Expressing human experience. LO24259

From: Dan Gunter (
Date: 03/28/00

Replying to LO24233 --

In exploring your thoughts and permutations, a single analogy keeps
flashing through my mind: "afferent" and "efferent" nerves, which depend
upon embedded neurological programming to determine the perception of, and
response to, a given stimulus. This, in turn, brings to mind the quote
Dr. Covey uses (but can't recall the source of): "Between stimulus and
response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to
choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and happiness."

The neurological programming involved in that "space" which roughly
coincides with the "human" part of your equation, is what fascinates me
about the whole matter, and has for a long time. That being so,
backtracking to the idea of a bill of "responsibilities" brings forth the
issue of subjectivity in determining what those responsibilities are. I
am convinced not only that with rights come responsibilities, but that the
responsibilities themselves should be the precursor.

As a species, drawing upon the species/community metaphor, we could
consider ourselves to be genetically and ecologically predestined to
contribute to the survival of the species in some fundamental ways. If we
do not actively seek to fulfill the responsibilities of our niche within
the species, can or should we expect to be afforded the rights considered
inherent to the species? This is the pivot-point of such debates as the
humaneness of capital punishment. If, instead of seeking to protect and
preserve the survival of the human species, one kills another of the same
species, is the killer entitled to the same "rights" and protection
generally afforded the species? While we find it easy to define the
responsibility in such a scenario, the extent to which the "rights" apply
is a foggy swamp, at best.

So, experiencing ==> human ==> expressing, to me becomes an interesting
circle. But it only appears as a circle from a grossly macroscopic
vantage point. As I experience another's expression, I must analyze and
form perceptions, attitudes, and emotions which inevitably determine my
own expression, keeping the cycle going. Thus a single given expression,
experienced and subsequently processed by more than one human, yields a
clearly fractal pattern, as the outcome is in turn a variety of
expressions. This raises a geometric question for me:

To facilitate the infinite number of possible bifurcations possible after
an expression, it would seem that a constantly expanding sphere would seem
the more likely macroscopic depiction. Is that so, or are there some
theoretical limits to the sphere of expression and experience?

You have just managed to send my brain off into a tangent that may take
the remainder of the day to explore and return from. I wish I could raise
a question confusing enough to occupy your brain for a day or so, just as
a vicious payback! (Only kidding, my friend. In all sincerity, such brain
vacations are quite refreshing for me.)

Dan Gunter


Dan Gunter <>

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