TED Conversations

Adon Hsu

engineer in networks and telecoms , State Government

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How can we get the facts on what really makes humans tick?

The Venus project, Zeitgeist Movement, living in a cave all have one thing in common; they made the assumption that humans can change their minds through re-education, pain and suffering (from a crashing existing system). But can they? Seriously, is it biologically possible for the majority of the human race (average Joes) to embrace logic and reason over their baser instincts and emotions?

Genetic research (especially behavioural genetics and epigenetic) is in its infancy, we dont have enough facts to confirm or reject the hypothesis that humans act-react the way they do because of how genes structured their psyche. Human psyche development and research, due to nature and-or nurture, is the key to solving ALL of our problems.

I propose we go further than the human genome project, further than general anthropology, I propose we really look deep into the biological variables of our mind and body and confirm or reject once and for all this nature and/or nurture circus show and find out what we really want, need, desire as homo sapiens.

Once we do, we can proceed with the second phase of human development, change the way we think (through science and/or re-education) OR shape our future society around how we naturally are. There is no right or wrong, only facts and science to help us move along and cease the pseudo-science guessing game of what we want and what we should do for the future.

How can we plan for the future if we dont even know what we are-arent?


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    May 27 2013: Unlocking the complexities of emotion and instinct with logic is not possible.

    The human brain is vastly greater than the sum of its parts. All science can do, is to show us those parts - and that's it; it can go no further. The rest is down to emotion, instinct, spirituality, sense of being, consciousness (the list goes on) - which you seem to have dismissed as "base" and suitable only for coping with "living in a cave".

    In my opinion, you've got the hierarchy wrong. Moving humanity forward would entail creativity, and in the arena of creativity, science's role should be as servant to intuition.

    Inconceivable? Read this book "The Master and His Emissary" - it should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in how humans tick:

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      May 28 2013: Even if said intuition is emotionally biased and dangerous? Science is an ever on going process of confirmation and rejection of our known world and universe, once cannot say it can or cannot do something until it does or does not do something, even if it couldnt prove anything now, doesnt mean it cant in the future when more tools and development are possible.

      Everything can be analysed and explained if given enough time, research and discoveries.
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        May 28 2013: Science can be politically and economically biased. Which do you think is the most dangerous?

        No matter how many tools and development we develop, human consciousness will forever be a chased rainbow. The more we know, the more it will be out of reach of the linear reductionism in the current era of science.
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      May 28 2013: Hi Allan,

      I read your link...and I wanted to ask, is the book hard to digest?
      I mean, do you need to have background knowledge in a particular field before launching into reading it?

      • May 28 2013: Hi Mary I have not read the book but know that the writer often lectures at the Swedenborg Society in London.

        All I think that is needed is an open mind to spirituality. Then it certainly will make sense.
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          May 28 2013: Hi Adriaan, thanks for this information.

          Are you saying that the book is more spiritual than scientific?
      • May 28 2013: As I said, I did not read the book, yet, but in the introduction it seemed to me there was made a difference between the mind and the brain.

        Also I'd like to think that a challenging book would be a more interesting and pleasant read than an easy one :)
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          May 29 2013: Thanks Adriaan......you know, I struggle sometimes with books.

          A friend recommended my reading Georgette Heyer....I now have more gray hairs as a result. LOL

          I think you are correct though, a challenging book would be more interesting.

          I'll see if I can get a copy of it.

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        May 28 2013: Hi Mary - sorry for the delay in replying to you.

        I found the book quite hard to digest at first. However it is well worth persisting, as there is incredibly powerful, life-changing wisdom in there. And I don't say that lightly - it really is that good.

        It may take several readings to take it all in. If I can manage to claim my copy back from my son, I will read it a second time - and possibly even a third!

        McGilchrist is an enlightened exponent of his own book title - the intuitive and the scientific in balance.

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          May 29 2013: Great Allan...thanks for the honest reply.

          I like the fact you stated that the book has the intuitive and the scientific in balance.

          I'll try to find a copy.


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