Friday, March 10, 2006

(169) Lourber/Lorbor/Lobor/Lobo

At 9 p.m. on August 10th 2000 I logged on to the Internet Chess Club and saw a comment go by on the screen from J.Eadon
in the religious discussion channel.

He was saying that since we know that people who suffer brain injuries also undergo damage to their brain function and/or personality disorders, this proves that the brain is the generator of personality and so there was no reason to assume that the personality might survive death.

I mentioned the work of Prof. John Lorbor (I was not certain of the spelling of his name and seemed to remember seeing it as Lourber somewhere, perhaps in Colin Wilson’s Beyond The Occult) in the 1970s and the Yorkshire TV documentary that stemmed from it in 1980; Is Your Brain Really Necessary?
He had found many hydrocephalics with excellent intelligences after he began brain scanning of such patients in the mid 1970s.
One patient had a measured IQ of 126 and had passed a maths degree at Sheffield University with 2nd class honours.

When I had spoken to Lorbor (?) in 1989 I had said that as I understood it if it were possible for such a man to exist (he mentioned that the guy was not anxious to come forward because he did not want to become regarded as a curiosity) then this changed everything about what we thought we knew of the brain’s functioning.

He agreed.

Monists have countered by saying that the normal parts of the brain are there in these cases but they are smeared around the cranium.

Also, Dr. S.Blackmore told me in 1989 that very often the head of such patients is greatly enlarged.
Lorbor said that externally this man’s head appeared normal.

Prof. G.Botterill told me that he thought that Lorbor had not distinguished betwen volume and size, and William Hartston said that such cases are not that important as we are now beginning to understand that the functioning of the brain is far more flexible and variable than was previously supposed.

In 1989 I had mentioned Lorbor’s work to Dr Michael Coleman and he had doubted it, but then the next day his own son affirmed that he had been taught it as part of his University course. Coleman then switched tack and said that the parts of the brain are there in such cases but just smeared around the skull.

I had said to Lorbor that his findings deserved a Nobel prize. He responded that that would be difficult to arrange for he was a member of the committee.
I continued that in view of the lack of follow-up to these sensational facts (he had retired in the early 1980s) I would, were my name John Lorbor, be a very sad man.

He replied "You don’t know how sad I am."

The brain does not show up on x-rays and brain scanners were only available from the mid 1970s. Hence the remarkable nature of some hydrocephalic patients had not been suspected before that.
Since then there were far fewer cases, due to improvements in ante-natal care, and most were now to be found in the third world.

Mr Eadon seemed intrigued by my comments. He made some remarks about his not being too impressed by Susan Blackmore’s observations on various topics.

About six hours before this I had logged on to ICC and played a game.
I noted that Richard Lobo, who had emigrated to San Francisco but whom I had known in England in the late 1970s, was a spectator.
His ICC handle was Lobor.

I said hello, and then, on what I thought to be a very long shot, asked him if he was going to pay me $20 for my book Coincidences, which was to be published on August 14th.
To my surprise he said "Sure".

I had drawn his attention to it a few times before, but I did not really think that it would be his cup of tea. But he promptly forwarded me both the money and his address.

When talking that evening with Mr Eadon I mentioned that I knew Dr Blackmore and that she was mentioned in my book.
I then mentioned that I had made a sale that morning and then gave the purchaser’s ICC handle; Lobor.
Mr Eadon then said that perhaps I ought to ask him to write an introduction for the book, adding shortly after that he assumed that this was the same man, Lorbor??

I said no. They were quite unconnected and that was pure coincidence.
James Eadon had already posted several examples of my coincidences at his website.

On the evening of February 8th 2002 I was again chatting on the ICC, as Parsifal. Although a whole stream of observations and notifications went past on my screen, the comments made in the religious channel were only visible to the forty-six or so of us in it; Channel 103.

The serious comments were interspersed with daft banter-

( eadon-com was the handle of james Eadon and dlh that of Texan lawyer Danny Hardesty. )

Parsifal(GM)(103): I said that there's going to be a letter of mine in the Fortean Times coming out next week...

Parsifal(GM)(103): there was actually one in last month's too, on a subject dear to eadon: - the work of Lorbor with people with no brains...

eadon-com(103): come on pars, we all think your anti-darwinism is cute - but please don't start spreading your shite all over the bleeding press

dlh(103): what is a work of Lorbor?

eadon-com(103): lobor showed that u can think without an interior

eadon-com(103): not so surprising given that all neurons are on the surface of the brain

eadon-com(103): which survived...

Parsifal(GM)(103): next one's about why I think Darwinism is garbage, but also expressing caution to those who had previously written pieces praising the intelligent design alternative... all good stuff...

dlh(103): indeed Pars, Kant shot down the design argument many moons ago...

eadon-com(103): design argument is dead in the water. So is the theory that darwin was wrong

dlh(103): eadon, what do the womenz get when they die and go to heaven? john Travolta?

Parsifal(GM)(103): he's in my book...

eadon-com(103): Travolta is a Scientologist - he'll probably be on comet Hale-Bopp instead...

A few minutes later a chap with the handle of "daddoo" piped up, re the spelling of the paediatrician’s name with

daddoo(103): Lorber

I responded

Parsifal(GM)(103): Lorber, Lorbor, lourber, I am still confused... but I have correspondence from him someplace...

A moment later I announced that I was logging off... but at just that instant a challenge to a game appeared on my screen.

It read -

Challenge: Lobo (2739) Parsifal (2909) rated blitz 3 0

Parsifal(GM)(103): ... I may be some time Parsifal(GM)(103): and LOOK who just challenged me, eadon!!

I accepted Lobo’s challenge... and lost.
ICC kept records of all games played by GMs and of the more than eight thousand games that I had played until then this was the only one Vs Lobo.

(Note that he is a different player to Lobor, the handle of Richard Lobo.)

Later I learnt that the Professor’s name was actually Lorber.

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