The Sound of Thoughts

I decided to start from first principle and thought about thoughts today. Now, if thoughts are initially non-existent, before the thinker starts to think and then, suddenly they crowd the brain in activity, it means they can be generated and they can be turned off.

If thoughts are generated, it means they require specific instructions to exist, particular conduits to pass through et cetera. Which means, blocking those conduits can limit thoughts, same as designing new conduits can change the flow of thoughts.

If thoughts elicit a response, in electrical activity which has previously been detected by scientists, but which we can reason by the consideration of how they are generated: by signals of neurons and snapping synapses, then they can be measured as any electrical activity.

If it can be measured, it can be read and interpreted.

Thoughts are generated by the thinker and understood by the thinker, intimating a particular method of generation, conduction and interpretation. If methods exist internally, they can be replicated externally. Artificial methods of interpreting thoughts can be designed.

Now, is it possible to read minds? Is it possible to hear the sound of thoughts?

We begin with generation and conduction. Structural design of a typical brain; generator, conductor and interpreter of thoughts, is uniform in any regard. However, some brains record a higher level of thought generation and interpretation than others, indicating a higher level of conduction. Meaning that conversely, some brains exist with structural elements which are unused, pathways available for conduction but due to limited generation, cannot be utilised to proper interpretation too.

Those brains should be able to serve as conduits for external electrical activity. Should be able to read other minds.

Patching the measured signals of an existing, normally functioning brain activity into another brain, limited in activity should allow conduction and eventual interpretation by the less utilised brain. Should. Since the structures exist.

This can also be actualised by taking a full functioning brain of an individual in a complete drug induced dreamless sleep. The limited brain activity of a full functioning brain, should allow for conduction and interpretation of external activity.

It is possible to hear the sound of thoughts.

Disclaimer

  • I don’t have a jar of harvested brains in my
  • This is completely theoretical.

God bless Nigeria.

Guidelines to organizing a book launch in Nigeria

So, last night a friend of mine hit me up, we used to be quite cool back in UNIBEN and he had just written a book. I was still gushing with my praise, congratulations and “You know say my own signed copy na free na heehaw heehaw” when he added that he was having a book launch party planned. Naturally, my excitement tripled. I was seeing very visual visions of chatting, dinner and ehmmovies with the brunette sapiosexuals, when he brought me down to earth with: “Chris, can you help me out with the program. Like, what’s supposed to happen?”

That was when I realized, in typical Nigerian mien, Oga was planning a book launch party, and did not even know what it was going to be all about. So, I decided to write this post for those of you out there who are planning book launches and don’t know how to go about them. Continue reading “Guidelines to organizing a book launch in Nigeria”

Why Writers should wear lab coats

I was thinking on my way from church this afternoon. It was one of those deeply introspective moments where you are staring out the taxi window at the passing gala and La casera hawkers while your stomach roils with ASH.

ASH (ay-sh) (abbreviation)

meaning: After Service Hunger. The mysterious hunger known to afflict churchgoers every Sunday immediately after service. eg. Omo na to go Bola house go chop after service o! This ASH no be here

Continue reading “Why Writers should wear lab coats”

The Four things to do when Y.A.C.B.F.A.B.H

There must have been fifteen different alternate beginnings for this post before I finally went “Simbelah it!” and typed this one anyway. It’s been an irregular past couple of years on this blog and too naturally a lot of the regular readers have fled (ja lo sibe?). As you might imagine, I spent a lot of time this evening thinking of possible posts I could drop here that will bring my readers back.

So I checked my drafts.

posts for blog.png
Nothing really stood out for me…

 

Continue reading “The Four things to do when Y.A.C.B.F.A.B.H”

About the Art of Writing in 2016

Let me give you a dilemma to ponder on. Imagine a writer, extremely skilled in his craft, or hers, whatever, and this writer starts to write professionally. Here is the first thing that happens: the writer stops writing what it is they love to write and instead what they know people want to hear, what is de rigeur, in vogue, the style of the moment, the fad, etc etc. What comes next is the application of best practices, blogging styles, the many and numerous tricks of the trade and words like content management, SEO, post targeting, click baiting etc.

See, the worst thing that happened to writing as an artform in this century is the creation of the phrases, content development, content creation etc. Content developers are not writers same way wall painters are not artists. The ability to spin words that will entice and enthrall is beyond simple content made to sell a product, fill the pages of an e-book, the lines in a proposal or the empty pages of a website.

See, content development is not writing. A content developer is not a master of magic.

I manage a couple of blogs both privately and for clients and partners and I can tell you that the best content developers often are the worst writers imaginable. Good writers make awesome content developers for sure, but I can bet you a thousand quid that your best author will be hard-pressed churning out pages of (400 words or less) articles on ‘Beauty products for the insane and recently acquitted’ day in and out .

The point I am trying to make is this, when writers begin to pen down professionally, they start to follow the rules and the problems with rules is this: they stifle creativity in more ways than one. Not only do rules make it practically impossible to stretch the imagination further than a certain point (or at least allow it to, because imaginations as agreed by Messrs All and Sundry, have a way of stretching themselves wherever they like, rules be damned) but also, rules have this thing about defining the objective. The rules of an athletic track race demand that each runner stay in his lane and thus the objective changes. The objective of the race is no longer to find who wins the race by arriving first at the finish line, but to find who does so while staying in his lane. Rules draw a line to limit.

Writers should not be limited.

Our Heavenly Father shows us this first in His own word where by his will, he pens down what he deems is the story of creation as we will understand it, fantastic as it sounds. Our foolishness is therefore in determining and saying of what He has written that it is improbable or impossible to happen, given what little we know of the cosmos. But I digress.

Someone will argue that rules of writing are necessary so as to determine expertise and judge competence and also so as to establish a system by which what is written can be read and understood. And that I agree with.

The rule should therefore stay with the manner of presentation and not in the type of content. In the little village where I grew up, we often ran, us little kids of the village. Our rubber slippers held in our hands, to aid our bare feet with better traction on the ground, our trousers hitched up to prevent any sort of drag and so on. We ran to compete with each other, to know who was fastest and bestest. But most importantly, we ran for fun. We ran because we wanted to, surely competition was a basic staple in this need to race, but the enjoyment of it all was just as important. And so fat kids like me could run halfway to the wall, turn back and run the way we came. Everyone else yelled and complained, but it was all fun. In the presentation, comparing both the modern race as we see in the Olympics’ track events and that I constantly practiced in my little village, both involve moving from one end to another with the determining factor being the length of time of race and the order on which the competitors arrived at the end. Excellent. In matters of the lane, starter’s pistol, and other newfangled rules and regulations that govern the manner in which the race is run, the rules only see to stifle.

The basic sprinting stance now involved moving with legs pumping and arms like a piston following in coordination. In the old village, some ran with both arms flung out to the sides, others with arms straight back in the manner of anime ninjas and some yet just ran with reckless abandon. Some, such as yours truly, simply rolled along as a mass of shaking and shivering rolls of flesh.

When you write, write with reckless abandon. Let the words pour forth and the truth of your soul peek through.

I had an epiphany yesterday.

“An artist must be a man of huge appetites. For to understand the world which he depicts he must have a huge desire for it. The world. The artist must want to swallow it up, to gobble it whole, to completely immerse all of himself in the sticky morass of the world. To have the world stink on his skin. For you must understand that art is only a reflection of the world, a description, a depiction, an interpretation, seen through what the artist has seen, heard, felt or desires of the world. Art is the world made new.

Now here is the rub. An artist must have a huge appetite for the world, but the artist must not satisfy this appetite in the world, but in their art. In your art. The artist just take all of his longing and desire and paint on canvas, play on stage, sing with all of their breath,  or scribble out with a pen. The artist must scratch himself of all of this desire. Purge all of it out by delving into it, but only through the art. Only through his creation will the artist live and experience his desire. Those artists who have realised their appetites and have made of it their art, they succumbed to the knowledge they will never experience their art in this lifetime and so decided that they will portray it in their art, and so from the moment of that decision, they were plagued with the need and desire to quickly gain release.

It is the job of the art connoisseur, the novel reader, the gallery shadow, the music lover to experience these worldly desires so expressed by the artist. It is he who would dive headlong into the mess of the artist’s wants and dreams, immerse himself in the shameless sty of the fifth of the artist’s vilest thoughts and experience in them an enjoyment, a relief, an orgasmic delight akin and belonging to the sigh of the artist’s final satiety.”

Rules however, will not let the artist fully express these desires. Rules leave no space to dive in and roll thickly within the desires that will be expressed.

When writing in 2016, my advice is simple. Ignore the rules, plunge in deep. Write from the heart, in bold slashes that dare criticism. Write the things you want to, ignoring the comments and the unlookers. Throw the ink against the sheets, slam your palm on the keyboard, imprint your fucking ideas on the mind of every one who reads. Then settle back and say, “Fuck it! That’s what I think, and I think beautifully.”

That what GOD did, only not in those words.

Disclaimer

  • I am a content developer

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“Please don’t be anointed”

In a long while I have not used All in this life’s journey to tell actual stories from my own life. I have subscribed to that very Social Media promoted thing that blogs are supposed to be for gossip stories, fashion, music, or literature, forgetting the initial purpose was as a sort of online diary. I remembered a few days ago when I saw a post from Sharon, and the events of Today prompted this, so, read on and enjoy. A day in this life’s journey.

True life story

____________________________________________________________

“Please don’t be anointed”

 

When I stepped out the house on Saturday, 30th May, 2015 I had a lot of expectations. Most of them had to do with what I was going to do that day, and how successful it was going to be. The others involved just how much money I was going to spend before the day was done. You see, I was going to take samples, in a river I had never heard of, of both the water and the sediment, as part of my final dissertation for the conclusion of my Masters in Science program at the University of Port Harcourt. There I was wearing my lucky old grey shirt, and the dirty brown jeans that go with, lacing up the oldest pair of sneakers I had, and little did I know that before I was done, I would meet Japanies, yes, Japanies, discover a world beyond what CNN would show you, and learn how not to be anointed.

Continue reading ““Please don’t be anointed””

Two Tales

NUDITY, FOOD AND THINGS THAT CAUSE HATE

There I was, wet body with a bar of amber colored Fair & White Gold soap in my hand, single gold chain atop my slim hips, hair net on my head removing hair from my neck, bambi eyes wider than a saucer and mouth open in shock as the door to the bathroom creaked open and a pair of eyes ogled the spectacle. This was followed by a high-pitched slightly maniacal laughter as my embarrassment doubled and my yellow skin flushed as my heart beat tripled.

Oh no.

“Sister Simi, sorry o”, the owner of the slightly maniacal laughter said as she pinched her accomplice who walked back to the living room of my two-bedroom flat, holding his pinched arm. I could swear that I saw a tingle of accomplishment in her eyes and I looked at her in disbelief.

God.

“I didn’t know you were inside the bathroom o. How are you now? Please come and give me M&B paracetamol, I’m having a slight headache. How is your weekend going? Hope no problem.”

“I… I… I’m coming. I’ll be done soon.”

“Okay. I hope you cooked o. so I can take the paracetamol before we go for rehearsal.”
And she sauntered off to the direction of the living room in her very ugly red blouse and pink leggings like nothing happened.

I closed the door and sat down with my bare buttocks on the cold tiles, cursing myself for giving her an extra key to my house. As I stood up two minutes later when my mouth closed and completed my bath, I heard the TV change from SoundCity to Africa Magic Yoruba. Anger peered its head in my chest, amazed at the audacity of this woman and terrible words from a dark place in my heart began to take form.
I got out, got dressed and as I made my way to the living room with my car keys, I stopped short as the smell of my Hot-dog and Shrimp sauce wafted to my nostrils.

Jesus no. Jesus no. Jesus, please, no.

I ran the remaining steps to find my Hot-dog and Shrimp sauce on two plates with my Ofada rice beside it. There was no way both of them were eating and there was any left in the pot for me.

“Aunty Simi,” Ayinde said as he sat on the floor, my food between his small parted legs, “do you have Bobo?”
His mother threw her head back and laughed again, choking a little as the food in her mouth passed the wrong tunnel.
In that moment, my eyes filled with tears and I garnered all the hate I could muster and promised to unleash it in future on this five year old boy and his mother.

 

 

STOLEN KISSES

When I pouted my lips and closed my eyes, I didn’t know what to expect but the last thing, and I mean the very last thing on my mind was to feel Christian’s lips on my own after responding to his ‘Simi kiss me now’ with ‘Oya take’ inside the board room of our office with Isaiah sitting directly opposite us, his brows squeezed in concentration as he stared at his MacBook Pro laptop. Christian had withdrawn with a grin as soon as my eyes flung wide open in utter disbelief. If he had looked away and pretended as if nothing happened, I would have told myself that it was only my imagination but he just stared and smiled and I swiveled my chair away from him. Very good. I am now an office slut. From Shedrach taking me home in his rickety Toyota Corolla all the way to Satellite Town where he had never been before in his entire life before meeting me and having to find his way back to his house in Oshodi every Thursday when we closed earliest in the week to Musa who bought me lunch every day as he asked the same ‘So when are we going on a proper date outside this office environment?’.

Office slut. I couldn’t wait to tell Lamide. She always knew what to do.

 

P.S.

I actually do have a Tele’s Hot-dog & Shrimp sauce and believe it or not, it’s awesome.

Both stories are based on true events.

30th May, 2014

I wrote the first half of this post almost a year ago, and I stumbled upon it a couple of days ago, and what I read touched me in some way, revealing answers to questions I was currently asking myself. I hope it does the same for you.

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30th May, 2014

“Do you stop because it seems futile or do you give up? Half of the time you ought to consider your actions before you perform them, the other half the time, you just act. In recent times, I think I have been doing too much of doing, there has been no real action. For every ten or twenty movements, only two or three have been by my will. The rest occurring as if one kind of tidal flow, with the events and scenarios and me; I have just been moving. No thoughts as to why or the end. Or perhaps some thought, but nearly enough.

Continue reading “30th May, 2014”

Butterfly

Tears are not enough
What did you assume, little fool?
You think your spine is curved for no reason?
Wailing will profit nothing
sobbing and weeping will not suffice.
As your eyes can never empty
the curve will never straighten.
Embrace the wet dust
then you’ve only just begun.
If mucus were wine
surely you’d be drunk.
Keep at it, furrow your brows
Calluses and scars
Blood and sweat
Wrinkles and age
These be the only propitiations you can make
Because tears will never be enough.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Every time I am under duress, my already small voice becomes smaller, fading away with each blow life or the devil delivers, until my mouth produces squeaks barely audible to whichever perplexed person is listening and I eventually become mute as I stop talking altogether and become wrapped in my misery.
I like to think that I am not a lazy person but sometimes when challenges come, my first reaction is to stop and let the lamentations spill through my eyes, like a few days ago when I was just celebrating a successful August and looking to shock myself and colleagues by steadily climbing higher this September, and then all of a sudden, a brick wall just sprang up in front of me, right in the face of my joy. I hate that I cry at these times. I hate the weak feel it gives and the frail person it projects me as but try as I may (and have in past times to no avail), my frown always gives way to salty leaks.
Ironically, I feel better after a good cry. So much better that only after tearing up can I function normally again. Only after sobbing and thinking of how the universe is against me am I usually more alert, as I am now, barricading my feelings and emotions, preparing to wave off future blows.
My smiles these days are more from self-pity. I keep comparing myself to friends that have achieved what I am still dreaming of but I find that I am being ungrateful. There are thousands in this country that will be happy to have even half of what I own so I try to replace my stupid self-pity smile with one of gratitude and hope.
I’ll keep pressing forward, bending my back to the full glare of the sun with SZA’s Omega and Sia’s Titanium sending me to sleep when it has set.
Lol.
Look at me talking like I have a choice.

Shalom.

The Account of Saul

Now, it will be very easy, and completely understandable if anyone read this and thought me probably anti-Semitic, but that is not my intention. The story of Saul has pained me in the past, and upon reading it today, I was reminded of the trials an ordinary man was put through. I would chronicle them, and you may make your inferences.

The Account of Saul

It began simply.
Miz’ath the tanner, sat upon a rock looking over the mountains. His eyes were black, the lids thin and papery from too many days staring at the sun. He was a goodly man, strong and caring towards his family. It was his fortune and misfortune that he sat on that stone that day. For there he was, humming a song under his breath, a blade of grass between his lips when he saw a strange thing. Approaching him with speed, a cloud of dust and the sound of beating hooves. Philistines! Miz’ath feared, for though he was a man of Zuph and a believer in the LORD, it was many years the Philistines had held Israel bondage, and he was quite vulnerable, he knew, to a very sharp blade.
He sprang to his feet, ready to run the fastest sprint of his forty-odd years at the first sign of a gleaming blade. That was when he saw the really strange thing. Twenty asses, their backs branded with a Benjaminite symbol, stampeded past him, their hooves drumming a rumbling tattoo. The eyes of the asses were wide and crazed, and they ran like the very devils were after them. Around him they went, and sprinted back the way they came. No one was whipping them. No one was chasing them. The asses ran of their own accord. An impossible thing. No one believed Miz’ath. Not till this day.

*****

But the asses of Kish the Banjaminite were missing that day, and he sent his son Saul, a very tall and well appointed man, to go fetch them. Saul journeyed after the asses to Zuph where he met Samuel, a man of GOD and seer since childhood, and inquired of him where the asses could be. But the asses were back in the land of Kish, by some strange miracle returned, and Samuel, hearkening of Jehovah, blessed Saul and anointed him Captain over all the people.
But people are not so easily convinced, and neither was Saul.

*****

As a man, Saul had never had any illusions. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, the minority of the people of Isra-el, and he was content with a few servants and the asses and oxen of his father. In time, perhaps he would have gone into Ahinoam his wife, once more, and she would have borne him another son as a protector to Merab and Michal, his daughters. So when Samuel spoke to him, he believed little, and spoke to none in his family all that the seer had said.

But the LORD is powerful and praised be his name!

Samuel called the children of Isra-el, from all the tribes in the land, and a lot was cast: The great election by the Spirit of the King of Isra-el. The tribe of Benjamin, against all odds was chosen in this lot. And another lot was cast within the tribe. And within it, the family of Matri was taken. Again, the people wondered. And by the Spirit, a man was chosen of the family of Matri, the son of Kish, who was the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the man Saul. The word was confirmed, Saul King. And yet the man was absent, hiding in the stuff. But Samuel found him, and behold when he stood, he was a good head and shoulders taller than all who stood there. And the people cried, “GOD save the King!”
But many doubted and disbelieved and despised him. And so it was for a while.

But calamity creates the strangest bedfellows, and it is true even in old Israel.

Of the Ammonites, there was a brash and bearded man, whose club was daily stained red and whose countenance was the etching of warding plates. His name was Nahash and he camped against the people of Jabesh-gilead of Israel and threatened to put out their right eyes. When Saul was told of this, he was in the field mowing. A pleasant day, and a warm sun. In anger, he took up the oxen and slew them. Tearing the meat into pieces, he sent to all the villages and the towns, great and small, from coast to coast of Israel.

“Behold these oxen pieces, if you don’t come out to support me and Samuel, I swear, your house shall be as these oxen”

It was a good message. A scary message. And the people came out. Three hundred thousand Isra-el, and thirty thousand fierce men of Judah. The battle was won easily and the people crowned Saul, king.

This was only the beginning of his trouble.

*****

You know when you’re destined for great things, but you don’t want them. All he wanted was a simple life, and kinghood was thrust upon him. Prophesied kinghood, all events orchestrated by Power beyond him. He couldn’t help it, Saul, he couldn’t. A man, the first King of Israel, and he was destined to fail.

*****

It was maybe three years later, when the Philistines gathered themselves thirty thousand chariots, six thousand horsemen and enough people as the sand on a beach. A great multitude they were, and they came to wage war against Isra-el. Now, they, the Philistines, were greatly angered because Jonathan, son of Saul, had with a thousand men, slain an entire Philistine garrison at Geba, an act of war.
Samuel instructed Saul and told him, gather the Hebrews and wait for me, seven days. But the people were scared, and some fled the country. Some waited in Gilgal with Saul, their souls faint and their hearts trembling and when on the seventh day, Samuel had still not come, the Philistines were closer than before and the people began to panic again. Many scattered. So Saul made a sacrifice. And as soon as he did so, Samuel appeared and in anger cursed him and his kingdom.
Saul was shocked. The circumstances had called for it. The people were fleeing, Samuel the seer was nowhere in sight, there was nothing left to do, so he had sacrificed while he waited for Samuel. It was the goodly thing. But Samuel was angry and left Saul. All the people left, and with Saul and Jonathan remained only six hundred men.
Of this six hundred, there wasn’t a single weapon of war between them, save the swords of Jonathan and Saul. For in the whole of Israel, the Philistines had ensured not a smith was found, lest the Hebrews make for themselves spears and swords. But Jonathan was a brilliant man, skilled in counter-insurgency and the darkest of the clandestine arts.
First he wore a hood for a while, then substituted himself with a likeness, purportedly with Ahiah, great-grandson of Eli, who was priest of Shiloh before Samuel’s birth, and snuck into the Philistine barracks with none but his amour bearer. And he said:

“Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be that the LORD will work for us, for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.”

And alone, Jonathan and his amour bearer stood before an entire garrison, two men standing before three thousand. And in the first slaughter, they killed twenty. And so the Philistines feared and ran, each falling upon his brother in their haste to flee. And the bravery of Jonathan and his faith in GOD was evident that day.

But few remember it.

That same day, with victory within their grasp as they saw what Jonathan had done, Saul ordered that the people fast, and not eat a bite until they had vanquished their enemies. But Jonathan was not present and he did not know. So, while they chased after the Philistines, he saw honey on the ground and he took and ate. And his eyes were enlightened, and he was stronger while the people grew faint with hunger. But because he had eaten, after Saul had said, cursed be the man who eats before all their enemies had been destroyed, Jonathan had to die. He who had wrought the great salvation for Israel was to die because he tasted a little honey, in ignorance.
It was a sad day for Israel, and the people were hungry.
Saul made an offering to GOD, to ask for guidance, but GOD answered him not. And he wondered, what was the sin? [for then, he did not know of Jonathan’s transgression, because the people told him not] So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonathan. And so Saul asked what he did, and after being told, condemned his son to die. But the people refused and swore not to let a hair on Jonathan’s head be harmed, and so Jonathan was saved by good luck.
And in this case, Saul had obeyed first. Not long after, when they warred with the Amalekites, he sacrificed first and Samuel cursed his kingdom again. All that was detestable, all that was vile, Saul destroyed of the Amalekites, and all that was good; of the fattest cattle and oxen, he sacrificed to the LORD, taking none for himself or the people of Isra-el, for he sought only to appease the LORD. But that was not the commandment, and despite his intentions, GOD repented he made Saul king. For GOD has greater delight in obedience than in sacrifice. And though Saul begged and knelt before Samuel, and pled his case before the eyes of the elders of Israel, Samuel turned from him and the LORD heard him not.

And thus, the First kingdom of the Hebrews ended. And a Bethlehemite was chosen and raised to be king, even under Saul’s roof, though not of his house. A young man, David, prone to easy sin, but contrite in heart, a good man, and a man after GOD’s own heart.

1 Samuel 9 – 1 Samuel 15.

WRITER’S NOTE:
This is something each of us could have read ourselves, I simply painted this to give an all round picture of the man and the situation. But the letter killeth, so you could read this from the Bible on your own. The important thing, the question that bothers me; was it fair? Did he deserve it? If you read past chapter 15 of the book of Samuel, you see a story of man who slowly fell obsession, reduced to epileptic fits and rages. A man who believed strongly in his GOD-given [bestowed more like, bequeathed even] right to rule, and was driven mad as a result. A man who was subverted by his own subjects, usurped, and upon his divine throne, replaced by a shepherd boy. His name, all but forgotten in the annals of history, remembered only as the villain in the David stories and in pictures as the one who threw the spear. If it were that he had sought the position, had wanted to be a king, it would be different. But he didn’t, it was forced upon him, a burden he was destined to buckle under.

Disclaimer:
• Again, I did not seek to defame the Testaments. I merely read and wonder in sadness.
• I am a Christian. And I love GOD.

Follow on Twitter @janus_aneni

GOD bless Nigeria.

The Anointed King

The Anointed King