BBC – Future – Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds

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“Default mode network– the areas of the brain which remain active while we are apparently idle.”

via BBC – Future – Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds.

“An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop” is a familiar phrase to some folks. I used to take that to mean that if I was just sitting around not doing anything to occupy my time/mind, I’d end up doing something wrong, you know, sinning! Growing up in a Pentecostal church and listening to the Sunday sermons given by a fire and brimstone preacher often led me to believe that if I wasn’t thinking about God all the time, I’d be condemned to Hades!

Hades (Hell)

Hades (Hell)

But that’s not really the point I’m going after here. After reading the article about our “wandering minds” I began to wonder about mine. In the article you’ll read about how our brains are always “on.” In various studies and brain scans neuroscientists have discovered that our brains are always active. Always. Even when we think we’re not thinking about something, our brains continue to think about stuff. Claudia Hammond says in her article that “Perhaps the brain is staying active like an idling car, just in case it needs to act suddenly.” That makes sense I guess.

Another interesting tidbit in Hammond’s article states that “when the mind is left to wander, it often focuses on the future.” Hmmm, that means that when I’m not thinking about anything, I’m actually thinking about what I’m going to do next. I wonder why the brain doesn’t wonder about what it just had us do instead of what we will do?

And then there’s that famous commercial back in the day that showed us our brains on drugs: an egg frying in a skillet. I never have figured out just what drug that was referring to. My brain never felt like a fried egg when I used to get fried. But things were different back then I suppose. Or at least I remember them being different. Which leads me to the next interesting piece in that article.

According to research, our brains may have a unique capability to create memories of future happenings while we’re daydreaming. Neuroscientists refer to it as the brain being proactive and claim that “it continuously generates predictions that anticipate the relevant future.” So, the next time you’re caught daydreaming you can calmly claim that you’re predicting the future.

I’d like to believe that something as complex as the human brain continues to exist after we’re gone. I think that after I’m dead, my brain (Spirit? Soul?) continues on in another life/existence somewhere (Heaven? Hades?) But there’s really no way of knowing for sure until I’m gone. Perhaps a good long daydream would reveal something of relevance to my brain. If so, I wonder if I would think to tell myself what happens before it happens?

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What’s wrong with Socialism?

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a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

via socialism definition – Google Search.

Is it such a bad idea? I’m not so naive to think it’s a cure-all for the woes of our government, but with so many dissatisfied customers you’d think they’d have made some prominent changes by now. It’s kind of surprising to me that whenever I mention anything about socialism, even just saying the word, there’s a huge negative reaction, people automatically think I want a socialist government. They associate socialism with Communism and Marxism, which in turn gives people the impression that I want everything given to me. They think I’m lazy, don’t have a job, on welfare, and shop at Walmart in my PJs.

I’ve been a dissatisfied voter/citizen since I was old enough to vote. Why? It’s not because I think everything should be handed to me without any effort on my part. It’s not because I haven’t worked since leaving home when I was 17. It’s not because I think I should have more stuff than you, or that I want what you have. Why am I dissatisfied? I’m dissatisfied because life isn’t fair. And life isn’t fair because I think it was meant to be unfair. I also think that because I live in a country that gives me the freedom to do what I please, I can create fairness in my own life.

Since it can be an epic struggle to attain fairness, I certainly believe that receiving help from time to time, is a good thing. So far, thanks to family and friends, I’ve not needed any help from the government. But to say that just because someone needs such help makes that person a lazy good-for-nothing bum is a bit cruel. Unfortunately there are millions of Americans who think just that.

There are also millions of Americans who think you’re a freeloader if you mention anything positive about socialism. Why are we so closed-minded about certain things that make us uncomfortable? Why can’t there be positive dialog without vicious attacks on one’s character?

Life isn’t fair, but is that reason enough to be assholes mean to each other?!?