austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When I held your brain in my arms

Thank you, I'm relieved to be allowed --- pleased to be allowed --- glad to be able to talk to you today about being a mind searcher. It's an honorable profession, or at least a noble one. If it weren't we'd tell you it was one anyway, since we want it be one, wouldn't we? But I am telling you that because ... I'm relieved to be invited to speak to you about career prospects as a mind searcher. Thank you. It's a tough field to really get going in, to building enough business to keep yourself afloat but if you do then you have something to think about.

No, that's the first thing, we want to talk about being mind searchers, not mind hunters. Well, hunters has this unsavory connotation with the old images from back before the Rebellion of '75 and the Brain Wars and those shots of people with their brains harpooned on ... those long, skinny spikey ... right, harpoons, that's them. Yes. We're trying to get away from that image, since it turns out people kind of feel negatively about seeing important parts of their bodies impaled on things and it takes so long to clean them off afterward. I don't know, we tried Teflon, we tried stainless ... it just gets all gummy, you know? So. Searcher, that's more like it. Gives you the idea of staring at things with binoculars instead. ... How many? I guess you just need one binocular for every pair of eyes you have, so that's ... I don't know. Two ... three? Maybe a binocular and a magnifying glass?

Why do we call it mind searching rather than brain searching? That's a good thing to think about. What we think is important is the brain is the thing that we think about thinking with, while the mind is the thing we think we're thinking about when we think with the brain that ... uh ... with the brain we have the thinking about the mind doing the thinking that the brain ... and I think that clears up our current thinking about what we think the brain instead of the mind. No, I think I had that right. No, the other way around. We'll check the transcript and fix it for the weekly edition.

Where do we go looking for minds that've gone wandering? There's all sorts of good places to look. Shelving space, that's a good one. You never know until you look just how often a wandering mind has gone off to the shelves. Yeah, everyone thinks they go off to idyllic fields where there's all sorts of streaming strands of sunlight streaming through streams of ... stuff, or maybe back into bed, maybe over to that song with the little dah-ditty-dit-dum-dah-whatever that melody is. You know, the one you spent two months pounding out of your head last year. But no, it's mostly shelving. I like to think it's from the shelving paper, but maybe we were using flypaper instead. That's an easy mistake to make. Gets really caught in the mind or vice-versa.

Oh, yes, a lot of wandered minds turn out to have gone wandering trying to find the rest of that joke. You know the one, it's the one where the guy ... does this thing where there's ... and he has to explain this thing where ... but there's this one exchange where the says and the other guy says this thing back ... it's all about ... Well, there's this joke that it is, and once you remember it you'll realize you were trying to think of it. I know I always do. Another great place to find minds? There's trying to think without looking it up just who wrote The Great Gatsby. There's some minds that have been circling that one for up to four years without interruption.

Yes, there's that problem with having to go after a wandering mind. It's only the person whose mind is wandering that's got the standing to hire you to go after it. And the person with the wandering-mind can't call you in until the person thinks to do it, so, you see why it's a tough business to get started in.

Trivia: Lander weight growth and Orbiter weight growth were two of the ``Top Ten Problems'' identified for the Viking Project when the list of Top Ten Problems was first assembled on 4 May 1970. They were never removed from the list. Source: On Mars: Exploration Of The Red Planet 1958 - 1978, Edward Clinton Ezell, Linda Neuman Ezell. NASA SP-4212.

Currently Reading: The Roads Of Home: Lanes And Legends Of New Jersey, Henry Charlton Beck. (History, including a lot of folklore, of small New Jersey towns.)

(Yeah, I'm sorry. This was one that felt like a good idea but turned sour in the forming. I'll try to do better for next week.)

Tags: humor
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