October 24, 2011

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}


I admit the study of the human mind is fascinating to me. What’s more, I’m astounded by the science coming out of laboratories. I’ve mentioned several revelations from George Lakoff’s book, “The Political Mind.”  And recently, I read on the Yahoo News. (9/23/11) that UC Berkley scientists have used an MRI to build a computer model that maps the imaging activity of the brain. With their new capability, they hope one day to capture our dreams on video. It’s a fascinating prospect but not without a scary downside: How will we use that capability?

(Yahoo Images)

Add to this development the recent article in “The Week” (9/16/11 pg. 11). It points out that on an adjusted scale, IQs in the United States have steadily risen over the past 100 years. The improvement is remarkable, but the writer does pause to question whether or not society will benefit from our increased ability to think: 

          “…people today might be better problem solvers on paper than previous generations.  But that doesn’t mean they’ll be willing to do what’s necessary to, say, solve the problems of the economy.”

In sum, we learn more about ourselves but where does all this measuring lead? Does it give us a better ethics upon which to organize our lives? Or happier lives? When we learn all we can about our brains, what will we do with the information? Our reply lies with our emotions and how we choose to answer the question, “Why are we here?”