Monday, October 05, 2015

of the information overload of the times...

You know the amount of information we get bombarded with all the time nowadays? You're listening to music, and you're browsing the internet while at the same time, you're drafting an email and making coffee. That seems to be the way we live nowadays. What is just focusing all your attention on one task? That is so yesterday.

Since giRaffe gets bus sick if it reads or do anything on her iPad on public transport, it usually treats this window of time as an unproductive hiatus between the periods of good productive work. Which is a bummer because giRaffe doesn't like to do nothing. It likes to surf facebook and read books, and get lost in youtube videos, and pretend to do real work, all at the same time.

Well, apparently today the local public transport company has caught up with the times and is trying to emulate this information bombardment, and perhaps trying to redeem itself in giRaffe's eyes.

So giRaffe was on the train this morning, grumbling inside itself about how much more productive it would have been if it was in her bed, snuggled under the sheets, when the announcement came on inside the train carriage. Not one announcement, not two announcements, but three announcements all going in simultaneously. One was informing the passengers about the station the train was approaching, another about being careful of the gap between the train and the platform, and the last apologising about a slight delay this train was having. All together! For a moment, giRaffe thought it was still not awake and this jumble of noises was in her dreams, the way dreams always are, at least giRaffe's dreams, a jumbled mass of things.

Perhaps the public transport company were worried about being behind the times and was trying to be an up and coming hip company? Thank you SMRT ya!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

of giRaffe's talent...

You know, there is the kind of sniffer dogs where they put at the airports, to sniff out drugs?

giRaffe thinks, if one day coconuts were illegal, it could find good work as a coconut-detector. Just today, giRaffe realised its coconut-detecting ability has upped itself again.

When giRaffe was in the shower, it decided to give itself a good scrub with the St Ives apricot scrub thingey it loves because it smells so nice (and because it's so cheap), it accidentally got some on its lips. Only a really tiny bit. And immediately, like literally immediately, giRaffe's lips had the swollen feeling that usually comes when it has eaten anything with coconut.

Just to make sure giRaffe's swollen feeling was really due to the coconut, it immediately looked at the ingredient list on the bottle, before realising the shower was not yet turned off and it almost drowned under the shower. True enough, hidden very sneakily among the innocent ingredients was cocos nucifera, and in case you did not know what that is, it's the scientific name for coconut. Learnt something new today eh? You're most welcome!

giRaffe's coconut-detection ability has reached such a top notch level, now if only they can outlaw coconuts, then giRaffe would be the world's most famous coconut detection giRaffe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

neorocognitive sociology?

Just to qualify things right at the start. I believe that normalcy is a spectrum. Simply a spectrum. And that every single being on this planet falls somewhere into the spectrum. Every single being in the world has a unique way of perceiving things and processing this information. It just happens that certain individuals whose cognitive processes take on a slightly different route gets seen as different and abnormal. Normalcy is simply a line some insecure people draw, to divide the world into some convenient but very unfair categories. So in our world, most people fall into one end of the spectrum and an invisible line divides this group of majority from the other group and labels them as having certain disorders.

But anyway, imagine a world in which the spectrum was tipped upside down. Now people who used to be considered as out of the norm are the norm and the people who were considered normal are the minority.

How would people be processing the world?  Perceptual functioning is going to occur very differently and cognitive processing is going to be shifted. In this new world, the interactions and the way people relate to each other within the society would be fundamentally changed.

And all our sociological theories would have to be rewritten.

Which brings me to my point: shouldn't the study of sociological phenomena be tied in with neuroscience? Sociologists have been observing the world and making inferences about the structure of society based entirely on observations rooted fundamentally in the fact that people process the world in a certain set of ways. Scientific studies of these sociological constructs have also at most, manipulated variables of these external phenomena and made inferences from it. Which is all well, except for the fact that, we would not be able to generalise our sociological findings to a different species, one in which has a set of perceptual and cognitive processes different from human beings.

In the past, people used to believe that the earth was the centre of everything and that the sun goes around the earth. Everything was built upon this believe, until scientific studies proved otherwise. And when scientists recognised their previous error in scientific understanding, advances in the understanding of the universe could then be made.

Similarly, our current approach to sociology is taking a very anthropocentric view of the world. Are humans really the centre of everything that we can base our conclusions simply on the observations that human beings behave in a certain way?

Taking an anthropocentric approach, the conclusions we draw based on observations of human beings is valid. But, these conclusions cannot be generalised at all to cultures outside that of human populations.

Is it thus time to take on a new direction and consider studying sociological concepts through a neuroscience approach? How an individual perceives an event, and how the cognitive processes work in analysing these perceptions and finally, how this individual reacts is all interdependent on this individual's cognitive processes. If we are able to discover what types of cognitive processes goes on that create certain types of reactions to social stimuli, we could then predict the types of reactions that are likely to occur when similar types of cognitive processes occurs. The same type of stimulus might not elicit the same kind of responses because of the different ways in which they can be perceived, and different cognitive processes that might occur. Won't a neurocognitive approach towards a study of sociological processes be wonderfully exciting?

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Suddenly had the revelation of the reason for the existence of melodic and harmonic minors.

That moment of bling! The light bulb lighted up!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Isn't cultural musicology a more apt term than ethnomusicology?

Or maybe anthropo-musicology, music-anthropology, music-sociology, social-musicology?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


When it seems too much to bear,
when I seem to be all alone,
with no end in sight,
or perhaps with the end seemingly looming in front of me,
die you die, there's nothing but the end of hope, the end of light for you.

Thank you for that one kind word,
the little kind thoughts,
the motivations without even knowing, you placed in me.
Thank you all of you, knowingly or not,
for lifting me up and pushing me on.

I do not know if I will last to the end, triumphant,
or fall down mid way, defeated.
But thank you for pushing me just a little bit further on.