Friday, October 9, 2015

Novelty can alter your genes

This report on current research was exciting. Jan Cox based his 20th century work school on the necessity for the new. He did mention also, that you could not alter your genetic makeup. In this context I found the article excerpted below, interesting.

From an article in the OUP blog

Experiments with rodents indicate that normal cognitive processes can also initiate epigenetic events. For instance, when we encounter novelty in the world, we register it with structural changes in our brains, changes that require epigenetically controlled protein production. Storing information in long-term memory also appears to utilize epigenetic mechanisms. Thus, the way we think is affected by epigenetics, just as epigenetic factors affect the way we feel when we find ourselves in stress-inducing situations....

Some things not addressed by the writer:

Surely if you talk about change you must address what does not change. How else measure change? And also --- if you do not understand the question, how can you answer it. These are just thoughts this essay brought to mind.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Is there a Nobel for taxidermy

It was interesting to notice  there is no verb for doing taxidermy, none using that word. And that is appropriate because by 'taxidermy' we mean to emphasize the product of man's mechanical mental effort -- words. We tend to think that words allow us to explicate and illuminate our world. Yet Jan Cox described words as never hitting their mark because by the time you spoke any word or phrase, the world you were responding to, was already, changed. And certainly any verbal phrase that is out of date, even by microseconds, is a clunky something, and not a verbal lunge. The spoken word can even be thought of as a stuffed something, once vivid, now vacant, a furry creature frozen in critical form. Forever, beside the point, Furnishing a diorama of dynamism in a museum of human perspective.