A request

Recently I received two of those rare communications – comments. What a nice feeling it is to have this feedback. Please consider commenting when you read a posting that interests you. Say if you agree, disagree, have something to add, have a question, have an answer. I will appreciate it.

I don’t know why I get so few comments. I have posted about 380 posts and have had almost 300,000 visits but in the three years that the blog has existed I have had only about a 100 comments. I don’t know if this is unusually low or not, but I suspect it is.

So that you know where I am coming from:

I have struggled with dyslexia since I started school in 1945. I have wondered about my left-handedness most of my life. Over the years I have read what I could find on the brain and until about 20 years ago there was so much of it that was not credible to me. It certainly was not my mind or brain that was being described.

My stubborn intuition about the mind has changed some over the years but the science has changed much more, even beyond recognition. Recent science does fit with my intuition.

Consciousness is only now coming under scientific investigation. It is especially intriguing. I am reading the thinking about it for my own satisfaction. I make notes on what I read for myself. It was noticeable that there was a high fraction of people who were having real problems with the new theories – the same theories that I found so natural, comforting and convincing. It seemed to me that some friends might be helped to understand consciousness by reading my notes. The easiest way to make them available to friends and anyone else who wanted them, was to blog. I thought that I might have a couple of hundred people, at most, following me, but the number has grown way past that.

Unlike many other bloggers I am not trying to make a name for myself and not a professional doing original work or university teaching. I am retired with no career ambitions in science or writing. I live away from city and university and have very few peers to chat with about consciousness. I read the web and what I find interesting I note in the blog.

So again, if you are at all inclined, please comment when you read my postings – I will appreciate it.

6 thoughts on “A request

  1. Hi Janet, ive been following you blog now for about six months. I mostly read it on an rss feed on my phone so don’t post many comments. I like the way you keep abreast of the latest research and also summarise it in such a way that non-specialists like me can understand the key points being made. Is quite rare t o find that in the world of neuroscience research. I’ll try to post comments more often. Will

    JK: Thanks for the reply. I often wonder if my posts are too technical or not technical enough and it is encouraging to hear that you find the level OK.

  2. Hi Janet

    I wonder if you have received any of the 5 comments I have tried to send you. This could be the reason you are not getting comments although I think my problems are just my own here. My problem was in understanding what you meant by please by the box which said add this number than that. One would think understanding that would be easy but I didn’t get it for the first 3 or 4 times. Too bad. If I get time later I will send the earlier comments again sometime.

    JK: I understand from direct emails that one of your missing comments requested: bigger print, darker print, some sort of index. I see what you mean and will try to make the blog more user friendly in the near future.

  3. Hi Janet

    I’ve just found your blog via Nature Networks - good on Alfredo for encouraging you to post there! Well, it is really fascinating. What I have read so far is extremely interesting and I have plenty more to go….

    I note your views on free will. I am working on something in that area at the moment and will likely post it to my website fairly soon. As the site reveals, I have been an early advocate of the phenomenal self model (PSM) approach to explaining “consciousness”. I believe that the PSM approach can help explain free will too and that’s what I writing about right now.

    Just a quick observation on free will, though - despite Libet’s experimental results it is still the case that I can plan to go make a cup of coffee in a few minutes and then - as an act of free will - go and do that. As I get out of my chair my pre-motor neurology is not yet primed to reach out into the cupboard to bring out a cup. So on this larger than 3 seconds time frame free will seems alive and well to me. I’ll agree though, that what is actually happening inside the three second time frame is deeply fascinating.

    OK - just to say I think your blog is great. I wouldn’t have commented if I hadn’t seen your request for comments. And finally, I trained as a chemist/biochemist too so seeing you in this game is heartening to me.

    Now…can I pass the number test…I failed once already…I thought 0 plus 3 was 3…um…anyway this time I am going to copy this all for reinsertion should I fail the test again. Btw - I would actually bet - as a previous respondent has - that your lack of comments is because of this test. If you don’t take out insurance by copying then it is a mighty irritant if your message fails and is lost…

    (btw - I am adding 5 and 8 now to get 13, which I am putting in the box; is this the right procedure…it didn’t seem to work last time with 0 and 3…I wonder why not?)

    best wishes
    Brendon Hammer

    JK: Thanks for your comments. I think I have done something about the number problem but I can’t tell - it does not come up for me, I suppose because of my automatic permissions. Let me know if it either works or is gone. I have also gone to your site and copied your summary to read. It will take me some days to get it read properly and then I will compare with you. Looking forward to discussions. Janet

  4. <p>Hola, Janet:</p>
    <p>He leído su “a request” y debo decir que me ha llegado al corazón. En cierto modo he sentido que hablaba también de mí, aunque mis circunstancias personales son distintas a las suyas. Descubrí su blog hace 2 ó 3 meses y quedé muy impresionada por el tipo de artículos que citaba y por los comentarios que hacía de los mismos. Creo que es el “enfoque” que usted le da a este tema lo que de verdad me interesa. Comparto con usted la misma fascinación por la mente. Siempre me he preguntado hasta qué punto las cosas que percibimos son como nosotros las percibimos o si son de otra manera. Desde muy pronto n mi vida he sentido una enorme atracción por este tipo de cuestiones. Hace dos años abrí un blog en gmail, pero no sabía a qué iba a dedicarlo. Quería que fuera un blog en el que yo pudiera transmitir algo que mereciera la pena. Finalmente, hace muy poco, me di cuenta de que mi interés por las cuestones del lenguaje, mi enorme curiosidad al respecto, sería un poderoso aliciente para compartir con mis amigos, y con aquellas personas interesadas por las mismas cuestiones, algo interesante. Mis obligaciones laborales no me dejan mucho tiempo libre para dedicárselo al blog, ni para leer con la calma que quisiera muchas de las entradas del suyo, interesantísimo, pero espero oder continuar el proyecto en el tiempo.<br />
    Quería manifestarle mi gratitud por compartir con todos tanta información, tan magníficamente bien selecccionada y comentada. </p>
    <p>Un cordial saludo,<br />

    JK: Luisa, I do not speak Spanish but I have managed to roughly translate your comment. Thank you for your kind praise of my blog. I wish you success with your blog. Although I cannot read it, I enjoyed the great photographs at http://luxcumcorde.blogspot.com/ Regards. Janet

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