Applied Neurobiology:
A Brain Wider Than the Sky
... and Why It Matters

Implications/Growth Points:
The Need to Take Seriously Individuality/Personal Experience, Story Telling, Personal Responsiblity

Neuroscience
Need to better understand the story teller and its interactions with the unconscious (frog brain)
and the interactions among bipartite brains

Mental Health

"attention ... to individual diversity as well as to ongoing individual change and the role of individuals themselves in that process. And the highlighting of bidirectional interactions between individuals and the cultures in which they live ... the primary objective of mental health professionals ought to be not to "fixing problems" but rather to encouraging and facilitating the potential inherent in each individual to be continually shaping and reshaping their own lives."
"The more I learn, the more I realize more and more that how I think and feel is different"

Education

"To help all involved to become better inquirers, to enhance every individual's capability to evolve, and to influence their own evolution. Science and science education has a special role to play in this, by sharing the perspectives and skills of getting it less wrong, of not only making sense of the world but conceiving new ways to make sense of oneself and the place of oneself and others in the world."

Social/Political Organization

"In a team characterized by diversity, one in which individuals have different strengths/weaknesses, a "leader" may, like other team members, be "specialized". In this case, a "leader" is not a "director" who tells other team members what to do. but is instead someone who has a distinctive ability to monitor the performance of most or all other team members and relate individual performance to group performance. Their role is to facilitate information flow among team members with the addition of information and suggestions based on overall group performance. ... Perhaps the term "leader" should be redefined as "integrator" or "synthesizer"."

"not only Americans but people worldwide need to create within themselves and together a serious commitment to a pluralistic world community, one that not only recognizes and tolerates but actively encourages and values individual, tribal, and national differences as the essential grist for the continuing evolution of individuals and of humanity as a whole."

Science/Philosophy

""External "reality" (ambiguous or otherwise) is a good hypothesis, supported by an overwhelming number of observations over a very long period of time, but it is not the starting point for how the brain (and hence the inquirer, at the deepest level) works. What is "real" to the brain is the signals it receives (and it itself generates), signals which are always ambiguous in the sense of having multiple interpretations. In the face of this, what the brain has evolved to do is not to lessen its imperfections in painting pictures of "reality", but rather to make of the ambiguous information it has to create candidate unambiguous paintings, not one but many, which it can then test by additional observations. The brain is not designed to have a single picture of "reality" as an outcome, but rather to explore an infinite variety of candidate pictures. Ambiguity and uncertainty are not ... the ripples of the imperfect glass through which the brain tries to perceive reality. They are instead the fundamental "reality", both the grist and the tool by which the brain (and, hence, all humans, you and I among them) creates all of its paintings".

Progress" in science is not measured by increasing closeness to "truth" or to the "real"'. It can't be, because neither "truth" nor the "real" is a known location against which proximity can be measured. Progress in science has instead always been (and can't but be) measured in terms of distance from ignorance. Science proceeds not by proving "truth" or "reality" but rather by disproving falsity, not by painting the "right" picture but by painting a picture "less wrong" than prior pictures." "

"Maybe at this point in human history we've finished cataloguing all the possible things that one MIGHT have used as a solid starting point for continuing inquiry and we can conclude (for the moment at least?) that NONE of them are in fact a solid starting point, in the sense that none can be taken as a given not subject to further skepticism and exploration. Maybe its time to seriously entertain the possibility that looking for a single solid starting point just isn't the right way to go, that one has to find another, different way to proceed."

"The big thing, of course, is that by fully and completely following through on a posture of profound skepticism one very much expands the space for exploration and inquiry. While it may be a little uncomfortable to give up the security not only of authority and logic and sense data and thinking but also the "self", one achieves along this path the freedom to become, and, in becoming, to be oneself the agent of new territory to explore and inquire into."

"not only Americans but people worldwide need to create within themselves and together a serious commitment to a pluralistic world community, one that not only recognizes and tolerates but actively encourages and values individual, tribal, and national differences as the essential grist for the continuing evolution of individuals and of humanity as a whole."

"the story of science as story telling and story revising may provide a foundation for a less wrong view of science, one that usefully engages a wider array of experiences and perspectives. That though is for others to decide. As with all scientific stories, the ultimate test of the value of this one is not in the past but in the future, not in whether it is right given the observations, but in what new things happen, what new observations are made, and what new stories develop because of it."



A Quick Bottom Line


Applied Neurobiology

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