“The more we discover about the circuitry of the brain, the more we tip away from accusations of indulgence, lack of motivation, and poor discipline—and toward the details of biology. The shift from blame to science reflects our modern understanding that our perceptions and behaviors are steered by deeply embedded neural programs.”
So now I know why I am as I am: the above quote from an article in The Atlantic, “the Brain on Trial”, tells me that my brain’s circuitry is wired a certain way: my way. I suppose I am fortunate that my brain isn’t wired to make me a sneak thief or a murderer, or even on a milder basis, a gossip or hypochondriac. Now I know what happens when I stand in front of the refrigerator looking for a snack: intellectually I know I should shut the door because I really don’t need the snack, but my circuitry overrides it all and I go ahead and eat. “I can’t help myself.” Well, I could, but I rarely do. For such a relatively smart person, this is really dumb.
|They call this a brainbow, and it shows|
Until these recent discoveries, criminals were criminals and were punished according to the law. Now, much like with the insanity defense, it will be a question of the criminal’s wired state of mind. No more: “he’s depraved on accounta he’s deprived.” It’ll be “he’s depraved on accounta he’s not wired too tight.” The wiring’s the thing.
So now that I know I think the way I do because it’s the way I’m wired, boy would I like to get inside and rewire some other folks brains. Unfortunately I can’t do that, so I’ll just have to be more understanding about the less-than-lovely traits of others. I’ll just have to say “Poor dear, she really can’t help herself. She’s wired that way.” And I guess they’ll say that about me too!
…while googling for brain-wiring illustrations to accompany this essay I came upon The Connectome: A New Way to Think About What Makes You You, also in The Atlantic. I first read that to be connect-to-me, and actually it does connect to me. The article gets into a little more serious stuff than I wanted to cover in my light essay, but it is quite intriguing.