Lance Loeffler

‘Description of an Infant’

Infants are the drill sergeants of parenting bootcamp. They give you four basic tasks - diapers, burping, feeding, and napping - and then scream at you when you do them wrong. There’s no encouragement, no smiles, just crying and quiet. And they give you tasks at any time, day or night. Just finished changing my diaper? Change it again. Good job, now change that one.
After a few months of breaking you down, they build you back up again. They smile at you. They sleep through the night. They hold their head up, so you don’t have to.
And after It’s over, the tasks you learned - swaddling, diapering, bottle prepping - are tasks you will likely never use again. But the skills you’ve gained - patience without sleep, calm in the face of screams, moving your hand into the shit instead of recoiling - are skills that will serve you the rest of your life.

‘Self Illusion’

Take the most lucid experience that you are having right now as you read these words. As your eyes flit across the page, your visual world seems continuous and rich, but you are actually only sampling a fraction of the text one bit at one time, rarely reading all the letters in between. Your peripheral vision is smeared and colorless, yet you could swear that it is perfectly clear just like the center of your visual field. There are two blindspots, the size of lemon’s at an arm’s length, just off-center from your field of view that you do not even notice. Everything in your visual world is seamless and unbroken, yet your visual world is blacked out for a fraction of a second between eye movements. You are not made aware of any of these imperfections because your brain provides such a convincing cover story. The same deception is true for all human experience, from the immediacy of our perception to the contemplation of inner thoughts, and that includes the self.

-Bruce Hood