The loneliness of an over-informed brain

The loneliness of an over-informed brain

I am at the mercy of my body’s senses. They inform and tell me of what is out there. But, I often wonder whether they are telling me the truth. Can I trust them? Touch, smell, hearing, taste, sight are constantly flooding me with information, often contradictory. I am at my wit’s end because I cannot make heads or tails of the input I get daily, most of it nonsensical and overloaded with diverse meanings. I need feedback.

When I rest, or try to, most of this information roams in me, getting together like odd jigsaw pieces of a crazy, ill-fitting puzzle. Smells, sights, noises, make a jumble, and all seems like an orchestra gone crazy, where each player goes it alone, forgetting the score and ignoring the director. It is frightening. I come out of my rest, sleep, with aches and pains all over my neurons.

Then more input. Scores of pieces of information rush in and I sometimes cannot cope. With new gadgets I get constant upgrades, endless upgrades. They are mind benders.

I am sure I am being conned, duped, and even laughed at. Those senses try to see whether I can make sense –pardon the silly pun- of all the nonsense I am fed constantly.

I need brain to brain interaction. Real, flesh and blood contact, that will make me feel true. As a brain I feel lonely and need something. I feel trapped. Are other brains suffering the same way? I need to know.

Thousands of years ago, the early brains must have gone through this and that is why they invented language, in order to communicate with one another. Everything was simple then. Information came in piecemeal and could be analyzed slowly. Now the input is simply crazy and constant: Tv., facebook, radio, chats, texting, twitting, e-mailing… boggle me to the point of saturation. Too much information can be a problem.

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The loneliness of the over-informed brain

Is the world, society, others, the way I sense them, or is it all fiction? I am told that I am the boss and that I run the show… but I have my doubts. Do I really know how to make decisions with all the influx of sensorial impacts I am being bombarded with all the time?

I try to get important feedback from old books, where great thinkers show me how they have travelled and how they reacted to their environment, to the environment that their senses were sending them. Democritus (ca. 460 BC) said that the perception through the senses is subjective. Was he right?

I am a lonely entity trapped in a head and everything seems unreal to me: the world, myself… I turn things around and strive to understand. Language does not help: I am not understood and I do not understand other brains. Should I learn more languages? I talk to myself and I even study myself. I understand that some brains have gone so awry that they hear voices, voices that, according to others, do not exist.

And then the ever-present dread of not getting enough oxygen or glucose.

Is this a nervous breakdown? Am I out of it? What is there to do? A neuroscientist’s brain is going through the same experience and will not be able to help. I am certain. It all seems like a nightmare…

Cyberspace is making me falter. Everything seems to be up in the air, up in that thing they call cloud, whatever it may be. Texting and emails are wholly unreal and I do not want to be part of it. Virtual friendships; virtual communications; virtual love; virtual sex… all on the screen, on line, somewhere, far from me. Digital technology has made me feel alone, lonely, and I need more than that… much more than that. I cannot handle so much information and it is becoming a problem. Give me a breather, please. Stop this constant influx of information!

This is a desperate brain’s plea!

Delfín Carbonell Basset

Delfín Carbonell is a graduate of Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. in Philology from Madrid and has authored 35 books in both English and Spanish, published by McGraw-Hill, Barron’s, Larousse, Anaya and Serbal. He has taught at Pitt, F&M, Scranton and Murray St. University.