Efficient Brain, Lazy Mind: Breaking Both for Power and Balance!

in psychology •  9 months ago

Our brain is highly efficient so that our mind can be incredibly lazy.

The average brain takes up about 2% of body weight yet uses 20% of the body's energy consumption.
It has to be efficient.

So why do we not lead a perfectly efficient life?

We cannot pre-think our thoughts; we cannot pre-decide our decisions.
Well, actually we do, but we do it subconsciously.

Did you really think through every single item in your shopping trolley?
Have you ever written out everything you believe - and looked at the inconsistencies?

Being highly efficient means making quick decisions.
One thing the brain really hates is having to decide on undecidables.
"Which of these shirts do you like?"
"They look the same - whichever!"
"But they're slightly different shades - look!"
"I don't care; just pick one."
"Mmm... but which one?"
Buridan's ass has a problem!
Just as the donkey, in real life, won't starve to death, so we don't walk around naked through indecision.
Perhaps we just wish we'd made a different choice.

But that decision, seemingly random will affect future decisions. Before you know it, you have a wardrobe of shocking pink shirts. You could buy a blue one next time, but change is so hard, so exhausting - so inefficient.

Is there anything more efficient than uniformity?

Thing is, at that point, why do we need to be conscious at all?
Are we fundamentally mere spectators to a cerebral algorithm?
But we also get bored - bored and lazy - which is a dead end.

I think consciousness exists precisely to break ossified patterns - to change your mental wardrobe.
Throw away the pinks, this season is purples.
Better still, break the slavery to fashion.

This is perhaps why humans react so positively to fractal patterns. Within fractals we see both order and randomness combined. Natural fractals emerge as an algorithm reacts with the environment, like plants adapting to the changing sunlight. For plants, it is inefficient not to change.

So efficiency cannot be the only metric, otherwise the height of human progress would be to become automata.

The other metric is the amount of power a brain uses.
The buzz of the new.
The spark of creativity.
The sound of breaking chains.
The power of an independent and free mind.

Our brain is forever trying to balance.
Order and disorder.
Efficiency and power.
Everything is either on the edge of destruction or in the act of creation.
The static, the uniform, the stable are all temporary.
It just depends whether "temporary" means a whole life.

Either extreme can be disastrous - would you really like to be a zombie or insane?
But the middle path is not a well-paved road - it is skating on a razor's edge.
It is not a static balance - it is a dynamic balance.

And dynamic balance is precisely what we learn to do when riding a bike. It becomes automatic - we cannot un-learn how to do it. Just as the body can learn new tricks, so can the mind.

Everybody wants to ride a bike.
But does everyone want to ride their mind?

How have you broken away from past patterns of behaviour?

- - - - - - -
Please Comment, Resteem and Upvote. Thanks!

@rycharde manages the AAKOM project and the MAP forum.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Wow, yeah... Finding Steem and crypto has helped me to move into a whole new phase of my life. Unlearning old habits that never served is not as easy as replacing them with new habits of constant learning. My mind world and psyche are undergoing a massive shift. I'm grateful to be here, but still riding that razors edge <3


Yes, it's easier to change the course of a river than to try and dam it.

For some people, it will always be a razor's edge - I think just learn how to ride it :-)


I'm still alive. Will keep living life to the fullest until my time runs out :)


Don't fall off the skateboard yet! :-)

Bang. Loved reading this @rycharde. Very interesting!

Looking forward to your future content :)


Thanks! had a look at your blog - you may be interested in the @aakom community, which I manage.


Thanks @rycharde! I am relatively new to Steemit so I do not fully understand how to join a community. Do I just use "@aakom" in my posts?


That's a username; just click @aakom, that will take you to the user homepage on Steemit and there you can see links and posts about the project. It's just a short-hand way to avoid giving long URL links.


Great. Thanks for this! I’ll check it out :)

Glad to see you writing again on such topics ! :)

Procrastinators unite....


You got a 15.32% upvote from @allaz courtesy of @rycharde!

This post has received gratitude of 0.50 % from @appreciator thanks to: @rycharde.