A book of experiments to astonish yourself


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/07/a-book-of-experiments-to-aston.html


Ah, yes. Those blissful seconds before waking up fully; where you can successfully pretend that you are not you, but someone else, or maybe your cat.


I do this on a daily basis without even trying.


Yesterday I woke up in a motel room and I didn’t know where I was, who I was, how old I was, what kind of work I did, or where I lived.

@frauenfelder There’s something so delicate about such states of mind! Like a water-drop suspended from a spider’s web, there’s this exquisitely ephemeral moment that can be banished with less than the force of an eye-blink. So worth noticing and enjoying!

  1. Watch a woman at her window

don’t know, think that could get one in trouble


I have “a bad time” with needles. On those rare occasions where it will be necessary to stick me with one, I do try to warn everyone beforehand. I once had the head phlebotomist at a local hospital tell me “You do the best vasovagal I’ve ever seen!” I’ve also had a doctor tell me that my blood pressure was “78 over why bother”. Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is because, when recovering from one of these “events”, I tend to have extended experiences of “who am I?”, etc It’s interesting to me that the “memory recording” section of my brain comes back on-line before the “memory access”. Also, vision and hearing come back on-line before the ability to interpret them. I end up with some incredible synesthesia in my memory.


I’m doing this right now.


But are you astonished?

I’ve added this to my list of “books to get at some point in the eventual future before I die if at all possible.”


So would this be a comfort to you, or like the worst thing ever?


Yes! I think to myself how could have I misplaced something and I don’t even know what the something is?


Does the book only have these gnomic suggestions, or any actual experiments?


I looked at the Amazon link, and you can look inside the book. I skimmed it to make sure there was more substance than just the things listed, and there are. Then read some reviews. It seems interesting.

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