The New York Times has published on page A3 of its MON.4.DEC.1995
national edition a Scott Dalton photograph of Quarters Thirty-Two
where Project Mentifex was literally sparked into being ca. 1955.
"dia thauma polla egeneto," wrote Artistotle: "Because of wonder
many things came to be." I was an eight-year-old boy-explorer of
the Panamanian jungle visible in the photograph at the edge of my
family's back yard within the then Fort Gulick, now Fort Espinar.
Around a bend in Gatun Lake stood the heinously notorious "School
of the Americas" in Building 400 where officers learned genocide.
Up the hill behind Mr. Dalton taking his photograph stood the BOQ
near which "sic volvere Parcas" that I should find lying upon the
ground an olive-drab Army battery which urged upon me thaumaturgy.
Deep within a closet of the NYT-depicted house it made absolutely
no sense to my budding intellect that a red-and-blue spark should
flash when I brought a wire of the battery close to its opposite.
"Iz iskri vozgoritsa plamya," says the Russian revolutionary song
oh so truly in my own case, that "from a spark shall burn a flame,"
because my building of electric devices with boards and wires and
batteries pre-Sputnik led inexorably to my hero-worship of Eccles.
It was a rapid progression from building kits to wanting to build
an artificial mind, but at the University of Washington in spring
of 1966 in all the giant card catalog of the Suzallo Library only
the books of Sir John Carew Eccles (27 January 1903 - 2 May 1997)
proved meaty enough and daring enough to impart to me his destiny.
Fourteen years later, when I could not get published my theory of
mind derived from the life and thought of Eccles I mailed him it.
When a letter arrived eight months later with the personal return
address of Sir John and Lady Eccles, for a full twenty minutes I
simply held the letter in my hands and stared at it and struggled
to understand how I could have connected with the world's leading
authority on the brain-mind, the man who decorated our existence.
http://www.newciv.org/Mentifex/ who would like to take the baton?