19 Oct

Cleaning up the mental mess


Edward de Bono once said that 95% of human problems are due to error in perceptions.  Our problems vanish the moment we understand them correctly.  Our present understanding of human nature is so twisted, it creates more trouble for us than it solves.  First step towards a happier life, I think, is to unlearn this mess of ideas we have inside our mind.  For, true happiness lies beyond this Mental Mess.

Lucky for us, our understanding of human nature has been improving rapidly over the last twenty years.  For example, so much advancement has come about in brain science from the early 1990’s that it is as if the field was born only twenty years ago.  The cart load of b.s. served out by the likes of Freuds and the Jungs is just getting cleaned up.

Social biology, which studies the biological basis of human behavior is another field that was almost non-existent twenty years ago.  With the help of social biology, we are now able to understand our own morals and values like never before.

Twenty year ago, internet was barely there.  Today, internet and crowd sourcing are opening up new possibilities in the health care industry.  Several massive studies are being organized with the help of volunteers located and connected through the internet.  The scale and depth of researches and clinical trials being done today can only be dreamt of in the past.  Added to this, we now have the additional advantage of dirt cheap genome profiling which was not there even ten years ago.

Another advantage that internet brings us is the study of the online behavior of people. This gives us sample size that runs into hundreds of thousands of people and data unpolluted by subject bias.  Many of these studies are carried out by the industry outsiders.  But they have provided so many new insights into human nature that the specialists are gasping to catch up.

The time is just right for us to start unlearning several faulty concepts and clear up our mental mess.  A decade ago, we didn’t have enough new information.  A decade from now, we will be overwhelmed with too much of information.

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