The Cannon and the Damped Tone

We all know about homeostasis, Cannon. In humans, it's the working of thousands of torsion pendulums feeding acceleration data to the government. Temperature, pressure, tension, and wakefulness are all within the control of the brain--one brain. When blood sugar goes low, we go down the hierarchy--even if we don't quite yet know it. When we do drugs, we go up the hierarchy, and know it immediately. No action is required until one needs to head the other way. Loss of consiousness ensues if she locks up or runs down. It takes experience to know when the clock is running down or whether we're winding her too tight.

The damped tone starts as a Cannon, but ends in silence. It is analog in nature. The pendulum winds down. We lose information on its motion to noise. But we don't want it to stop. We listen on a socket, which is usually subconscious, but still a part of the operating system.

The wise brain doesn't overwind the clocks and remains sensitive to changes in acceleration. Stopping the clock either way is death, in blast (if you overwind her to the breaking point), gridlock, or in asymptotic and peaceful silence. We can avoid the overwinding our new society before it's too late if we end the suicide bombings, which are surely at the barrier of rationality at the lower end. As a species, we've wound up a little tight, don't you think? We could probably worry about the other end of the swing later. In the end, we end up at pharmacology anyway.

The sensitive person knows earlier when the pendulum is approaching the end of a period. Every sensitive man knows this. He is more sensitive to acceleration, not just direction and mass. He understands calculus. He relaxes. He is Analog Man. The sensitive brain, like the sensitive government, sees disease earlier, like a war that's now a painful blister. Don't forget the umwelt in your calculations. Mutts can smell cancer, you know.

By the way, we all know how to partner with the computer to speak, but do we know how to listen?


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