Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Is your brain your best friend?
…HA’s brain can even be her enemy. You intend to do something, but a temptation intervenes and you jump into the moment and succumb.
…You intend to cook, but you are so hungry you call Pizza Hut, even though that takes 45 minutes and a sandwich would take five minutes.
…Ever happen to you? Please say yes.
…Gary Marcus wrote about this in the LA Times May 4, 2008. He cited a 1960 study at Stanford in which preschoolers were offered one marshmallow now and two when the researcher came back. The kicker was the scientists left the one marshmallow on the counter.
….The kids tried to wait. And tried. They covered their eyes, they jumped up and down, they sat on their hands---but half the kids didn’t make it through 20 minutes—they ate it!
…People drive fast, have unsafe sex, eat everything in sight. They know they shouldn’t but they do!
…Seems evolution never starts over—it just keeps building on what’s there. Evolution doesn’t give you different kinds of memory for different occasions. You remember lions eat you so you run. You don’t remember the date on which you last ran from a lion—what difference does it make? That is abstract.
…Remembering what to do next is like remembering what you had for breakfast—lots of breakfasts back there. What’s the point.
…So we can forget long-term goals like losing weight. We can work against ourselves.
…Another one for the Big Book of Duh.