Posted by: wolferiver | October 22, 2011

Left and Right–Profoundly Divided–Profoundly Unhappy

NO no, this is not about politics, but about how the brain works. In a nifty video, replete with canny illustrations, Iain McGilchrist presents information about how our brains work. It turns out that it is divided, but not strictly along the lines of logic on one side and imagination on the other side. McGilchrist explains how our minds allow us to keep sharply focused on tasks while still being able to step back and observe a larger context between ourselves and the world we live in. Then he takes this subject to a deeper, philosophical level:

We pursue happiness and paradoxically it leads to resentment and then unhappiness, and an explosion of mental illness.  We seek freedom, and yet we live in a world more monitored by CCTV cameras, [and] which has become dominated by what De Tocqueville called ‘a network of small, complicated rules that cover the surface of life and strangle freedom’. More information; we have it in spades. But we get less able to use it [and] to understand it [and] to be wise.

If you’ve ever wondered why we seem to have become ironically knowing, and why our public discourse seems to be endlessly self-referential, this video explains it.

Video: The Divided Brain


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