Humans and the environment - Deepstash

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5 neuroscience reality checks, from a top neuroscientist

Humans and the environment

Humans and the environment

Humans believe they are separate from the environment, which is a wrong presumption.

Environmental and climate change and its imminent effects on humans are proof that we are not separate or insulated from our surroundings.

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Despite the advances in science over the past century, our understanding of nature is still limited. Scientists still don't know what the vast majority of the universe is made up of or how cons...

Mysterian arguments

"Mysterian" thinkers give an important role to biological arguments and analogies.

Late philosopher Jerry Fodor argued that there are bound to be thoughts we are unable to think. Similarly, philosopher Colin McGinn claimed that all minds suffer from "cognitive closure" about particular problems. Just as animals will never understand prime numbers, so human brains are unable to consider some of the world's wonders.

Mysterians and pessimism

Mysterians present the question of cognitive limits in fixed terms: either we can solve a problem, or we will never be able to.

A possibility that eludes mysterians is one of slowly diminishing returns. We keep slowing down, even as we exert more effort, and there is no point where progress becomes impossible.

Friedrich Nietzsche

"Society tames the wolf into a dog. And man is the most domesticated animal of all."

Friedrich Nietzsche
Depression in the era of infinite possibilities

Although we are currently experiencing the highest living standards in the history of mankind:

  • Depression rates are constantly rising in the US since the mid-1930s.
  • Approximately 40 million American adults are dealing with anxiety disorder.
  • Over 600,000 children of 5 and under are on some type of psychiatric drug in the US.
Depression and anxiety

According to the existential psychologist, Rollo May:

  • “Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
  • "Anxiety comes from "not being able to know the world you’re in, not being able to orient yourself in your own existence.”
Our sleep-wake pattern

Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun

When we disregard this circadian rhythm, we are at a greater risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart...

The lifestyle imbalance

Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones. 

However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.

Stage One Sleep

When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.

The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.