A Life Less Blog

Musing before a Cognitive Psychology Reaction Paper
January 28, 2010, 7:50 pm
Filed under: Emotions, Life | Tags:

It is always fascinating to me how the amount of noise in a room can be separated into individual conversations just by focusing the ear on a particular individual or group. How does the ear know to filter out other sounds so eavesdropping is made easier? As I sit in this crowded lunchroom I am being pulled into several different conversations and the speakers are unaware that I can hear them. There is always someone in the room who is louder than another and it is usually a cursory phrase like, “No way!” or “Get out!” that can be heard over the cacophony of voices.  The amount of peripheral noises, i.e. crinkling chip bags, twisting off drink caps, and even the occasional ring of a cellphone or a text message can also be heard. For a room full of college students who claim to have heightened intellectual pursuits most of their conversations are pretty banal. There is one girl who keeps trying to get the attention of others so she does not have to sit alone and contemplate her sad, gradually getting cold, cup of soup. There are lots of sodas and water bottles in various stages of full and almost empty on each table. One of the chefs is sitting in front of me and trying to take his lunch break and calmly read the newspaper; which is proving to be difficult because of the decibel of a particularly enthusiastic young woman trying to grab the attention of her friend on the other side of the room. How does our ear and more importantly our brain function enough to filter out the erroneous sounds and thoughts that are a normal part of daily life? What if our filter was broken? Would we be bombarded by too many stimuli for our senses to process? The idea of the psychic who has no control over her powers of mind reading and so therefore is privy to the thoughts of everyone around her all at once and can’t function normally due to an information overload comes to mind. How much knowledge can actually fit into our brains? Do they ever reach a limit? Is knowledge like sex, in that, at a certain age it reaches its peak and then starts to peter off after a time? I think this is what makes us human…our ability to process information and retain it over time and learn more of it even after we feel we have learned all there is to know.  Is it possible to empty out all the erroneous ideas that come to my mind so that I can really hold onto the thoughts that matter? If I had a place to plop the crap that is wading through my head I might have a chance to focus on something with tangible significance. Is it possible to really and truly be free from emotional and intuitive thoughts long enough to yield some type of promising writing?  Only time will tell if this is going to work! Thoughts overboard!