Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Technology of narrativity: art of surviving with monstrous brains

Living beings present a massive information growth in respect to inorganic matter: aminoacids, proteins are very complex molecules not to mention fishes, plants and mushrooms.

The complexity of mammals in particular, produce nervous system able to handle a huge amount of information.

The size of brains is important, but if we confront human and cetaceans brains, the difference is irrelevant. Still we can see a gigantic difference in dealing with information. Our information exchange is several times more sophisticated (viciously maybe...), complex (degenerated perhaps). What we observe is an infrastructure of information in which our human brains are plugged in: let's call it culture.

In culture we are immersed in a network of meanings and senses. Actually, they are virtual: a priest is a priest only by convention, nothing in his physical structure or in his behaviour can tell you he is a priest. This complex network is not objective like inorganic matter, but not even like behaviours of dolphins or other primates. Often it's based on patent absurdity, sometimes completely mad guys lead the majority, it happens also that some of our members find gods, kill gods, or are gods.

In general we invent senses and meanings in our virtual cultural world. We are huge producers (polluters) of meanings,senses and myths. We create myths and we start to “believe”. No other animal “believes”. Sure, it can be cheated, but you can make an animal to believe. You can trick to let him think something (sure you can deceive animals). Primates deceive themselves (I mean, also the cousins with fur). But it appears, only humans believe. And we do believe in senses,meanings and myths. Gorillas and chimpanzees cry for their dead sons; sometimes they can't cope with the grieve. But it's just us who truly add something to primate feelings and emotions. And after we invented and believed in senses,meanings and myths, they are there.

You start to see them in the world. We do see priests, politicians, characters. We see a cultural world, which actually is far from being objective. We see our myths, they are there for us. They are there because we put there and they are there because we evoked them. We see a world consistent with our culture, we see the sense of the actions (more or less, of course...)in the environment we live in. If you believe in god, you're able to see his hand in everything of the “created” world. You can also see numbers everywhere.

We invented stories, we polluted our virtual world of stories and we started to believe them, becoming crazy searching objective senses and meanings in the myths we created. So we created more: we invented a series of stories to placate our appetite for stories.

The question is not whether these food of stories, of gods are real or not.

But : can we digest them? Can we digest our gods, our myths? And equally: can we fast from our senses, can we fast from gods?

I guess a lot depends on the story you tell yourself: a kind of eating your senses, your meanings: self-cannibalism, to survive an overwhelming wave of information.