When I was in college, one of the classes we were forced to take was psychology. I had taken a class in high school, and looking down the list of items this class would cover, I was expecting another boring, useless class. I was right, with a slight exception -- the professor, Tony Obradovich, I had not expected. I took a second class per my own direction and made sure he was teaching it. How awesome it was, and based on his reviews, he's still awesome today -- as I would expect.
Professor Obradovich would talk to us about the times he was a kid and would repeat things he would hear from authority figures (his dad specifically about someone following too close) and how his patients were struggling with different aspects of addiction -- most were drug, alcohol and I think even one sex addict.
After the class had ended, a good number of us would find him at the local coffee shop and ask him various questions on theory of mind and what was the newest studies, always entertaining and overly educational -- so much so I made it my after-work/school focus. When I found myself graduated out of college and a lot more time, I started ripping though book after book. I still have a few of these un-read on my shelf today ... and continue to read up.
I had kept his phone number and every so often I would call him, speaking to specific encounters and get his feedback on what I was witnessing, if my ideas and applications were correct, and so on. It was a rather renaissance like period for me and as he put it "I'm sure others find you difficult if you apply these at the wrong time". As always, he was right ... and I did.
Professor Obradovich moved out to Portland with his family (I think he was from there) and I still to this day continue learning from my own experiences and a few choice outlets that I keep tabs on -- specifically The Frontal Cortex on wired. Today's article I found as interesting as ever -- it's probable that the hippocampus (long term memory) and the amygdala (emotional engine) can cause memories to be more and more false to the point there's little if ANY fact left in them. So, being the nerd, I say to myself "well, kn owning this, can I inhibit its effects?" and pondered it for a moment ... which lead me to ask a rather core, fundamental question - does knowing this make me less human?
I ask this with a degree of seriousness. Part of being human is being emotional, illogical, irrational at times. Knowing those situations can result in great achievement and also great failure. Does blocking or rewiring that aspect of mind makes us (me?) less human?