Bubble Wrap

Not sure where to put this, it’s a random thought I want to not forget – bird brains are denser with neurons than ours, of course, mass and weight matter for birds – so perhaps much of the mass and weight of the prodigious human organ isn’t doing cognition or other brain things, if some very clever birds can live without it?

Perhaps it’s a lot of swelling from the beatings and punch-ups, or a lot of padding evolved to lessen brain injury during those events?

Pending annoying and elusive things like evidence, I think it fits AST and maybe the larger narrative too!  The plasticity phenomenon – brain maps exist, but portions can be reallocated, functions can be relearned when the mapped area is damaged – does suggest other sorts of redundancy in the brain, other sorts of injury mitigation strategies, not saying I’m the one to ask, but I’ve heard of the circle of Willis, a blood vessel that seems to have that plan. They say human craniums are getting thinner, though, which I assume is involved, but I don’t assume how – there are head-bashing birds, after all. I need to check out woodpeckers and such. Something to keep an ear on for me.

Oh, Hell, theories! This was supposed to be a sideline, not a full-time distraction. Oh well, here goes: cranial size being limited by mom’s pelvis size, perhaps the growth of the brain took the inner thickness from the skull, what it could, from where it could, without growing the outer dimensions beyond that limit? Perhaps brain mass, either for cognition or for cushioning, was more important than helmet thickness – hmm, especially considering we developed technology to smash skulls somewhere along the way? I suppose skull thickness got outstripped, less useful against stone weapons (like stones) than smarts or padding? (Or both, of course?)

I need to learn the timeline – has it simply been a steady thinning over a few million years, or did it thicken first and thin out later? I don’t know, but I just read something that sold me that we haven’t been boxing the entire few million years, perhaps boxing is no use unless your opponent has a thin skull or something, but I also got an idea that abuse doesn’t form or malform your bones so much as your brain. Of course the science is bone-centric, that’s what we have.

Sort of my whole thing.

I’ve happened here upon an insight I know I’ve heard of other folks having – lighter bones, thinner skulls, the idea that these indicate a less violent life, the position of the self-domestication idea . . . not necessarily the case is it, by the argument I made, weapons technology could explain that with no break in the action. Thickness of your bones helps you survive a punch up with your mates, maybe hunting injuries, it doesn’t change the spear’s ability to violate your softer parts?

A long process of lightening may not indicate less violence, only a more technical violence? Just a thought, needs to be slept on. Again though, bones.

I think I have a brain puzzle that needs attention in the ramble above.

The intelligence of some smallish creatures and the flight-ready configuration of some very good bird brains (and a suggestion that those sorts of brains served dinosaurs for millions as many years as we can claim), contrasted with the relative bulk and weight of our own. It’s not subtle – the math doesn’t work, we are not that much smarter, we are on the same scale for intelligence, while the mass and volume is an order of magnitude different.

It’s not even linear, comparing the size of your brain with your dog’s, compared to the intelligence gap, or with a rat’s. I’m guessing this apparent disparity is a known question with a name, like Pascal’s Wager or some such, that we’re twice as clever, but with a brain ten times the size.

In the plasticity book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge’s work,  he makes the case that we do not need all of that mass to function, he cites a normal functioning hydroencephalytic with water where ninety percent of that mass is supposed to be! Volume is not smarts, not in any simple, must be sort of a way.

So I’m back to most of it being bubble wrap.

That’s my rap all day long.




February 15th., 2020

LOL – it’s better than my previous theory, believe me



7 thoughts on “Bubble Wrap

  1. Phoebe Sparrow Wagner February 15, 2020 / 4:00 pm

    I don’t know that there’s any math that purports to compare the intelligence of different species. We have not even agreed what intelligence is in other species but most whales do a fine job of being whales and ants do a bang up job at living as ants. While we would not be naked in the water so “intelligent”
    at being whales or in the soil trying to be ants… so for me the idea of comparing species’ relative intelligence is meaningless, mathematical or not. Only ants are as intelligent as ants need to be and whales likewise. I just don’t see the point of comparing intelligences!

    I do see the point of trying to change the lessons society has evolved to teach humans, tho. And I believe that can and should be done. Whether it will happen is unknown of course but social change, massive social Changes have happened and still can. It may take a cataclysm to produce such a Change but ya never know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff/neighsayer February 15, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      Hey Phoebe! Good to see you!
      I agree with everything you said about animals and smarts, but I don’t really see a conflict with what I’ve said, and if I consider ants, the same disparity jumps out at me, they walk, they talk a bit, they breed, live and succeed, and how much more do we do, with brains 10,000 times their size?
      Whales, though, you got me there!
      Their brains must outweigh ours by a bunch – I THINK – and I’m not sure what that means. I don’t think they need the bubble wrap I’m thinking about in their brains, but they have pressure to deal with . . . my first guess is I’m not going to be able to get what I want out out of checking whales out?
      But I’d better, of course. And I shall.
      I’ve sort of clarified my quest, and it’s “get the anthros to acknowledge and credit abuse as the REASON humans are hopelessly aggressive.” I’ve figured out I can’t convince parents not to spank, so it needs to come from the ivory towers of academia on down, and so now I harass professors and authors instead of parents, LOL That’s probably not news.
      Made one little baby step in my personal journey recently, I found a way to acknowledge my own youthful aggression without having to deny and defend about it (to myself, still alone). Like, if I deny ever fighting, then it’s like there was no need, I’m denying being fought against? I had to sort of go back and say, I wanted revenge, I wanted to hurt him and her, to be in that place again before I realized those feelings indicated something real, a real need for power or safety?
      Some reduction in existential tension, anyhow, or I think so.
      You doing OK?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Phoebe Sparrow Wagner February 16, 2020 / 10:41 am

        Hey Jeff,

        Yes I’m okay — tomorrow is one year anniversary of my twin sisters death so that has things a bit awry but in general I’m doing well.

        In NVC we stay away from blame. If we made what others consider a “bad” choice of behavior choice like fighting, we try to look at it only as a chosen strategy at the time that either helped the situation or did not. Usually fighting physically or verbally does not help and so is not a useful strategy, but not always! If people could get away from the dualism of judgment, either of self or others, we would be better served as a society. Things — I mean behaviors —are not good or bad they are just useful towards an end or not useful.

        In NVC we try to make observations of real events and state how we feel when such and such happens or so and so does something. We try to state the needs that are not met, expressed by a negative feeling , and if possible make a do-able request. For example one might say, «  when you swear and scream about something My ears hurt and I don’t feel safe and my need for safety is unmet. I would like to understand your feelings and needs. Would you be willing to lower your voice so I can hear you without my ears hurting and my feeling fearful?» No one is blaming the angry yeller here or judging them only stating how a behavior triggers a reaction and how it doesn’t help the situation. The do-able request is simply asking if the person is willing to lower their voice in order to reduce the chance that fear is triggered etc. And to help the yelling person to find a strategy that better meets their needs too!

        I think that NVC might be a useful way of thinking to effect this change you (and I too) want. It’s very simple yes but not easy at all, for all its simplicity. I highly recommend looking into Marshall Rosenberg — he wrote books but also there are very entertaining videos of marshal and NVC on YouTube.
        Hope you are also doing okay?

        Tried to post this three times but maybe this time it will work?

        Take care,


        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff/neighsayer February 17, 2020 / 10:29 am

          Yeah, we’ve talked about NVC and I’m gonna project a little and say folks like you and I find it sensible because we’ve sort of always known it, always sort of lived that way? My whole life has been about that, about holding feelings at arm’s length and trying to stick to the rational goals, and my whole life I’ve been looking down – with nice, liberal pity, not scorn (same thing, though) – on the folks around me that seem to be constantly engaged in a fight, defending some mad feeling as though their feelings were peer reviewed science revealed by God, like with no apparent self-doubt.
          This little realization of mine was sort of breaking through that feeling denial, to finally acknowledge my own feelings at the time. Not to defend them now, just to realize I had feelings I was defending then. I’ve been what my sisters call intellectualizing so much, trying to get past everyone’s momentary feelings to keep the rational plot, that I was ignoring my own feelings like I do every other idiot’s moment to moment feelings, so I didn’t have an explanation for some of the things in my own life, things I did because of feelings I had. Semantics, maybe, but I don’t think so.
          Like I would think about a childhood fight and I wasn’t getting past what they did to hurt me and my hurt, like when I struck back, I was telling myself it was defense and now I see “defense” may be a reason, but that was secondary to the aggression, I was explaining it to my self, THEIR aggression, MY defense.
          I’ve been living in a state, where, even when the story is a fight with a bigger older sibling and I have an excuse, the suggestion that I reacted with aggression was unthinkable. I was not allowed to have aggression, even with provocation, it must be defense! – that’s immature, aggression has to be forgivable. Plus of course, if I’m not allowed, NO-ONE is allowed – exactly the sort of rule NVC is to fix, right? Aggressive feelings exist and peace requires not writing off every person who ever had one, of course.

          I have no idea about posting troubles, I don’t know from coding. I use Google Chrome for my browser and I paste my blogs in from Word, other than that, I dunno.

          Take care too,



          • Phoebe Sparrow Wagner February 17, 2020 / 2:32 pm

            It seems that I cannot post twice only reply so sorry for the ever narrower column. In NVC it’s ALL about feelings and knowing how you feel and the difference between real feelings and pseudo feelings which is to say thoughts. One doesn’t have aggressive feelings one feels angry and responds to thoughts of”how dare he hit me?” Etc and reacting without thinking differently is how fights start. Reacting is what most people do, they feel a feeling, tell themselves a thought about what caused the bad feeling and then they react. We all have feelings and thoughts arise from them. Good feelings are not a problem . Who fights when feeling good? It’s when we feel bad and that leads to the thought that someone else is responsible for the bad feeling that fights and quarrels start.

            NVC is definitely not about stuffing or denying feelings it’s about looking at feelings differently and as universal. Everyone has the same feelings and needs. The only difference is the strategies we use to fulfill our needs and end the bad feelings. Yes even Trump! He might not be a very capable leader but his behavior reflects only ineffective choices of strategies to meet his human needs that are no different from your needs or my own. What people call narcissism is really and only an ineffective strategy to meet a need for safety or companionship or something else — it may not work very well but the person with narcissistic behaviors clearly has not learned this or how to get what they need.

            So you fought as a child — everyone does. The beauty of NVC thinking and feeling is that forgiveness is not necessary and neither are apologies since NVC never condemns anyone or any behavior as bad only Ineffective. No one is guilty really in NVC because there is no judgment of anyone. If you feel sad about something in the past that’s sadness and real but in NVC guilt as a feeling is non existent because there is no judgment. I thought you would like that idea because judgment of anyone as bad leads to bad feelings and unless one knows that no one can judge, that judgments are just meaningless dualism, an arm of the State, one accepts the notion of guilty feelings as real and bad behavior as a think to be punished

            NVC goes way further by saying No one should be punished ! Punishment doesn’t help and if people knew better tools to use like NVC troublesome behavior would be a lot less



            Liked by 1 person

            • Jeff/neighsayer February 18, 2020 / 6:29 pm

              we’re at cross purposes here somehow, easy to do talking about feelings and the spaces between them or something, your first answer tells me I failed to make my opening point, like you think I’m chasing those old feelings to pick them up and run with them or something, that wasn’t supposed to be it. I was trying to tell you I glimpsed a feeling I had thoroughly stuffed away for about fifty years. And you can’t deal with a thing you are not aware of, right?


  2. Phoebe Sparrow Wagner February 19, 2020 / 6:47 am

    Can’t write much here but in fact TALKING ABOUT REAL FEELINGS not thoughts about feelings or thoughts parading as feelings is extremely difficult . We have been taught that certain thoughts are feelings because it is convenient for society to instill these thoughts in us and call them feelings. Like guilt (which a judgement about self and a thought that I did something wrong ) and “aggressive feelings” which are really just anger and produce aggressive behavior because of how we are taught to think about anger. You really do not understand NVC but maybe it’s not right for you at this time.



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