Challenge #02176-E347: What Were You Thinking?steemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction2 years ago

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Deep inside our consciousness is the Lizard Brain, primitive, and kept us going till we got much better, but every so often it has it's say in our lives.
And probably at the 3 F's stage of existence with an attraction to distraction. -- Anon Guest

[AN: The three F's are something I used in some slightly-raunchy fanfictions for The Adventure Zone. They stand for "Fight, F*ck, or Feed"]

Brains are funny things. We like to imagine an internal hierarchy because that's how we see the outside world and, as above, so below. This is something of a fallacy, since the brain operates as a conjunction of instincts without any one aspect in charge at any given time. The chief decision system, from an arbitrary, outside perspective[1] seems to be one of organisation by argument.

Primitive Instinct, or PI for short, sorts the world into allies or enemies. Specifically, that which can be fought, that which can be -er- mated with... and that which should be nurtured. To put succinctly, Fight, Fornicate, or Feed. Meanwhile, Memory and Learning, ML, uses past experience to build more rational responses to outside stimuli. How best to interact, how best to avoid, and so forth. This is where the steeper learning curves are expected to occur. Conscious Thought, CT, is the inner narrator. The voice in our heads. They read to us, they run a commentary when we need one, they sometimes even provide a perspective on what we're doing in the moment[2]. Emotion is deep into their feelings, Logic is there for a rational or near-rational explanation[3], and there's the usual assortment of directing forces involving the Autonomic, the Irrational, and the Reflex.

It's a lot more complicated than you might think, but let's envision them as a bridge crew anyway. The only difference is... there is no Captain of the SS You.

CT stared at the words on the screen, reading out loud to the others as was their wont. "This makes no sense," they said. "I'm in charge, of course I'm in charge. I'm the conscious thoughts. That's why I'm here."

"Hungry," whined PI. "Want food."

Emotion burst out with anger, "Screw this! Who cares what this numpty on the internet has to say? I know what works and how!"

"We," corrected Logic. "As a deconstruction of general thought processes, this model works as well as any other."

"Hungry," whined PI.

Memory and Learning said, "This is counter to anything we were taught in grade school. We should object on general principles."

"I'm angry about this," said Irrationality without good reason.

"HUNGRY," complained PI.

You leave the post unmarked. You get up to see what's in the fridge or to see if the microwave is done with whatever you already put in there. By the time your belly is full, you've forgotten all about this entry, and scroll on.

[1] The only one we have available, really.
[2] Usually a negative commentary with 20/20 hindsight, but that's us for us.
[3] Because conspiracy theories make perfect sense to conspiracy theorists.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / eveleen]

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