Curing OCBC (Over-Conservation of Brain Cells)

June 13, 2012 - Cleveland, Ohio, United States

yourRoadLiving a balanced and meaningful life is hard....why?  Because it requires so much damn thinking! And thinking about our life can be a real hard thing...there's just so many things to think about, decisions that have to be made, and complex situations to grapple with. Thinking about all of this can be so hard that many people just don't want to do it. It's almost like they think that thinking...uses up brain cells, and that there's just so many to go around, so they certainly don't want to waste them on any unnecessary thinking.

But how can people get by without thinking? How....by becoming overly simplistic. If the complex nature of everyday life requires too much thinking....then just eliminate the complexities...eradicate all ambiguity...make things real real simple, and start saving those brain cells! It makes you wonder why they would want to save them...if they're not going to use them anyway...but, this would require too much thinking to even know this. Thus, we have the condition known as "Over-Conservation of Brain Cells," or simply OCBC. I think we have a pandemic of OCBC...there's a whole whole whole lot of thinking not going on.

Sometimes things in life are indeed simple, sometimes things are a bit complicated...both things are true. Some of those close to me have accused me of sometimes making things too complicated. LOL....and this is true...sometimes! :D Other times, I must admit, it's because my loved one has made things too simple!! And I'm sure you can imagine the "discussion" that proceeds...LOL

But hell, I figured there were enough folks out there over simplifying things that I needed to do my part in balancing things out! I'd have to work double time and overtime being the quintessence of hyper-complexity to even dream of balancing out the audacious over-simplicity of Rush Limbaugh....but....we won't go there...even though I just did! (Sorry Dad....LOL) A bit of ambiguous humor is my segue into the often ambiguous nature of everyday life that we all have to live with.

The non thinking syndrome of OCBC manifests itself in a number of forms. Let's take a look at the most common manifestations:

  • Black & White thinking: this is a major tool used by non-thinkers. It's very simple....black, or white...no room for grays...requires too much thinking. B&W thinking has many forms, such as "I'm good, and you're bad" (Blame Game), and it's variant "We're good, and they're bad" found in racism, sexism, nationalism, and the other isms, including partisan politics! Ahhhhh....this one is rampant. Republican good, Democrat bad, or vice versa. No thinking going on here....I mean come on...I'm all good and you're all bad....we're all good and you all over there are all bad. Just a itsy bitsy little bit of over-simplification going on here don't you think? Yes sir....evidence of over-conservation of brain cells. You would think..."can't they see that this is outrageously over simplistic?" But remember....this requires thinking to realize this.
  • Letting others do their thinking: Rush even confesses to this one....starting out his show by announcing, "...with intelligence on loan from God." This way he doesn't have to use up any of his own brain cells....he's using God's. Yep, OCBC going on here. Ironically, many would say that to even say this with humor is a bit "big headed." Right again....what does OCBC cause? Big heads....one of the side effects of this syndrome. I mean all those saved up brain cells have to go somewhere...since they're being over conserved. This also gives new meaning to what "Shrinks" do....look...they help people think about things they don't want to think about...which is the cure for OCBC and it's side effect....big heads.nojudge
  • Judging Others: To judge another human being is so big headed to begin with, and so damn overly black and white it just gets to me. The more life I've lived, I've been humbled by the sometimes painful reality that I'm a great mixture of really good things...things I'm proud of...mixed in with things that make me wonder if I was born with a "mighty tall baby chair." You just gotta laugh sometimes at how dumb and shortsighted we can be in some moments. But....to hold both things in awareness...requires thinking...and sometimes a good bit of it. It's complex....two different realities at the same time....oh my god...my brain is going to short circuit....why can't things be simpler? Aaaaa....I'm really just the good part....and that person over there is the bad part. Aaaaa....much simpler....I'm saving brain cells now! I'm feeling better now....all cleaned up from that bad stuff that's over there...ahhhhhh....(cleaner but dumber) LOL
  • Word Choices (Never, Always, Just, Only, etc.): The use of these words is a dead giveaway that non-thinking is going on, so watch out for OCBC. These are "extreme" words...words that strip away complexity and ambiguity. Consider these examples: "She is always the cause of problems at work," or "he is never responsible and trustworthy," and "the Democrats just cripple people's initiative by all their programs," or "the Republicans just cater to the wealthy," Come on now! Any sober half way intelligent person sees that this is an itsy bitsy little bit of oversimplification here....but...perhaps just briefly because it takes too much thinking to hold this more complex reality in mind. What typically happens is ...."ahhhhhh, too much thinking....the sky is falling and it's because of those people over there. So nice to have a simple solution....and to get back to saving my brain cells..."
  • Labels: Whenever someone gives a label to someone or something....they stop thinking. Why? Because thinking is hard....remember. People don't want to do it for very long....they want to conserve and hoard their brain cells. Putting a label on something is both ingenious....and stupid making. The intent is good....spare ourselves some thinking time...so we can use our thinking for other things. Unfortunately, OCBC overuses this strategy to accomplish it's own goals....over-conservation of brain cells. It doesn't care about using the brain cells for other thinking....it wants to hoard and save those brain cells for who the hell knows what! LOL The conserved brain cells just become a byproduct of not thinking...put into a deep freeze....and never thawed out and put into action!

So...how do we eradicate OCBC? This is the all important question. For starters....if oversimplification is the genesis of this disease....then some form of re-complication may be worth looking at. So here we introduce the application of Quantum Mechanics to our discussion. There's no way to remain in a simplistic world when you grapple with Quantum Mechanics.

An engineer friend of mine recounts with amusement his first day in Quantum Physics class at Case Western Reserve. His professor started the class with..."OK...in order for any of you to make it through this class....you need to leave common sense at the door...." That's enough to make most of us squirm and to give rise to an electrical short circuit of the brain. This is just "non-intuitive" ....duhhhh....of course it's non-intuitive. But we're all so comfortable and dependent upon our apparently "intuitive" world...it's order...it's logical familiarity....so when common sense is required to be left outside the room....ahhhhhhhh!!! We're then faced with the discomfort of ambiguity....our comfortable dependence upon simplicity is stripped away, we're on shaky ground.

Speaking in Quantum Physics terminology...."How can one thing be two different things....this just seems to make no sense! How can light be sometimes particles....and yet at other times waves?" Someone might even say that "this dog won't hunt!" And yet, such is life in the quantum world....but not only there. Remember....life is complex....anything but black and white. So contemplating a world that is "non-intuitive"....that brings us to our knees....that provokes an asking for help to understand...that allows us to let go of the oversimplification of I have all the answers...is a good thing. Simple is beautiful...complexity is also beautiful...and the more we can appreciate both...and let the two dance together....well.....this is beyond words. I trust that you can fill in the blanks here....


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1 Comment

Cindy:
July 14, 2012
This topic of thinking. really makes you think. Thanks Rick : )
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