Animals First: When we use the architecture of the brain to scaffold our thinking about the mind, we come to learn that humans are primarily animals first.
There is some deeply held notion that humans are special from other animals. That we are rational, superior, and 'in control' of the world in a way other animals are not. A science of the brain helps us understand that, all things considered, this is probably not particularly true. When we use a science of the brain to scaffold our understanding of the mind, we come to make sense of "the halt, the lame, the half-made creatures that we are". Not because we're flawed, but because before we are human, we're animals first.
Full article at bottom of email
Meaning and its patterns in the brain.: The brain primarily links chunks of meaning into patterns of neural pathways. Pathways and patterns of meaning help us intuitively solve the problems of everyday life. But they also trap us in those patterns, and stop us from seeing beyond them.
Where our perceptions plug into the brain, beautiful maps of features of the world emerge. These maps start very concretely---specific sounds, or the orientation of a line. As we move further into the brain they become more abstract---maps of whole objects, or the marriage of an object and a sound as in a barking dog. The brain is mapping chunks of meaning about the world into intricate pathways of meaning. Patterns that reflect the way we think about the world and act in it. These patterns help us effortless solve the problems of day to day life. But they trap us from discovering new patterns, new ways of thinking, and new ways of being in the world. Only by understanding the brain can we really understand quite why that is.
A narrative of 'grit': null
Highlights from the Marginalia:
An alternative version of our evolutionary history: We typically think of our idyllic past as one of egalitarian hunter gatherers. The truth is far more complex.
Microdosing Alcohol: A surprising and unpredictable way to boost creativity.
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This week's article selection: Animals First
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