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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Saturday 30 June 2012

False Dichotomies and The Genetics of Politics

Actually, Lakoff is oversimplies at first, but then points out that a clear split in left/right poltics is simply another false dichotomy.  There are "hard-core Conservatives" who believe in charity and also desperately want people to be able to succeed, independently, which is different than not caring about what happens to them.  There are liberals who believe in the principle of moving forward together, but don't practice what they preach.

In reality, there's a bit of each perspective - survival-of-the-fittest and success of the collective - in each of us.  Where does the balance lie?  Can it change?  It can change, because of a thing called neuro-plasticity.  Where it resides is in our noggins - hypothamlus, amygdala, neo-cortex.  A process called cognitive behavioural therapy - kind of a physiotherapy for your brain - allows you to consciously repattern your thoughts so that you are less reactive and have more active control over how you feel and how you respond to the world.

Of course, you don't want to become too analytical, or you lose your capacity for action.  But you don't want to be shooting-from-the-hip, either.  So where's the sweet spot?

It's in managing both our biological evolutionary and social evolutionary drives in cheque.

Put in otherwords, it's where the wise folk of history have always taught us - balance lies in the centre.

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