Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blink Think --A way to know not what you know not

Stop and think about it for a moment.

Each time you blink your eyes, you cut yourself off visually from the exterior world (typically for about 0.3 seconds) --you put yourself in the dark.

And yet you are not aware of it. Your brain fills in the gaps. It morphs from one frame to the next without you being consciously aware that this has happened.

In one sense this is wonderful. Your brain is automatically taking care of many monotonous tasks that would otherwise impede with normal living.

Sometimes, however, this automatic management can be harmful.

An online psycho-analyst by the screen name of "Peak Shrink" asks, "What was your reaction the first time you heard about Peak Oil?"

My answer is, I can't remember.

I can't remember the "first" time. There is only a fuzzy Deja Vu feeling that I had seen Hubbert's curve before. This is so because it is probable that my Blink Think brain took care of the event automatically. It quickly rejected the notion of TEOTWAWKI and washed it out of memory. It must have happened sometime in the 1970's after The Club of Rome announced its results, or during the 1973 oil shock perhaps. I can't remember.

When the 1970's alarm bell rang, so-called expert pundits quickly emerged from the wood works to allay any concerns. "Chicken Little has been wrong every time," they announced. "Trust us. We're experts."

My Blink Think brain sprang into action. That sounds like "sound logic", it said. It erased all memory of the warnings.

The next incident was in the early 1980's, another oil shock. "We've been here before," the pundits announced. "Trust us. We're experts."

My Blink Think brain went into action again. That was true last time, sound logic from mouths that sound good. It erased all memory of the warnings.

It wasn't until around 2004 that a new warning caught my eye between blinks. Mathew Simmons popped out on the TV screen between snap action surfs. "...horizontal drilling techniques ..." he was saying.

Wha ??? What's that? Tech talk? Brain like tech talk. Wait. Hold that button on the remote! Let's listen in ....

He was talking about the big oil fields in Saudia Arabia, about Ghawar and others. Names I hadn't heard before. He was talking about "third generation" extraction techiniques. He was trying to desparately warn us about something.

Of course back then I did not have the Edge-occasion to understand what he was saying. Nonetheless, it caught me between blinks.