Friday, 28 February 2014

An Episode

I recently had an 'episode'.

I was watching football (proper football: spherical balls, feet not hands) early in the morning before anybody else was up when I noticed the score had changed.  I rewound and watched an Arteta penalty that I had sat in front of, looked at, but had no memory of.  At all.  A blank.  I remember the goalkeeper's movement prior, and a Gerrard tackle that followed soon after in the highlights, but there was about a minute that was lost to me.

And later on it happened again.  But because this was Peter Crouch scoring for Stoke it didn't merit a rewind.  But I had still lost seconds, perhaps a minute or two.  And I hadn't dozed off, despite the early hour.  I know what waking up feels like and this wasn't it.

And, without the artificiality of the situation I may not have noticed because it's often hard to notice what isn't there.  Only the fact that my brain felt like it was being slowly crushed over the course of the morning to such an extent that I spent the afternoon in bed leads me to think this was unusual.  Otherwise I would be wondering how often 'me' leaves the building.

The next day the thought struck me that I'd had a stroke.  I went to the doctor who, in more words, told me that is symptoms don't last more than 24 hours is is not, by definition, a stroke and that I should view black-outs as a nice break in the day.  Thank you NHS, Britain's jewel in the crown...

But I've been thinking.  If I wasn't in to see the robot-dancing one slot in against West Brom or whoever it was, then who was?  Was there another me?  If I had been asked something during that time would I have been a blank drooling mess, or would I have 'powered-up'?  Or would somebody else?  Was there a consciousness that had gone on to standby?  What was the difference between my brain state during the episode and either side?  The difference being... what exactly?  Self?  Soul?  Consciousness?  What of bleeding edge IT?  When it achieves the same processing capacity as my brain will it be conscious, or will it need something layered on top to acquire a soul?  In which case can we just plug and unplug 'self's from computers.  And, if computers, why not bodies too...

I'm not the first to have these thoughts by a long way, but such musings feel oddly different having had my 'self' detached, albeit for short time...

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