The Brain Will Kill Us

Okay, so we all know that evolution is still totally going on...to be honest, I'm surprised that anyone would think humans have come to a standstill, considering that our species hasn't even been around long enough to register as more than a neutrino in the geological time scale.

But. I hate geology. This is not about geology.

Human brains are shrinking--there's a number of ideas floating out there as to why, are we using the rest of the space more efficiently, or are certain more instinctual and sensory aspects becoming obsolete in a world where, for instance, it is not fun to hear the high ranges every time a siren goes by.

What no one seems to be asking, though: is this a good thing?

Is it time for the human brain, which is a mass of contradictions, to shape the fuck up?

Think about it. On the one hand, there's our wonderful frontal cortex, allegedly the pinnacle of brain design (but hey, the '60s thought rocket fins on everything was a good idea), which is all the judgment and rational thought processing you'd ever need. At the same time, though, there's the mass of dark little worms called our limbic system, respondent to far more primal urges. And, oh, don't forget the amygdala, whose ablation would be oh-so-bad for therapists everywhere.

Anyway, these impulses contradict. I know people like to blame excessively modern or excessively ancient ways of thought on all our problems. Genocide is caused by sticking to the old ways and not being able to adapt to a country defined by a bunch of foreigners that just happens to incorporate a whole lot of people that never actually got along, and that was why they preferred their own states in the first place (huh, I think I got a little distracted there); and development of the most advanced medical techniques has trebled and quadrupled the rates of debilitating diseases that, some would argue, should not be treated in a way that allows a person to have a long, but horridly painful, life.

This...just doesn't seem right.

I think the real issue is that of contradicting impulses. Doing things halfway, if you will. If we were creatures driven purely by emotion, we'd never get around to killing one another on account of being too busy making more of us; and vice versa--rationality dictates that the killing of one's own species serves no logical end.

So: yeah, the brain will kill us, maybe, but only if it stays in such a state of flux. And only if, somehow, democratic impulses take over the entire world and make every action open to this insane tug-of-war.

Or...we could just get a robot government. Three Laws? Awe-some.

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