The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.
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“After this,” Morpheus warns, holding out a blue pill in one hand and a red pill in the other, “there is no turning back. You take the blue pill— the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
The alpha male, for example, consistently wins in small squabbles with the beta male, who in turn consistently wins against the gamma male. Very occasionally, a much more intense fight erupts between two babblers of adjacent rank, ...
On more careful inspection, however, these activities turn out not to be as selfless as they seem. First of all, babblers compete to help each other and the group— often aggressively so. For example, not only do higher- ranked babblers ...
To find out why we often misconstrue animal motives, including our own, we have to look more carefully at how our brains were designed and what problems they're intended to solve. We have to turn, in other words, to evolution.
... but it turns out, we aren't the only species who merit that title.17 In 1982, primatologist Frans de Waal published his influential book Chimpanzee Politics, which made a splash by ascribing political motives to nonhuman animals.18 ...
ما يقوله الناس - كتابة مراجعة
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Paul_S - LibraryThing
There is nothing surprising or even taboo in this book. What sheltered lives do the authors lead? This is one step above a bloke in a pub. An interesting, articulate guy but still not any kind of expert in the field. Scholarly paper - this is not. قراءة التقييم بأكمله
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Tytania - LibraryThing
I really didn't learn anything. We are primates who seek to elevate our status. Almost anything we do can be viewed in this light, if you squint hard enough. This really didn't add any "a-ha" moments ... قراءة التقييم بأكمله