The Things a Person Can Do in a Day

Tonight finds your correspondent once again in Seattle, Washington, at the end of a long day.

I’ve returned to the Emerald City for a chat with a well-known business enterprise; this was prompted by the ill fortune that has befallen PubSub Concepts, Inc. where until recently I spent a good deal of my time. I’m actually in the town of Bellevue as I write; I’m sure this is a bustling little burg, pulsing with purposeful activity during waking hours (which in this part of the country seems to be from from six a.m. until sundown), but where I am staying there seems to be nothing around except Sheratons and Hiltons and swanky athletic clubs. Heaven help the weary traveler who arrives in a cab at ten p.m.and seeks a convivial watering hole.

But crossing our broad and brawny continent wasn’t the only thing on my busy schedule today; far from it. This morning I was up at the crack of dawn so that I might enjoy a minor medical procedure. I won’t go into the details, except to say that it involves a glimpse of parts that normally don’t see the light of day, was not occasioned by any symptom or complaint on my part, but is, rather, simply something that it is recommended that one do upon turning 50, and is a procedure during which a patient might ask the doctor “How’s business?”, in response to which he might jocosely reply “Looking up!”.

The most remarkable thing about this morning’s indignity was the ease with which my consciousness was deleted and restored by the attending anesthesiologist. A full understanding, at the lowest neurological level, of how this works, would be a tremendous datum in the quest to understand consciousness itself, I think. So it is not surprising that one of the more interesting theories of how consciousness works comes from an eclectically minded anesthesiologist: I’m talking about Stuart Hameroff, of course, who has collaborated with Roger Penrose on an interesting notion involving wavefunction collapse in the neural cytoskeleton. Read all about it here.

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