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Old 08-30-2008, 08:47 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe

Well, not that anybody would necessarily care about how I feel after watching this diavlog, but I wonder if others had a similar reaction.

First, I did find it very interesting, although what seemed most fascinating was the psychology of the discussants. Both Carl and Richard did a great job exploring the different topics and presenting their views. I found myself identifying very strongly with Carl's state of mind, revealed by his facial expression of aversion, as he listened to Richard's description of the Lesch-Nyhan's patients. Carl's reaction were so down to earth, so to speak, that I felt relieved to see him making faces, while I was privately experiencing the same degree of revulsion. Now, this is not the first time that I hear about this terrible syndrome. But it is the first time that I hear such degree of detail. And most importantly, Richard's tone of voice and affect were a total disconnect with my internal experience of the story. Now, I can imagine that Richard has worked hard to be able to tell this story in the way he does. I will speculate that he has searched for every shred of compassion he could find to be able to reach out to these patients and spend time with them as he did and to find their dimension of "humanness". Most likely not an easy task. When Richard described the L-N patient having the gloves removed and whatever expression came onto his face, it felt (to me) quite surreal. I can only praise Richard's ability to communicate so effectively. I haven't read his books and I don't know how he interprets the phenomenon he describes. I'd like to hear from other commenters if they know about this. I've encountered similar experiences working with some (few) psychiatric patients. I have always been perplexed by it. There's something "non-human" that comes through. I've always interpreted this as our own inability (and fortunately so) to relate to extraordinarily pathological manifestations of these illnesses. Perhaps someone else will want to add to this.

And then Carl and Richard move on to talk about the scientists having sex on a tree? I was barely recovering from the unavoidable mental images about those people eating their fingers, when I'm thrown into silvicultural sexual imagery? Not fun! Maybe someone else got a kick out of this, but not me. Total turn off. No way. Nil.

And then they moved on to "normal" stuff. Sigh of relief...

After I finished watching, I was in a state of stupefaction for... what? Maybe ten minutes. Ten minutes! Blank. Slight nausea. Perplexity! I finally recovered and gathered my thoughts. I looked at what was going on in the forum: nothing, deserted. I had the fantasy that everybody else was equally perplexed in front of their screens. Motionless, listless. Unable to react.

I went for a walk and upon my return I started to write this, after having a delicious serving of my favorite dark chocolate ice cream...

That's all folks!
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