Arne Dietrich Column: You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat Inspiration, Imagination, and Insight in the Brain

Arne Dietrich gave early promise of being nothing special whatsoever. Being annoyingly hyperactive and exceptionally stubborn as a child, some people predicted a career as a clown while others foresaw an early death. To everyone’s intense disbelief, he finished school and college only to go off globetrotting for several years, a lifestyle interrupted from time to time by the occasional date and a few phone calls to his mother. During this time, he also embarked on extended do-it-yourself introspective voyages into the hinterland of the mind that made him realize how treacherous soul searching is without detailed knowledge of the 3-pound pile of electrofied biochemistry inside his cranium.

Diagnozed with incurable curiosity, Arne then did hard time in an (educational) institution, where he, over a hectic period of a few years, learned the nuts and bolts of neuroscience, including the ‘how to’ of publishing entirely useless stuff about the brain. He is now a tour guide into the bizarre world of brain cells and human behavior at, of all places, the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He is still surfing the stream of consciousness every chance he gets. Arne prefers to work on, and spend his time in, various altered states of consciousness. His favorite one is daydreaming but he also enjoys the exercise-induced state of transient hypofrontality that comes from swimming, biking, running or hiking for miles on end.

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