Schindler's List: A Fecal Matter

Written by Robert Levin

(The following was written in 1993.)

Recently, when a visiting friend wanted to rent it, I saw "Schindler’s List" again. I can report that a second viewing of Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal ofrepparttar concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth yields even more layers and subtleties. But Fiennes notwithstanding, I have to say that, for me, watching "Schindler’s List" has now twice been a vexing experience.

What irritates me about "Schindler’s List" is that it never gets beyond lamenting man’s inhumanity to man and celebratingrepparttar 126189 triumph ofrepparttar 126190 human spirit, etc., when it could have thrown at least a quick light on something of consequence that apparently still baffles a lot of people—whatrepparttar 126191 Nazis were actually about.

Normallyrepparttar 126192 absence of serious probing intorepparttar 126193 psychodynamics of egregious human behavior would no more disappoint me in a Steven Spielberg film—even one aboutrepparttar 126194 Holocaust—than it did in a episode of “Hogan’s Heroes.” Spielberg is an enormously gifted filmmaker, but plumbingrepparttar 126195 nastier depths isn’t something he does and you don’t go to his movies looking for that. (Onrepparttar 126196 contrary, you go inrepparttar 126197 hope of retrieving a prepubescent innocence.) So I’d have no cause to make an issue ofrepparttar 126198 film’s limitations in this regard were it not forrepparttar 126199 fact that Spielberg comes maddeningly close to giving his audience a glimpse of whererepparttar 126200 Nazi’s were coming from. (You could say, in fact, that he gets to within just an inch or so of accomplishing this.)

I’m thinking ofrepparttar 126201 scenes in which Goeth shoots two prisoners from his balcony and then returns to his apartment and urinates.

In this sequence, Spielberg is demonstrating thatrepparttar 126202 most monstrous deeds issue from men just likerepparttar 126203 rest of us, and he makes this point very nicely. The trouble is that everyone’s known as much sincerepparttar 126204 Eichmann trial. To keep this statement AND illuminate what it is that turnsrepparttar 126205 ordinary man into a homicidal maniac, all Spielberg needed to do was have Goeth, in place of urinating, sit down and move his bowels.

I’m serious. It’s shit, after all, that personifiesrepparttar 126206 hideous fate of decay and dissolution that nature has devised for everything corporeal. Shit approximates—and serves daily to anticipate—the condition our bodies themselves will wind up in. And it’srepparttar 126207 problem of which shit is emblematic,repparttar 126208 mother of all problems,repparttar 126209 problem of death, thatrepparttar 126210 “Final Solution” was, of course, addressing.

Let’s, just for a minute, try to acknowledge something that ought to be common wisdom—certainly afterrepparttar 126211 work of Ernest Becker. What makesrepparttar 126212 world go around is, purely and simply,repparttar 126213 fact of death. The real, if usually unconscious, purpose of virtually all human behavior is to mitigaterepparttar 126214 terror and panicrepparttar 126215 anticipation of death induces; to, atrepparttar 126216 very least, reducerepparttar 126217 trepidation that derives fromrepparttar 126218 very terms of existence to a manageable degree of fear.

When, for a relatively straightforward and transparent example, we inventrepparttar 126219 prospect of an afterlife and then adhere to rules of conduct we’ve decided will assure us of admission, we are handing ourselves a comforting shot at surviving death. But another ofrepparttar 126220 myriad ways we’ve concocted or seized upon to make living with an intolerable given possible is to pursue and amass financial wealth beyondrepparttar 126221 requirements of our organismic well-being. The god-like trappings great sums of money buys enable us to feel superior not just torepparttar 126222 common man but, more importantly, torepparttar 126223 common fate. Many ofrepparttar 126224 “faults” or “neuroses” we develop are also designed to cushion us againstrepparttar 126225 specter of death. Procrastination, for instance, helps us to fashionrepparttar 126226 illusion that we are suspending time.

Stereo Perception with a Single Eye

Written by Charles Douglas Wehner

Despite one or two amateur attempts at creating a separate image for each eye, it wasrepparttar 1838 lecture torepparttar 126188 Royal Society in London by Sir Charles Wheatstone that truly tookrepparttar 126189 world by storm.

I have reprinted this work, complete withrepparttar 126190 original images, at .

Whatrepparttar 126191 reader will discover isrepparttar 126192 astonishing detail with which Professor Wheatstone - as he then was - approaches every nuance ofrepparttar 126193 minutiae of visual perception.

With almost every aspect ofrepparttar 126194 phenomenon of stereopsis accurately defined,repparttar 126195 Victorians could rush ahead - particularly afterrepparttar 126196 arrival of photography - withrepparttar 126197 production of images that convey depth.

Thatrepparttar 126198 human mind does not just playrepparttar 126199 eyes overrepparttar 126200 object to measurerepparttar 126201 depth, but can appreciate geometrical form "at a glance" was proven by a simple and ingenious experiment by Wheatstone.

However, an aspect that has been largely overlooked isrepparttar 126202 importance of SHORT-TERM MEMORY for further enhancement ofrepparttar 126203 stereoscopic impression.

There is atrepparttar 126204 core ofrepparttar 126205 brain a sensory area known asrepparttar 126206 "Limbic System" that gathers impressions from allrepparttar 126207 input data and merges them into an overall "feeling".

Thus,repparttar 126208 sound,repparttar 126209 smell,repparttar 126210 visual appearance,repparttar 126211 mechanical feel and other facets of an object are all combined inrepparttar 126212 limbic system for its overall cognition. The result might be called a NOUN.

Similarly, when one decides to walk one does not consciously activate every muscle in its correct sequence. Instead, one builds up a REPERTOIRE of movements - a LEG DRIVER in computer parlance - andrepparttar 126213 learned reflex of walking need only be triggered. This reflex "software" resides inrepparttar 126214 cerebellum.

Gnosisceptors (sensory nerves) feed backrepparttar 126215 feeling of walking torepparttar 126216 limbic system. Thus, when our minds decide to walk, when our eyes seerepparttar 126217 movement and our balancing mechanism recordsrepparttar 126218 motion, andrepparttar 126219 gnosisceptors inrepparttar 126220 legs confirmrepparttar 126221 leg action, we "feel"repparttar 126222 walking in our limbic system. Our walking is a VERB.

Sorepparttar 126223 verbs and nouns of our perception are created inrepparttar 126224 brain.

It is an inevitable consequence of evolution that those animals that need precise close-up stereopsis have eyes that point forwards. Think ofrepparttar 126225 preying animals, lions and tigers.

Those animals that need a wider field of view - such as birds - have eyes onrepparttar 126226 sides ofrepparttar 126227 head. Think of herd animals like horses and antelope.

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