Cortex of the Brain as a Mosaic of Tiny on/off Elements

“Like his master I. P. Pavlov before him, he imagines the cortex of the brain as a mosaic of tiny on/off elements. Some are always in bright excitation, others darkly inhibited. The contours, bright and dark, keep changing. But each point is allowed only the two states: waking or sleep. One or zero.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

In college, I took Art History – mostly in a hopeless, vain attempt to meet women. I really fell into it, though. I think I learned more useful knowledge in that course than in any other. The problem is, I came to the class, in a dark, quiet dungeon under a Fake Romanesque stone building – the darkness only pierced by the beam of the slide projector, the silence only broken by the instructor’s drone – after four hours of advanced organic chemistry laboratory. Sometimes I would forget to remove my goggles and would frighten the other students.

The difficulty was making that left-right brain switch during a quick hike across campus. I remember looking at some Byzantine Mosaics from Ravenna and trying to understand and appreciate the art… but all I could think was, “I wonder what dyes they used to get that blue?”

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Mosaic, Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

The mural at the Irving Arts Center pays tribute to some of the best-known icons of the city. You can see the TRE Train, The Las Colinas Mustangs, and the long-imploded Texas Stadium (now replaced with Jerry’s Death Star).

“She may know a little, may think of herself, face and body, as ‘pretty’…but he could never tell her all the rest, how many other living things, birds, nights smelling of grass and rain, sunlit moments of simple peace, also gather in what she is to him.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

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