Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Thursday, July 1, 2010

bodies and minds revisited

Scott Adams:

My wife and I designed our new house as a brain supplement, although we never spoke of it in those words. Every element of the home is designed to reprogram the brains that enter it to feel relaxed in some of its spaces and inspired in others. The language I used at the time of the design was that every space should be an invitation. (I'll talk more on that topic in an upcoming post.) When guests walk through the house for the first time, we can watch the house change people's attitudes and emotions in real time. It's fascinating.

How about your guests’ bodies? Do they have bodies? Do you and your wife have bodies? Do houses have anything to do with bodies, or just brains? Also, you say you see people's attitudes and emotions change "in real time" — is there some other kind of time in which they might change?

4 comments:

  • Aw yes bodies.

    It's no surprise that the more and more time we spend using computers, the more and more we come to use computer metaphors to talk about ourselves. (Aside from genuine advances in the field, I'm sure that's also why neuroscience is all the rage these days.)

    But language is a funny chicken/egg sort of thing, isn't it? The words we use do have a "reprograming" effect on how we can and do think about things; and there aren't words for everything a human being can do or experience, especially where are bodies are concerned.

    As I like to say, when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a fish with a bicycle.

  • Scott Adams is among the smartest guys who frequently gets things wrong. But then, his objective is rarely accuracy; it's mocking humor. To the more credulous reader, his concoctions are entertaining enough that their being preposterous fails to register.

  • Either the guests have bodies, which is what Adams and his wife are actually watching for the clues that cause them to judge that the guests' attitudes and emotions are changing as they enter the house; or the Adamses have some wicked cool brain scan technology that provides images of their guests' brains on the spot (in real time!) as they enter. Plus training in neurological imaging and interpretation thereof.

    Either way, "brain supplement" is one of the goofiest terms I've ever seen used in relation to architecture or interior design. Sounds more like quack pharmacology.

  • I'll wager 3000 quatloos the Adamses have bodies.

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