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?
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