Sunday, 28 January 2018

#427 Two books

The last time I saw Hetal, just before Christmas, she handed me a couple of books to read. The first one had a neuroscience theme to it, describing parts of the brain that did different things. I'd been wanting something like that for a while.

Imagine being alive for thirty three years and not even knowing which parts of your brain were responsible for your experiences. You'd think kids would be taught that before addition and subtraction. After all, if a person doesn't know the machinery that processes the things that are happening to them, they're bound to overreact and underreact in certain ways. That's not to say I'm now an expert or even an amateur student of neuroscience. I can never remember much about what I've read.

The second book was about happiness. Each chapter gave a different perspective or significant statement about happiness. The whole thing was put together after carrying out extensive research covering cultures spanning thousands of years.

It's called The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. Essentially, it puts carefully selected historic teachings to the test of today's science and then draws conclusions about which teachings are the wisest. It's proving a thoroughly engaging read. I get through a good few pages every night before going to sleep although my fascination with the text seems to have little bearing on my recollection of the damn thing. Despite eagerly picking it up daily, I can hardly remember any of it.

2 comments

Fizzfan said...

Interesting how little we’re taught about what makes us tick at school isn’t it.
I’d have been a damn sight more interested in that than the industrial revolution, rock formations, algebra or religion that’s for sure.
I’m not sure what percentage of education they say is completely wasted on us, but I’d hazard a guess it’s pretty high.
I longed to be fascinated by something, but 90% of the time just wasn’t.
Poor school, bad teachers, rotten curriculum.
I’m sure things have improved somewhat now but still so many things are lacking, in particular psychology, social skills and all the other branches that go with how we interconnect and how to get the best out of life through our many and varied relationships.
We ignore ourselves in favour of academia. We’re very stupid in many ways.

Sounds like a good read. You’re not alone on forgetting things. I find it takes repetition and vocal discourse several times to even have a chance of sticking in my head these days.

Dan Copping said...

Yes, even the classroom itself... you're picking up a wealth of knowledge but the only skills you're learning are how to listen and write.