February 5, 2015 Lucy
Lucy is the name of the 2014 Sci-Fi thriller Luc Besson. Besson is also responsible for the movie La Femme Nikita as well. Lucy is another femme fatale, and in many ways, she is a drug addict like Nikita was. However, her drug does not make her weak. Instead, it gives her the ability to use 100% of her brain. Lucy was in Taipei, Taiwan when her new boyfriend tricks her into taking his place as a drug mule for a Korean Mob Boss. The drug known as CPH4 is produced in our bodies naturally in utero. Someone found a way to synthesis it and mass produce it. Lucy accidentally gets it into her system and it transforms her into a super-human with telepathy and telekinesis. As well as an ability to turn off pain and remember everything she’s ever experienced. However, she eventually passes beyond her need for a body and become one with the Universe. Lucy explained before she disappeared that the time was the only thing that anchored us to our bodies and experiences. Without time, we cease to exist as we know it.
It is an intriguing premise. However, the idea that we only use 10% of our brains is a myth. It is true that we rarely, if ever, use our brains in their full capacity, but 10% is rather deceptive. We use different parts of our brains for different tasks. Some tasks require more parts of our brain to work than others. During the course of an average day we could use 10% and then 25% and then 15%. It all depends on what we are doing. A Zen Monk or Bodhisattva may use a lot more that that, but I’m sure how feeling at one with the Universe shows up on an fMRI. How consciousness and self-awareness work in our brain is still a bit of a mystery.
Watching the movie made me think of two of my favorite science books: The User Illusion and The Physics of Consciousness. The User Illusion discusses exformation—the information that is discarded by our mind. Every single second millions of bits of information flood through our senses, but we can only process about 40 bits of information per second. The User Illusion argues that it is not about information, but about how we order that raw data. Time is just one way we order all that information in our minds. The Physics of Consciousness explains that consciousness is not thinking. Consciousness is a feeling or experience and not easily measured by the fMRI.