Master and Emissary

Iain McGilchrist talking with Bryan Appleyard at the Wellcome Foundation brain exhibition. Thanks to David Morey for the link on Facebook. Timely in view of my reading of Haidt’s Righteous Mind. Interesting, the idea that the right brain understands why it needs the left, but the left doesn’t understand why it needs the right – … Continue reading “Master and Emissary”

Reading Quickie

Reading Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” after enjoying his “Happiness Hypothesis“. (Also just finished Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery“) Given the current high profile of the #Breivik case, Haidt’s work is a very important piece on the rationalist delusion, being 100% rational is absolutely not sane for a human – in fact it’s a good … Continue reading “Reading Quickie”

Dual People

I need to finish off my notes on Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” since I posted some criticisms before I’d read the concluding chapters. Strange to read the explicit dualisms: Two systems – Fast intuitive thinking and Slow considered thinking. Two species – Humans (reasonable) and Econs  (entirely rational). Two selves – Experiencing self … Continue reading “Dual People”

Confirmation Bias

I’m often guilty of confirmation bias. I have a particular world-view that favours balance across multi-levelled patterns, over extreme positions at any one level, so being an unfashionable position (in the blogosphere) I often latch onto examples that illustrate points that support my position. I was expecting Kahneman’s best selling “Thinking Fast and Slow” to be … Continue reading “Confirmation Bias”

Heroic Evil

Men cause evil by wanting to heroically triumph over it. Ernest Becker, 1975 Simple statement of the problem(*). Taken from Roger Griffin’s 2007 “Modernism and Fascism“. Reading this slowly, because it is intellectually / technically wordy, but also because several other recent reads referred to it (including McGilchrist IIRC, though I’d bought it before I’d … Continue reading “Heroic Evil”

Decisive Emotions

Nice piece from Antonio Damasio Thanks to Marsha on MD for posting the link. Topical for me right now because of the Iain McGilchrist I am currently reading. The indecision of rationality. In the clip we don’t hear what the specific brain lesion / abnormality is, but this is very much about the left-brain being … Continue reading “Decisive Emotions”

Haidt’s Happiness

As a practitioner of positive psychology (and an atheist) Jonathan Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis” reads at times like a spiritual self-help book, and in a sense it is, but it is supported by a mass of academic and scientific references. The Psybertron agenda has been on evolutionary psychology as a description of both epistemology (what … Continue reading “Haidt’s Happiness”

Amazing Brain

Still reading Austin, [here below], [and here], [and again], [and earlier], [and originally], and finding new items all the time. More apparent how he is linking deliberately learned meditative states with other altered brain states achieved by other physical and chemical abnormalities. Two amazing items in one. Looking at the classic view of left- and … Continue reading “Amazing Brain”