Friday, August 29, 2008


I've read many good books in my travails through college. One of the things I loved about the people I knew was their ability to recommend exactly the book I needed to read to get me out of the 'assigned' reading doldrum and make me hunger for reading again. That book for my Junior year was "White Noise" by Don Delillo. Even now, when I think on some of the profound passages in that book, I can remember ones that never had any greater applicability than they do in this present (with me being unfulfilled by my current job and questioning one of my greater goals of becoming a professor). And so, I give you a relevant passage from a great novel by a wonderful American postmodernist:

“Who knows what I want to do? Who knows what anyone wants to do? How can you be sure about something like that? Isn’t it all a question of brain chemistry, signals going back and forth, electrical energy in the cortex? How do you know whether something is really what you want to do or just some kind of nerve impulse in the brain? Some minor little activity takes place somewhere in this unimportant place in one of the brain hemispheres and suddenly I want to go to Montana or I don’t want to go to Montana. How do I know I really want to go and it isn’t an accidental flash in the medulla and suddenly there I am in Montana and I find out I really didn’t want to go there in the first place. I can’t control what happens in my brain, so how can I be sure what I want to do ten seconds from now, much less Montana next summer? It’s all this activity in the brain and you don’t know what’s you as a person and what’s some neuron that just happens to fire or just happens to misfire.”

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