When we see, hear, smell, or feel something, what’s happening? How do we take in information about the world around us, and how does that information get to us?
When I smell the fragrance of new azalea blooms in my yard, actual microscopic particles emanating from the blooms themselves are wafting through the air, entering my nose, and interacting with my olfactory cells. Anytime you smell anything, there’s physical contact in the form of floating particles occurring between you and the source of the smell. Continue reading
All over the world people have argued about whose grandmother makes the best such-and-such sweets. In Greece it’s whose Yia-yia makes the best baklava. In Russia it’s whose Babushka whips up the best pastila. In the American South, it might just be whose Meemaw makes the best banana pudding. The trouble with these friendly arguments, of course, is that there can never really be an objective winner. Every dutiful grandson or granddaughter will, if not for sheer loyalty then at least for mere conditioning, always prefer their own grandmother’s culinary concoction. This preference will be built by a number of factors—the memories and sentiments it conjures, the familiarity principle—but the preference will be anything but objective. Continue reading
I’ve come to a point in my life, via many roads merging and intersecting with many ideas and experiences, where I can not only look back over my own journey, but over a sweeping landscape that goes way beyond where I began. It’s a (self) realization that ironically has taken me way past myself. What I’ve realized is the history of the world is massive. If every day this world has seen, every thought, accomplishment, and life of every human being, every town, society, and people group were a raging torrent flowing through the wide channel of time, I am, comparatively, a single cubic inch of water somewhere within it being swept along, completely affected, completely unaffecting. Continue reading