Ants on a Branch

First of all, I would like to say that I haven’t even quoted Steven Pinker yet and he has took most of the brunt for my opinions. Congrats to Steven Pinker, I might add. Also, this has been a very long day ending a very long week, so I might be rather drunk at typing.

That said, my mom was cozying up next to me and saying snacky-snack, while chewing loudly on an actual snack. I told her my laptop was broken and came in here. According to Steven Pinker, she is supposed to be the grandmother supporting the next generation. However, I shell out the bucks for after-school care. Sometimes my only solace is the kind logical words of Desmond Morris calling us the human animal, or Steven Pinker describing the odd logic of the brain.  You know what, Pinker has got bad press lately, let’s go there. Every quote from here on is from his book, How the Mind Words.

Rule 1. You think with your brain.

The truth is, that whether you chose to be creative with them or not, the chemicals in your brain rule you. You think with your brain. Every action you take during the day, and every word you type with you hand, depends on it. Accepting that, the problem with emotions is that they are “designed to propagate copies of the genes that built them rather an to promote happiness, wisdom or moral values.” Emotions can be “damaging to the actor’s happiness in the long run, uncontrollable, and impervious to persuasion.”  Our emotions are not engineered for our happiness, yet we are dependent on them to fuel our daily perceptions of the world.

Rule 2. Your brain was created by DNA

The cold truth is that our emotions do betray us. Our emotions rely on goals to tell us what to do. “Without goals, the very concept of intelligence is meaningless. Of course, the “Brain’s goal is not reproduction itself.” You must have one goal at al time, matched to the likelihood of achieving that goal… otherwise, if it is too much of of reach. You don’t want to lose the state of flow. (You see… I knew being objective would work out for me).

Rule 3. Your brain wants you to like those uppity women at your kid’s day care

The truth is that each “human emotion mobilizes the mind and body to meet one of the challenges of living and reproduction in the cognitive niche.” Emotions train us to be social creatures and adapt to one another.

Our brains are only a part of the DNA that struggles so hard and long to survive. That DNA is creative. It mixes and matches parts at a gamble. You see, Einstein, God DOES play dice with the universe. He will mix and match to the utmost extreme. Even until you become so good at logic, you forgo social interaction. DNA mixes the crap out of stuff just to see what will take. It doesn’t give a shit if we are happy. Emotions are brain chemicals. Brain chemicals are created by the DNA. Created by the very same DNA that wants to produce itself. Who is in control here? We are ants on a branch.

Rule 4. People who distort logic to their own ends will always win.

I just wanted to pick a fight. I’m actually creative myself. You see, I like to make these bracelets with beads. Apologies. Oh, wait… forgot I am making said bracelets to look hot. Back to Rule 1.

One more note from Steven Pinker, “The emotions are mechanisms that set the brain’s highest-level goals. Once triggered by a propitious moment, and emotion triggers the cascade of subgoals and sub-subgoals.” So, maybe it is true you get what you wish for, or think most about. Pick your next goal carefully, your brain may be watching.

Rule 5. If you made it this far, you win.


About lgalaviz
All of this hardly seems necessary.

7 Responses to Ants on a Branch

  1. jbrown3079 says:

    The two.things I really like about this post :the phrase ants on a branch and Rule 5.

  2. Ah, Desmond Morris – he’s sort of a hero of mine. Did you know (you probably did, didn’t you?) that he was the first to film how the female orgasm help conception, thereby proving it’s not just a left over from the evolution of the male orgasm? It’s true!

  3. Ah. The selfish gene. Yes, it’s difficult to argue with a selfish gene, even though I’m more than a little annoyed with the creator of the concept Richard Dawkins.

    It’s difficult, but not impossible. We have in our brains the possibility for objective thought and logic. On rare occasions logic triumphs over emotions, and with that our mind triumphs over our genes. Therefore we can conquer our selfish genes, but we won’t feel good doing it.

  4. a says:

    Rule 4 seems to apply to everyone I know. But I do like rule 5!

    Also, Rule 3 is true, but I am living proof that the brain can be overcome! I can’t like those people…

  5. elaine4queen says:

    hey! i have a tuppence worth!

    the brain, while not a reproductive organ in itself, wishes to reproduce the conditions of it’s own existence.

    and that’s, well, marx!

  6. MsDarkstar says:

    All of this is too much thinking for me. I will now go have a cup of tea. And maybe some vodka.

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