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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brain: Find me those goddam pigs ... or else!

A friend alerted me to a wonderful poem on the brain, by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (1949-) "Brain Litany: Or, Overlooking the Existential Factor". Di Cicco is poet laureate of Toronto and an Augustinian priest:
*" ... and when we think of coconuts and pigs, there are no coconuts or pigs in the brain." -- Gregory Bateson

[ ... ]

Where are the pigs
Where are the coconuts


The brain is a compendium of holographic mechanisms
Help me find the coconuts Help me find the pigs
The brain is a neuro-physiological metaphor
The brain is an illusionist's exercise in Euclidean geometry
The brain is a vibrational amplifier for ambient field quanta
Find me the goddamned coconuts the pigs
The brain is a cybernetic miracle with a three-ring
triune brain circus at its centre

Read the rest here.

It is simply the best sendup I have ever heard of materialist neuroscience.

So rarely does a poet actually take on the materialist nonsense rigorously, as opposed to simply sneaking away into some romantic or nihilist haze, or uselessly denouncing it, or claiming to have some incommunicable vision - those are all just copouts, really.

By the way, if you do find those pigs, lose them again, will you? And keep the coconuts, too.

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