Traveling over the limits of habitual mind

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Let's be smarter. Date:19.03.2011, 22:21.

It was observed a long ago: the best way to help people of the former USSR to get rid of the soviet picture of the world and paternalistic habits is to do easier and cheaper for them to travel to developed countries (on vacation, school, work). The device Thinking Cap, developed by Australian researchers, in my opinion, offers a similar way to get rid of the stereotypes to the individual human mind.

I’m not sure that this “mind defibrillator”, forcing the brain to work more efficiently than usual, you can use all the time or at least 5 days a week for 8 hours a day. Nature has repeatedly demonstrated that it can not be rape with impunity, that the constant brain activity in the “abnormal” mode leads to nervous exhaustion. However, if researchers can prove the security of their device for short-term use (like many medical procedures, useful within minutes and terrible within hours), then the Thinking Cap, probably, will be a good tool for self-discovery (and possibly working tool for emergency, exceptions). People start to develop, inspired by other people’s examples, but for this development did not stop after the first few steps or does not become an “intellectual gluttony” (continuous absorption of a series of books “Make Yourself”, which does not lead to action) – in order to avoid this trap, a person needs in the experience of individual victories. However, to get that experience in this age of monolithic corporate structures and social conventions is very difficult. For some people in some situations, “mind defibrillator” could be a kind of “intelligence alarm”: “What a pleasure is to think! It is me, who is doing the opening, it is me, who comes up with original ideas, it is me who sees the world from an unexpected direction.” Changes for the better often begin in a person’s life with such experiences.

A similar problem, in my opinion, is solved in the experiments that a Swedish neuroscientist Henrik Dr. Ehrsson holds. For example, using a variety of technical tricks of experiments participants it is possible to make sense of the illusion out of the body, reducing the body size, the exchange of bodies with other people, or even feel like the owner of three hands. I am confident that in this way not only the remarkable application solutions will be found (the developers talk about using the observed effects in prosthetics, robotics and virtual worlds industry), but the answers to philosophical questions: What is consciousness? How do we separate ourselves from the world? How to manage one’s life? Or – at least hints at the answers.

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