23 April 2012

The Neuromania Antidote

Steven Poole has just been cured. The antidote is called "honesty". It happens to the nicest people. It happened to me. And at some point it will surely happen to you.

Currently researchers have not yet discovered the combination of words that triggers this powerful remedy in victims of neuromania. All we know is that some combination of the words "brain", "nerves", "human nature," "cognition", "fMRI", and "scientists now know" causes a rapid proliferation of neuro-meme-eating white blood cells. We also know that some studies have shown that the words "evolution" and "instinct" have been correlated with the heightened  activity of the BS-enzyme, a catalyst that aids the white blood cells in quickly targeting and destroying vestiges of neurocultural transmission.

Beware that there are immediate side-effects with the onset of the cure. The antidote immediately causes numerous, stereotyped behavioral manifestations. The first is an explosion of indignation and frustration which leads to heightened blood pressure and an outbreak of bodily tremors and shakes as well as secondary feelings of fury. The second manifestation is a burst of energy that leads to either immediate written or verbal communication as the white blood cells crush the underlying causes of neuromania.

In this second stage of the cure, it is common for treatment to produce invective, abuse, and sarcasm. These are aimed usually at the victims of the disease, who - being still very sick - are in no condition to comprehend why their enforced quarantine has suddenly struck the cured patient as a public good. In some instances, the cure leaves people with a lasting and permanent impatience with banality and can even cause reflexive public reactions to other forms of stupidity.

Usually after a matter of months or as long as a year the post-cure effects begin to subside. This subsistence often coincides with the development of a calm, patronizing, some might even say patrician acceptance of those who still suffer from this disease. In very rare instances, however, the cure leads to a prolific and steady production of anti-neuromania manifestos. Researchers now speculate that this is actually a psychological symptom caused by neuromania itself - something akin to a post-traumatic stress disorder.

In still rarer instances, people contract neuromania again. There is often very little that can be done for these individuals. The best known recommendation is to ask departments of philosophy to offer them distinguished visiting professorships.

1 comment:

  1. My cure for neuromania was when I first sat down to analyze my own fMRI data.

    But I think that after recovering from neuromania there is a real risk of falling prey to a less obvious but equally insidious disease, neuro-nihilism.

    This is the view that neuroscience can't tell us anything interesting about ourselves & that our 'folk' understanding of the mind is sound, which is not true either.