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Old 30-09-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default Whence instinct III

Is it possible that our instincts can mislead us? If we follow them will we end up doing something other than survive? The opposite?

This is precisely the subject of Deirdre Barrett’s book, Supernormal Stimuli. You can find a very recent interview with her here.

In May of last year I began a thread about this book and assumed that its careful conclusions would truly shake a few who considered them. The thread ended after 12 posts and got only 1,174 views.

But I think posts #5&6 reveal more about what we see each day than anything else I can say.

Take a look. Reading the whole thing won’t take long at all.
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Old 30-09-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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These are my conclusions regarding Barrett's book and what I see each day.

1) People eat too much of the wrong stuff because they have given in to their instincts and the culture encourages this.

2) The epidemic of chronic pain is a result of people suppressing their instinct and the culture encourages this.

Please notice in both instances that the culture wins.
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Old 30-09-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Barrett, I’ve just posted a thread about a dental school I gave a talk at recently. Did you know that you get marked down in a dental exam if you are not sitting "correctly". How’s that for culture?
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Old 30-09-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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Another nail in our coffin.
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Old 30-09-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
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Carol Lynn has posted a note about her teaching career on her Facebook page. My own daughter, Jennie, has taught sixth graders for ten years and has never told any of them how to sit.

It comes down to this: There are instincts we'd be better off expressing and instincts we'd be better off suppressing. Sometimes the culture encourages both of these things appropriately and sometimes not. Times change, people change, circumstances change and then they all change again.

Vigilance by our cortex (thoughtfulness) is the best we can do, and that doesn't work all that well.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:34 AM   #6
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Why do we seem to want autopilot so much? Why does it seem so difficult somedays to take the better road? Why does it get easier each week not to exercise even after having gone through the work of making it easier and actually having attained it?

I always try to remind myself (and others) that frustration is just impatient curiousity. I think frustration can be converted to curiousity with some disarming questions. It is the stop before frustration and that conversion that seems so elusive.

Great posts Barrett, I read the old one too. I need a cortex air conditioner on this site some days.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:11 AM   #7
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This thread inspired two conversations with patients today, both of them useful.

Maybe that's why the subject came to me today - I needed to talk to these patients about this. I see a relation between instinct in its many manifestations and the unconscious processes I've written of so many times in the past.

These Whence... threads come to me at odd moments; unconsciously; instinctively.
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