“Goose Bumps” — What? Why? Where? How? When?

I am going to try something here. I am going to try to define “goose bumps” without looking it up using the www-google resources. Afterwards, I will look it up using those resources to see how close I came to what is there on the WWW. I think in terms of the “operational definition”, what actually happens in a step-by-step sequence of physiological events, or the operations that produce an effect. That is my trained response to events. That is my habit. That is my understanding of science, of having a scientific approach to problems, and since I had the experience of “goose bumps” yesterday, July Fourth, 2013, I thought I would use that experience in this way, to demonstrate the operational definition, Just now I have no idea what I am going to write.

I experienced “goose bumps”. I had a perception that produced that phenomenon and immediately wondered about goose bumps, a strange feeling affecting the skin. I saw something that almost immediately went to my skin. I had not experienced goose bumps like that in a very long time. I must have had them before because I recognized them for what they were. My skin, it seemed all over my body, erupted with a reaction that created very small bumps all over, almost like an erection in and of the body skin especially all over the trunk of the body. And they sorta felt good.

Perception is defined as a response involving sensory and nonsensory components. I have this penchant for scientific ways of defining human responses to life’s situations, especially related to human verbal and nonverbal communication, that is, speech communication. I became convinced that the operational definition is the most reliable way of dealing with all concerns for humnan communication.

Remember, sensory components are the five exteroceptors that we have, taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, and the five interoceptors are pain, balance, pressure, temperature, and kinesis.

But there are also the non-sensory components in a perception that come from memory, past experience retained and effecting a quality to be attached to our present sensory experiences. You may have an experience for the first time for which there are no previous experiences as referents. In that case, you might doubt your experience, having no word for it as a portmanteau. But you want to name it, somehow. Think of young children at a loss for words.

Regarding my “goosebumps” experience, I saw something, a United States flag on a stick stuck in my yard on the morning of July Fourth. I wondered how it got there and immediately felt the goose bumps. I had no idea how it got there. I immediately made up a story, a covering cause. I thought that the American Legion came around and put flags on every home address of a Veteran. At that moment I got goose bumps, that excitation that shows up all over the skin.

What a strange response. It felt sorta good. I recognized it immediately and saw that cause. But which part of the cause caused the reaction. If by the American Legion, of which I am a member, then I immediately thought, “what an honor in recognition of my service”. So I went outdoors to look at the stick. I immediately looked to see who in the neighborhood the veterans were. Lo and behold, every home up and down the street had a flag. So I was immediately disillusioned. The note attached to the stick gave the address and picture of a realtor. I will sue for engendering false gooseflesh excitement. But before my disillusionment, that was a strange and very good feeling. I think it goes back to the time when we were all in the promordial soup with something like quills or feathers, like porcupines, sea otters. You tell me.

It is said to happen in moments of extreme arousal in such as experiences of strong emotions, fear, nostalgia, pleasure, euphoria, awe, admiration and sexual arousal (a h.o. of the skin, so to speak). My moment was filled with the pleasure of complement, or admiration.

I had a slight goosbump experience a long time ago when I was honored with a surprise dinner at my retirement from university teaching. That was the last time. This time I felt very odd when i saw the realtor’s note. VERY strange!

Here it is, the day after the fourth. It’s still there. I’ll go now and bring it in with negative pimples. The imploded kind, in reverse. And laugh at myself. For what I am. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes)

Thank you, Terry Carter, of Tear-y (my connotation) Carter Homes, for exposing to me myself, my vanity, in accomplishment. (I did enjoy the bumps.)

What fools these mortals be! (Puck) As I was fooled by the nonsensory components of my perception. Totally.


Another on “GOD” and the Bifurcation of Faith and Science

I know you all as the benevolent spirit of nature that created the conditions for the possibility of me. With that spirit and that set of conditions still viable, I have the faith and belief that more like me will continue to be produced.
The trouble is, those potential beings like me may have all the attributes of people like me, but they may be missing some good sense of reason and, with a flawed reason, find their nefarious, or extremly unreasonable thinking process leading to ways of action that undermine the reasonable majority, for example, affecting the climate to such an extent that Goldilocks may have to die, that millions must be afflicted with the terror of improvised death, that some will experience gut-wrenching diseases, and mind-blowing inhalations, and the parade toward extinction will thin out to a few hardy souls, crying, “Why couldn’t they just go and leave us few behind, healthy and reasonable and wholly competent to make life rightly lived?!”
What would a life “rightly lived” be?
For that answer, I must bring up the parable of “Doubting Thomas”. It was one of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message, straight from the Bible. This point in time has given us the historical dichotomy between faith and reason. Thomas wanted to see the wounds of the Crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails . . . I will not believe.” (John 20 [25]).
Jesus answered, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Does that imply no blessing for Thomas, perhaps even a curse, or some severe affliction or evil spell on Thomas, as the opposite of a “blessing” on unbelievers? Or was it meant simply as a mere slight? No, I think it was something more powerful and hurtful than that. (I know how seriously “scriptural” people take these things.) I think there is something hurtful in a “non-blessing”. It says to me that Jesus, for all his deified presence, did not anticipate the modern era of scientific reasoning, or he could have, or should have, given his blessing to the desire of Thomas for proof in reliable, not rumored, knowledge.
At that point, it seems to me, faith and the power and hope of science part ways, two divergent pathways to truth. A state of being of two minds, is that possible, or healthy? Schizophrenic? Mentally ill? Bipolar, certifiable, confused, demented, deranged, diminished responsibility, insane? The scientist being a Christian?
And yet, I believe people have found some way to live lives in two different compartments, without feeling any need to reconcile the two opposed behaviors. How do they do it, have two ways of thinking, faith and/or reason, a scientific method and “creation”? Some have created “creation science”, or the “science” of “creation”. The acceptance of a creation beginning was the result of the methods of poetry, which prevailed long before science presented a different method of observing phenomena. Early scientists came under the murderous hand of believers who had the upperhand in society. Society made the atrocities of the purgation of heresy happen. It could not happen in present society, could it? Orthodoxy will continue trying, won’t it?
However, the dichotomy still exists, not so much between groups of people, but more within individual people.
How would you agree or disagree?
I believe that any imagineable deity would be accepting of a life-form which, through a species-magnified intelligence, creates an environment that advances survivability for that life-form, or adapts to a given environment that furthers the survival of that life form.
The powers that led to the prosecution and killing of scientists have themselves been “killed”, by the fruits of the labors of the “doubting Thomases” of the healthy skepticisms, living in harmony side-by-side the true believers. Science: “Don’t tell me it can’t be done!? I will prove it to you.” Technology: “I am telling you, this must be done! I will show you how it’s done.”
If a claim to know is spoken, the voice of reliable knowledge in good science and technology will ask you to believe and then deliver, saying, “You will be healthier, safer, because there is a demonstrable way. I will show you.” We must all become “Doubting Thomases”.