After a long delay, I should be getting a new blog site soon. In the meantime, as I start working on my SocialSoma theory, I will use this site to post interesting quotes from what I am reading. Here is a quote I came across today in Chapter 1, Kindle version, McGilchrist, I. (2009). The master and his emissary. Yale University Press/TJ International: Padstow, Cornwall, UK

Through the direction and nature of our attention, we prove ourselves to be partners in creation, both of the world and of ourselves…attention is inescapably bound up with value. …The nature of the attention one brings to bear on anything alters what one finds.

“Similarly we cannot see something without there being a context, even if the context appears to be that of ‘no context’, a thing ripped free of its moorings in the lived world. … Nor can we say that we do not see things as anything at all – that we just see them, full stop. There is always a model by which we are understanding, an exemplar with which we are comparing, what we see, and where it is not identified it usually means that we have tacitly adopted the model of the machine. …

“We are not ‘just’ looking at things in the world – a lump of rock, or even a person – but the processes whereby the world itself, together with the rock or the person, might be brought into being for us at all, the very foundations of the fact of our experience, including any idea we might have about the nature of the world, and the nature of the brain, and even the idea that this is so. If it is true that attention changes the nature of what we find, how do we decide the most appropriate attention for that? … We answer with the model we understand – the only kind of thing we can ever fully understand, for the simple reason we made it: the machine.

This matches the conclusion of my research with an exception. The engineers in my study did indeed have the machine as their model of understanding human beings. The lone physician, however, used conceptual metaphors of plants, growth, and healing. You can imagine how these two different forms of “attention” or views were enacted as engineer and physician each sought to heal spinal cord damage in a human being. The first struggled to connect man to machine, the second to grow new nerves…

Food for thought.

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