C-116. Brain Mapping

Brain mapping, for all that it may reveal and all the help it may render, is an investigation into bodies and late-stage functionalism (C-97, C-114). It cannot tell us enough about needed functionality for all the problems we have yet to solve … problems we need to begin to solve faster and sooner. Brain mapping, in the absence of a companion vigorous developmental program commits the place (muddle) mistake we discussed in C-114, of neglecting what is called for (C-110) in a balanced policy of human Realization (App. XIX; C-111). This is why we prefer to speak of step and body instead of “behavioral entity.” The latter’s “behavior,“ unlike “step,” has a poorly defined unit characteristic when taken as but an attribute of an entity. It does not readily call our attention to the making as well as the taking of steps, nor to the molecular minding vs. moving units within the step, nor to the functional structuring of and in the further developed behavioral molecule (C-90: Behavioral architecture) …all of which are characteristic of the human condition – i.e., of the step body interdependence (III, XI) that is most apparent and very consequential at and in our current Frontier of CEM-history (App. XI, App. XVI).

Whatever we discover about the physics and chemistry and biology of bodies … it will not be consequential enough to direct and persuade humans to make and take the steps by which the future of humanity might be made more secure and productive. The SGN correction (C-104), especially the S (step), seems mandatory.

The tells from brain discoveries need the company of the Tells of the Nature of Things, whose general persisting conditions of partial order, consequentiality and discontinuity offer guiding principles (Topics VI-XI: requisites and imperatives) for step making and taking – and the (other) kind of knowledge (C-93) that trying to solve problems can yield about efforts per se.

For human progress, a policy of evolution looks to be too passive compared to, and without he complement of, a more developmental approach …too much a matter of Adapt than of Adept. Creationism looks to be too much a ceding of responsibility, an excuse from capability development and self-realization. Taken together they seem like sibling rivals for an order-of-things (oots), Oneness claim (See 0:S-P). Frontier problems, short range and long range, need more than physics, chemistry and biology can offer.

Consider the notion of “order plus chance” as a characterization for the totality of behavior. Chance has some value as a benchmark in screening for particulars of order (e.g., statistical significance). However, it and order taken together give short shrift to behavior (the S in the SGN correction), plus missing the G and N implications (i.e., requisites and imperatives) for both steps and bodies.

This in the face of the “F => NF” fact of life (C-115). Our grasp of steps, our realization of step making and taking, is too weak now and will become even weaker … as that fact of life increases the stress on humans of the growing behavioral problem (I:Pbeh; C-98: That other climate change) together with the growth of situational problems (e.g., population increase, depleted resources, climate change).

We need to institutionalize Realization (C-111), and not just within our schools (App. IV; C-107). We are not making as much as we might and should of consequentiality – per se and in its particulars: i.e., of a meaningful life in this World of Possibility (III).

Finally, the case of the trilobite’s calcite eyes should not be overlooked. Human brains, like the trilobite’s eyes, could be telling us that needed functionality can be realized in more than one form and, indeed, that needed functionality could be more telling than any consequentially realized step or body structure and its functioning (App. XIX).CEM-history (contingent emergent materiality) would see it this way (App. XI, App. XVI) — subject to our understanding that “material,” like “matter,” is an R-word (App. XX; C-107) despite its lack of unalloyed application as a verb. That which is material derives from the material. Needed functionality is very material.

=> It should be noted that brain mapping is far from alone in this matter of the muddled. Artificial intelligence and verbal recognition software, along with mapping the skies and inexhaustible taxonomies of chemical, geological and biological particulars, are just a few of the institutional mapping investments being made … while personal lives are invested in the main event.

(c) R.F. Carter