Monkeys, Mirrors, Metacognition, And Me…

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“You should take a long look at yourself in the mirror,” anybody could have said. 

It could be a case of: not completely liking what you see, liking it a little to much, or not even recognising that the thing in front of you is actually you. 

There are times when I look deeply into the person who stares at me from the mirror and I try to see if we are truly as one. If I look long enough, I see the image bleed-out its precision until only a blur stands before me. Eyes change, mouth changes, hair changes until I am an amorphous mass with out any meaning. I have to blink in order to resume normality.

From Science:

Strange as it might seem, not all animals can immediately recognize themselves in a mirror. Great apes, dolphins, Asian elephants, and Eurasian magpies can do this—as can human kids around age 2. Now, some scientists are welcoming another creature to this exclusive club: carefully trained rhesus monkeys. The findings suggest that with time and teaching, other animals can learn how mirrors work, and thus learn to recognize themselves—a key test of cognition.

“It’s a really interesting paper because it shows not only what the monkeys can’t do, but what it takes for them to succeed,” says Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist at Hunter College in New York City, who has given the test to dolphins and Asian elephants in other experiments.

The mirror self-recognition test (MSR) is revered as a means of testing self-awareness. A scientist places a colored, odorless mark on an animal where it can’t see it, usually the head or shoulder. If the animal looks in the mirror and spontaneously rubs the mark, it passes the exam. Successful species are said to understand the concept of “self” versus “other.”

By Virginia Morell

 

I found it interesting that humans did not actually have this cognitive skill inherent in their circuitry whereas other animals do. It’s taken me a goodly time to realise that the person in the mirror is actually me and not some distant memory.

It appears that the little rhesus needs to be trained to accept that the thing it is looking at is itself and not another. And when it looks around the edge of its reflection, there is nothing there. Other creatures have an initial reaction that oscillates between fear, surprise, and aggression. Yet writers have often journeyed into that territory beyond the mirror, that otherness, and that is where I have been for this last year and a half.

It is that otherness that lies through the looking glass that has helped me to rediscover that self that almost became extinct (before I wondered in and through the false assumption that a mirror is just some frame of material that reflects light rather than absorbing it).

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

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Must dash now.. I’m late for something that is very important.

 

 

 

 

Selling Like Hot-Cakes?

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL Read After Burnout.

It makes no sense. 

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Fursday Is Cancelled…It’s Too Warm

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With temperatures across the UK set to rise above relative freezing point (well, 25 degrees), the people of the Fur Nation are preparing themselves for an onslaught of irritatingly decent weather. 

The winter has lasted as long as anything anyone can remember; it not just came, but it settled in, put its frozen feet up, and left the door wide open.

Not many incidents with those north of the wall as it is suppose they must have perished in one of our blessed leaders’ austerity programmes. Now the winter has gone and there are some of us northmen and women and children and dogs and cats and…

Still standing. It is time to throw of those furs, embrace the new god of light and hey, diddly, dee.

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Summer is coming!

My Blog Sucks…

 

via The Story Of A Blog…Readafterburnout.com

Adam And Eve It…?

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The very first impression I gained from Read After Burnout Adventures in Everyday Madness is that it is a very professionally written and highly competently constructed book. It is most certainly necessary to have such qualities since it presents itself in what are the popular Kindle categories of memoir.

The style has prowess and clarity, and the superb narrative technique engages the reader immediately. It is notoriously difficult to write such a personal and all-encompassing book about one’s life, particularly the darker aspects, and make it entertaining as well as stimulating for readers. But you achieve this without any difficulty and this fact alone places the book head and shoulders above others of the same type.

But the book as a whole has a great deal to recommend it, not least the carefully considered and generally well executed content which I found to be very suitable for the target demographic. The references to your time in the Met, your teaching career, and struggles with mental health, allow the reader to see a very rounded and honest snapshot of your life.  Furthermore, the eclectic mix of literature, poetry, and films which are peppered throughout the text, coalesce to make this book so much more than a memoir. Overall, this is undoubtedly one of the best books of its type that I have read for some time.

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Words from a prospective publisher.

 

Free The Monkeys…

 

images-173via Just How Far Can You Make This Thing Go? ….Blog On You Crazy Diamonds..