All this drama

dumpster fire with fireman
It’s about the most apt metaphor I can think of

So, the 21st century dumpster fire continues. All I have to do is go over to Google News to find out what else we’re doing to ourselves, these days.

And I say “what we’re doing to ourselves” – not “what they’re doing to us”. Last I checked, we’re all here on the planet together.

Last I checked, we were all interconnected in ways that we’re still just beginning to appreciate.

Of course, lots of people have known for a long, long time that we truly are all interconnected. And lots of people have had ideas about how we can more peacefully co-exist, if not combine and collaborate to actually make some cool stuff happen.

But not everybody.

And this is what I wonder about, these days… what makes us do the things we do, what makes us choose the things we choose, what makes us think that we’re doing the right thing, when the results so often turn out completely differently from anticipated (or deliberately planned).

I wonder about a lot of things, and some interesting ideas have occurred to me. They fit together. They work. They actually make sense, in the midst of this nonsensical world we appear to inhabit.

And that’s what I want to think — and write — about. Not the rest of it.

I’m interested in causes, in underlying principles, in the foundations of our drama. Drama in and of itself, not so much. But the mechanics of it… the neurology of it… the biochemistry and philosophical underpinnings of this time… now that interests me.

So, let’s think and talk about that a bit, shall we?

Distance? Proximity? What’s even possible?

Synapse Illustration showing component parts
See any connection? Yes and no.

Interesting things always happen, when I invest quality time in exploring the Web. I find all sorts of fascinating material to ponder. And Twitter has been a real boon, in that regard. My thought process would not be the same without it, it’s fair to say, since I’d have access to a lot fewer ideas that are normally well out of reach of my solitary life.

About a year ago, I was on Twitter and caught sight of a call for papers for a conference in Antwerp entitled “Perceiving at a Distance“.

It looked fascinating. They had a great website ( – find it now at the Wayback Machine). And there was all sorts of intriguing thought-material to “chew” on in my spare time (commuting, washing dishes, waiting for SQL queries to resolve).

I’d already been working with some ideas around perception, proximity, and distance, myself, so naturally I was intrigued to discover that — indeed — there’s a whole flock of folks who are engaged in philosophies of perception. And there was a whole conference about Perceiving at a Distance. Woot!

It got me thinking some more. A lot more.

It seemed to “conceptually bolt on” to another object of my contemplation, which has practically haunted me, since I first realized it, a few years back. Namely:

In all the 150 trillion (give or take) neural synapses we have in our brains, there’s actually no direct connection between the axons (presynaptic terminals) and the dendrites (post-synaptic terminals). In fact, synapses by their very definition, are not direct connections, rather a sort of “chemical bridge” for data to cross. In the illustration above, you can see a very small gap between the two parts of the connecting neurons. It’s minuscule, but it’s there.

And now there was a conference of philosophy about perceiving at a distance.

It got me thinking…

And it got me writing.

There’s a book in the works about this — and there’s even more to it, than I initially thought.

Lots, lots more.

So, watch this space.