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Search and replace "child" with "Republican" and it works just about as well (except Republicans hate nipples).
Posted by also on September 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
Except I have many memories of being a baby. I remember specific events from when I was a few months old. So, you're speaking generally. I think for most children, little else happens for them that's worth remembering. How many adults can remember what they did a week ago, a month ago, a year ago to the day?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 19, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Wow! I actually get this. And find it compelling. Thanks! Though I still enjoy RadioLab.
Posted by stating the obvious on September 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
This is almost exactly the concept of "spiritual enlightenment" as recognized by those who've actually experienced it and aren't simply trying to sell lovey feel-good books. The recognition - not conceptually, but viscerally - that there is no such thing as a "self." That it is indeed just a construct and illusion of the mind and its methods of labeling and referencing experiences.

It might make more sense, Charles, if you revisited your understanding or definition of "ego." An infant isn't self-centric since they have no concept of a self. Instead they're responding to their direct experience: I'm hungry, that's shiny, I'm happy, I'm pooping, etc... Our own ego reinforces its illusion by seeing similar egos elsewhere.

"You" is a tricky fucking little lie that is near-impossible to get over. Great to see research finding similar conclusions.
Posted by diggum on September 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Sounds really intellectual and almost believable, until one gets further and further into hard neuroscience. (There was some German scientist who has done considerable amount of research similarly, but has neglected some major steps along the way.)

One of many negative responses: Jennifer Anniston neuron.
Posted by sgt_doom on September 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Lovely post, Charles. Your last paragraph on this is my new favorite thing you've ever written.
Posted by Zuulabelle on September 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
This isn't all new. Object Relations theory was on this since the 50s. Winnicott said that there is no such thing as a mother, or of a baby - only the mother-infant dyad. And check out Mahler et al., "The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant".

Also, like diggum said, the non-existence of the self is at the essence of true spiritual teachings.
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Charles, I'm seeing the third paragraph twice in the excerpt. And "veiw" should be "view" while you're in there. Good post even with the typos.
Posted by David from Chicago on September 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
I can't listen to Radiolab because the goofy sound effects and bizarre editing annoy me so much. I don't understand how it became a popular show.
Posted by fsb on September 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
@9, I find RadioLab's editing annoying too. I feel like it's produced with the idea that adults can't pay attention for more than 5 seconds without a weird noise or jokey banter.
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
I think Radiolab is fun. If I were going to be annoyed by anything it would be the fake conversations in which the two hosts pretend to suddenly learn about something even though we're mid-way through a show on the topic which they've no doubt prepared for. But even with that...lighten up! Plenty of podcasts for everyone! Plus if Charles hates it, it must have some merit.
Posted by g on September 19, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
@11, yeah I was going to mention the "dialogue" being annoying too, but decided not to. Anyway, everyone has their tastes - for instance, I like most stuff Charles likes.
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
@6: that was sarcasm, right? As the last pgh says, "A child is self-centered (or ego-centric) because they [sic] lack a sense of self," then contradicts: "You only become self-decentered when there is a self." It's Charles' ponderous daily attempt to fill up white space with equally vacuous words and draw a paycheck for it.
Posted by menace2society on September 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 14
@12, the they was intended.
Posted by Charles Mudede on September 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 15
@ 13, also do you know how to read? how is that a contradiction? if you are going to be smart, be smart.
Posted by Charles Mudede on September 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Charles, excellent post. I also love the BSP podcast for the very same reasons and thought this was a fabulous episode.

@9, 10 & Charles

I feel exactly the same about dumbass RadioLab. I am not a 5-year-old child and I resent being treated like one. It's "cute and clever" if you have adult ADD, are jacked-up on uppers, or are in kindergarten. I will never listen to those two dipshits even if it's on a topic I'm interested in.
Posted by Confluence on September 19, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this

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