Coming towards my birthday …

I was looking back on the last year, and how busy the grim reaper seemed to have been. Yes, I know the grim reaper is probably as busy all the time, but he seems to have been particularly busy round here. Some of those that I have lost have been from my parent’s generation (and in their 90’s), and that I can cope with well. But too many have been in their 50’s, or earl sixties 60’s. Some have brief obituaries earlier in this blog, though others I have not written entries for, at least in part because I didn’t want this blog to be purely a sequence of obituaries. That would be too depressing (and those who know me will know that I’m not generally quite that miserable, in real life).

But one effect of this catalogue of death is to make me think what I do want to do. Not quite in the style of the Bucket List, more in the style of what types of thinks might I wish to achieve before it’s too late. (I’m known for commenting that no-one ever said on their deathbed that they wished they’d spent more time in the office!). And yet many of the things I’d like to do are tied up with my work: I love playing music, but I’m never going to be that good at it, whereas some of the work I do I am quite good at (or so I think). I’m really interested in re-creating sensory perception in electronics, in how the brain works (that is, how the activity that takes place in brain cells – whether neurons or glia – results in the first person perceptions with which we are so familiar). Today (Thursday 30th Sept 2010) there was a presentation at the EU in Brussels by Henry Markram (I couldn’t be there), on the Human Brain Simulation Project, and that is something I really hope to contribute to. It doesn’t feel like working at the office!

What I really mean, I suspect, is that when the grim reaper comes for me (and of course he/she will, sooner or later) I’d like to have moved this subject just some teensy-weensy bit further on. So that’s what I should try to do!


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