28 January 2013

No. 44: Synesthesia, DoomsDay Preppers and Me

No. 44: Read a book a week for a month.
Wednesday is Indigo Blue  by Cytowic and Eagleman
 which brings us to:
Synesthesia, Doomsday Preppers and Me

My third book of the month was Wednesday is Indigo Blue.  This book is about synesthesia, a sensory trait that I only recently discovered existed and that I wanted to know much more about.

That said, this book was a bore. It's a science book for scientists. The subject is fascinating but the book is graphs and case studies and lots of "this trait goes this way but not that way".

But it did get me thinking. A lot.

First here is what synesthesia is: 
A sensation experienced in a part of the body other than the part stimulated.

There are many variations of how this presents itself but a common presentation is seeing numbers in color.  Whenever a synesthete sees the number 5 it might always be red. Or sometimes days are colored. Or flavored.  If a synesthete thought of Wednesday, it might be indigo blue. (Hence the title!)  Or Mango flavored.  Some synesthetes see  colors when they taste certain flavors, some visualize their weeks or months as floating in front of them in loops of  color, sometimes music even will bring on visions of color or a sense of taste.

 I am SO jealous of this trait and SO angry that I do not possess it. It is generally hereditary so I'm pretty angry with my parents over this one.  

The closest the scientists can compare it to for us non-synesthetes is tripping on acid- except for the synesthete this is how they have always been so it is just their normal reality.

Which brings me to the Doomsday Preppers. This, for the fortunate few who have not been exposed, is a TV show about people who are convinced that the world is coming to an end and/or being overrun with_____(you name it: illegals, extra terrestrials, bugs, melting polar ice) and so they are prepping their lives for their perceived eventuality.  This show has been one of the highlights for my husband of No. 23 on the list- Get Cable.

At first I thought "These doomsday people are loony." But after reading this book I realized that the BIG thing synesthesia teaches us is that reality is not real.  Or at least not the same for all.    For the synesthete  that has fives that are always red then that is their reality. But that isn't my reality. And probably not yours, either. Unfortunately my fives are usually in black. Or whatever color the computer monitor has them. Or whatever color my crayon is. But not always red.

So if in a synesthetic world numbers are always colored and Wednesdays are Indigo blue, well  then what else am I wrong about with my boring black numbers and Wednesdays that have no color? My reality is not yours and yours is not mine.

Man, I'm mad at my parents.

These are my cute parents.  My dad will be 90 in about two weeks.
I can't really be too mad at them because basically I got some pretty good genes from them.
But I sure would have liked to have gotten synesthesia from them, too.

Maybe I can just make myself synesthetic? Deepak Chopra seems to think so.  He says "Creating your own reality is the richest gift you received at birth".  
But I am not convinced.
It is like I have always told my Bunny.  "You can be anything you want to be- except that fire engine that you aspired to be when you were four."  
Unfortunately there are always limitations.

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