We are at war. According to what we hear, we are being assaulted on all sides – depending on whom you believe -- by the virus, climate instability, immigration, government mandates, fascism, screens, economic collapse, transgender sexuality, big tech, and more.
Of course war is an old, tired metaphor. It leads me to wonder: how do stories we tell affect the way we act?
In The Idea of the Brain, Matthew Cobb describes the evolution how we understand the brain. Whatever is the most recent technology provides the metaphor. So these days, we think the brain is most like a computer. We would find a description of our nerves as a telegraph system quaint and limited. The metaphor in each era is a heuristic, a short-cut we use to describe complexity. But the short-cut leaves out important details, such as the important ways that our brain is not at all like a computer.
It’s an evolving story, and the way we think about things has implications. Phrenology,...