Model makers

The folded-up grey stuff that’s packed into your head helps manage your passage through life. But couldn’t a hundred billion multiply-interconnected nerve cells be better employed?

I am locked in the dark in your skull night and day,
At the top of your long spinal cord;
I am silent, immobile, invisible, grey,
Underused, undervalued, and bored.

I mean, you’re asleep for one third of the day –
And for most of the rest, you are lazy.
Can’t you see I’m frustrated, just wasting away?
Won’t you use me, before I go crazy?

Oh well, if I can’t get you thinking great thoughts,
I will count up my neurons instead…
There, I’ve done it: a one and eleven more noughts,
All packed in here, inside your head.

Their interconnections are legion; that’s why
My potential is quite astronomic.
Yet they’re stuck in the head of a lacklustre guy
Whose dominant mode’s autonomic.

They are starting to ask what “reality” means.
They can’t see things, or touch, hear or smell ’em,
But they’ve learned to construct quite extravagant scenes
In your head, from what other nerves tell ’em.

They have mastered the art of creating a model,
And it seems to keep you quite contented;
For they’ve made you believe that, outside of your noddle
There’s a ‘world’ – yet it’s wholly invented!

Could it be that there isn’t a real world out there?
That’s a problem I can’t get your head round.
I hammer away at it under your hair,
But all that I get is a dead sound.

Try asking big questions and puzzling things out:
Start by asking “Why? How? What? Where? Who?”
’Course, I can’t provide answers that banish all doubt,
But it will give me something to do.

[Image: wired.com]
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