes indentations in the surrounding environment, into which the flow later on just falls. And as the food and oolong tea and exercise and crazy concentration increases, the stream makes more and more inroads into this mush of egg-like neurons.

This flow is, of course, not constant. The flow dies down hours after the sugar and the tea, and eventually slows to a trickle, and doesn’t penetrate as deeply. The absence of the flow in the environment becomes what we experience as tiredness, then sleep. A trickle keeps some of the path open, but some of the path closes up. As this flow withdraws, the neurons, soaked in oils that got past the blood-brain barrier, come back together, the way they were originally, and we are “sleeping like a baby”. While sleeping, as originally, these neurons get sticky with each other. But then what happens the next day? I eat more sugar, drink more tea, get that river raging again, and read enough to get it pushing even farther. The neurons become separated again, but “hold on” to some of the stickiness of sleep, and these connections become the “dendrites” of the neurons.

As the brain pulses in time, the initial mush crushes down, then expands, then crushes down and gets back together, then expands again, and there are patterns in the flow.

Without the fats and cholesterol, the neurons are ships passing in the night, but when you get the brain all gooey with oil, they stay sticky and remember their connections better even under the steady force of the daily flow. I use the oils to form eddies in the structure, and I use these eddies to represent the world around me - or the computer program I’m trying to master - and I find it easy enough to build structures that hold themselves together for days or weeks. I am talking about short term learning here, you can’t remember too much this way or you won’t be able to learn anything new. So every few weeks, I cut the oil, add alcohol to get the neurons back close together, and use intense hiking and biking exercise to clear the palimpsest.

The insight I have now after realizing I really do have hypoglycemia, is that after pushing the river way too far, way too deep, and way too rapid, on a regular basis, then, on a budget, letting it go to draught levels, the surrounding environment of neurons crushes down, the river banks fall in, and it is way harder to think, mental power is reduced dramatically. Then after abstaining for a few weeks, and all of a sudden letting the river pound heavily again in celebration, the neurons light up better than ever, as they have formed many more connections, being so close to each other, and are now experiencing the flowing river again, awakening as the separate neurons.

The philosophers from Plato to Kant to people on the schizophrenia website debate whether reality, as we imagine it in our consensual consciousness, really exists, or whether our human reality is more like shadows on the wall of the cave, distorted representations of something outside the cave beyond the fire, that’s actually going on. I watched the debate and always leaned toward the idea that reality doesn’t exist, we’re living in a dream, but of course there is some objective interaction going on here too, flowing blood and squishing sticky neurons powered by the rich pulsing blood making up our daily experience and burning it into our heads.

It seems we can push this squishy sponge best by pushing a powerful flow through, and making a rhythmic pattern with the ebb and flow. When doctors started putting stints in the veins in the back of the necks of stroke victims, the patients said forget about the strokes, we’re seeing the colors brighter, the meaning sweeter, and the world more beautiful than ever before. My pounding bike ride for a few minutes every morning on the way to work is when I plan my day and my intricate strategies best. And the seventy-vegetable-thirty-bean diet with some oolong tea is a very powerful form of fuel for that boiling river.

That’s my little story, I didn’t draw all the diagrams I am seeing in my head here but maybe you can picture it. Maybe these sentences are too crazy. Maybe you need a cheeseburger.
I don't know if I can endorse the cheeseburgers, Charlie, I can't even look at them--they send a chill up my spine. 
The alcohol is iffy too.  There are people who react very poorly to it. (I have a long history of being surrounded by Irishmen)
But I'm going to increase my oolong intake starting now.  Walnuts too.
Your theory is sound.  Our brains run on fat and sugar and certainly the heart pounding exercise gets the nutrients and oxygen to the cells for a good bathing in fresh stuff.
Propound away, Charlie.  Tell us more.
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