Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Beauty vs the Video Life



As an urban inhabitant of the Civilized West, I spend the great deal of my waking life indoors looking at screen images, either from a computer or television. This worries me. Modern research has found that the brain is good at re-wiring itself to adapt to its environment. I don't want my brain to re-wire itself to be a more efficient processor of screen images, like some kind of neural video camera.

From a historical perspective, a life spent receiving stimuli via a projection of images onto a flat rectangular screen is such a recent and peculiar development in the history of mankind that the eventual impacts on one's character (a quaint term associated with moral qualities and ethical standards -- largely superseded in the 21st century by the terms personality, style, or appetite) are difficult to predict, although I have noticed gradual and insidious injury to my patience, powers of concentration, and subtlety of thought.

I have resolved to experience Nature in all its three-dimensional beauty to counter the ill effects of a flat-screen video life. As I walked out my front townhouse's front door this morning, I admired two blooming trees with white flowers (see above). When I walked down my sidewalk and then turned to look back, I was pleased to view the bright pink blossoms of the crab apple tree in front of my townhouse. (How the blossoms survived a recent sub-freezing April night is a mystery to me.)

I am aware of the irony of commending Nature to my blog readers by means of pictures displayed on a computer screen. Therefore, please finish reading, shut off the computer, and go outside to let your brains re-wire themselves to experience a fuller reality.

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