Your brain fucks you up. Sometimes

Here is the great experiment which demonstrates how our brains work regarding any issue, task or activity.

Basics

Whether we actively learn something or just happen to start doing something, our brain forms algorithm, that is being not only stored in us, but reinforces each time we perform this activity. Different levels of such reinforcements lead to different level of both effectiveness with which you execute this activity and what is probably more important — different level of perception of what is ‘the way how this thing work’.

If we notice that we started to do this new thing, we also notice different options, different mechanisms, different ways we can approach this and we actively choose and acquire it. If we do it long enough, we first get grasp of concept, then we get familiar with it, then after long time master it, then it becomes innate ‘feature’ of us. And this algorithm becomes installed and wired so deep that we actually believe that how we do it is ‘the way how things work’.

Such approach works perfectly most of the time, especially when we need to acquire some particular skill with some pretty narrow boundaries of what works and what is not, like riding a bike for instance. But in a lot of other cases it misleads us heavily.

Fuck up

The most important case is emotional perception of the world. Noone teaches us to be emotional. We don’t have at some point of time a goal to acquire emotional perception. It just happens from very first days of our lives, because it’s simple, evolutionary primitive, yet effective approach. You get some input of imformation (high or low temperature, hunger, dangerous animal or situation, any other discomfort) — you get your reaction and it’s outcomes: cry early on, then run, eat or kill later. Or get more of the thing you are doing, if you like it.

The problem is that since we begin using and building such algorithm early, before we even form conscious, since we have extreme neuroplasticity as kids, we almost never ever actually question this algorithms of emotional perception of the world we acquired. And the fact is that in modern complex very intellectually demanding world this algorithm is almost always heavily underpeforms compared to any intellectual way of dealing with world, situations and people around us.

It strongly reminds me the way early wheel worked. You put something heavy on set of long tree logs, you start to pull, logs start to rotate, when you end up of logs, you take furthest one out, you put under in the beginning and you keep pulling.

Very demanding and very ineffective compared to even bycicling, yet alone heavy truck transportation. Yet crowds of people keep using it, since ‘that’s the way things are’, almost noone suggests better option and when someone does, it’s actually neuroscientifically very hard to rewire such deeply built-in algorithm. But possible.

The point

Actually, there is no point in what I’ve told you. At least there is none to most of people who read it, since algorithm is indeed deeply built-in. To others it’s just one more reassurance that you are on the right way of reevaluating, reassessing and taking and doing things differently.

Emotions fail to get you where you want to be (unless you want to be whiny bitch or latent psycho). They can make your life vivid and different, but that’s all an illusion most of the times.

Keep thinking,
Anton