Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What would you change in history?

I had one of those kid questions: "If you could change one thing in history what would it be?"

I didn't have an answer right away. As I was still thinking about it I was also listening to some debate about the nature of the bible. Then it occurred to me, if movable type was invented thousands of years earlier people would not be able to view any one book as so amazingly special. Also think of the improved literacy throughout history.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jill Bolte Taylor's story about her story-teller

This is one of those simple and somewhat obvious truths about ourselves. It is amazing to me that anyone can hold on to any religion based on the stories of other people. 

From: MY STROKE OF INSIGHT: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. by Jill Bolte Taylor
Pages: 143-4

As my left brain language centers recovered and became functional again, I spent a lot of time observing how my story-teller would draw conclusions based upon minimal
information. For the longest time I found these antics of my story-teller to be rather comical. At least until I realized that my left mind full-heartedly expected the rest of my brain to believe the stories it was making up! Throughout this resurrection of my left mind’s character and skills, it has been extremely important that I retain the understanding that my left brain is doing the best job it can with the information it has to work with. I need to remember, however, that there are enormous gaps between what I know and what I think I know. I learned that I need to be very wary of my story-teller’s potential for stirring up drama and trauma.

In the same vein, as my left brain enthusiastically manufactured stories that it promoted as the truth, it had a tendency to be redundant - manifesting loops of thought patterns that reverberated through my mind, over and over again. For many of us, these loops of thought run rampant and we find ourselves habitually imagining devastating possibilities. Unfortunately, as a society, we do not teach our children that they need to tend carefully the garden of their minds. Without structure, censorship, or discipline, our thoughts run rampant on automatic. Because we have not learned how to more carefully manage what goes on inside our brains, we remain vulnerable to not only what other people think about us, but also to advertising and/or political manipulation.

I wish I was thoughtful enough, and took enough notes to do book reviews. Since mostly I listen to audiobooks while driving I cannot easily take notes. That said, I can easily recommend this book. There is a very compelling personal story, and some really good life advise in general.
She does seem to abuse the word "energy" in a very New Age way, but I found myself forgiving her usage as typical metaphor runaway.

 Note: just missed the "once a year" mark for posting on the blog.