Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Most Intimate Medium

It is three o'clock in the morning. I'm laying awake, calculating the hours left before I might reasonably rise, and the options I have to get myself back to sleep. After laying there a few minutes, the detritus of the day running through my increasingly wakeful head, I reach for my iPod and dial up one of those wonderful Radiolab episodes I've been catching lately.

Within a few moments, I've got Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich talking, the stereo earbuds creating the illusion of sound emerging from the inside of my head. This episode happens to be about the deep neurology of moral choice; about the nature of morality itself, or at least the moral feelings we experience and where they might come from. It's a particularly thoughtful program, produced in a layered, conversational style with occasional sound effects to underscore the material.

Laying there, it occurs to me, this is perhaps the deepest penetration of something externally created one can experience...

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