100 thoughts on “David Brooks: The social animal

  1. @bogdanbelcea Those weren't arguments either. Leave that poor pot alone kettle-guy.

    I'm just kidding with you. His talk IS argument & data deficient. He is banking on emotional persuasiveness to get people to question their assumptions. He hopes to undermine the mythos surrounding politicians. There is value in this. However, I would agree that it could be done better.

  2. interestingly, my mum and I had a conversation similar to this talk about how we measure success a few days ago

  3. Eh, it was ok. He could've picked and choosed one or two topics and talked more about them in depth instead of skimming over a few, and some of his jokes were ok.

    But seriously, any rational human being knows that human beings are not rational 😀

  4. mindblowing insight. only we now need see our subconsciousness as the universe expressing itself through us. In chinese medine water reads of (holds) the emotions. emotions speak of feelings, and feelings are the language of the soul. and the soul is the cosmic expression and manifestion of consciousness . . .through which the universe expresses itself in matter

  5. interesting ideas but very general, i guess he didnt have time to get too specific , i'm gonna check out the book . i think we should come up with a better name than new humanism

  6. @bogdanbelcea Because you can't help it, and had better learn to work with yourself rather than against. Everybody feels emotional attachment to the ideas they espouse; if you admit that, you can look more closely at ideas, and compensate for your attachment to some extent. Or were you wondering about the evolutionary advantage of such a seemingly flawed system? That would be an interesting question to ask.

  7. @bogdanbelcea Albert Einstein rejected Quantum physics on essentially emotional grounds, believing that "god would not play dice with the universe." He was wrong, but the story shows a hugely influential modern genius, unabashedly relying on intuition and non-rational thought. So many great ideas, modern and ancient, came not from logical progression, but in a flash of intuition, later confirmed by careful research. Both intuition and research have their place.

  8. Can anyone actually identify ANY insights in this talk?

    I mean he says a lot of stuff, but it's all intuitively obvious pop-psychology ga-ga. As i'm watching the talk i'm realising that this is the kindof vapid talk i would have given if i was told that i had to get infront of an audience and SAY NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE FOR 20 MINUTES.

    Sure, there was nothing incorrect in there. But there was just nothing in there, period. I feel like i just ate a pack of ramen noodles, no nutritional value.

  9. @roidroid in conclusion… he's identical to that politician he described early in the talk.

    high in social skills.
    low in substance.

    Columnists are paid for their ability to get and hold the attention of a large audience, are they all like this guy?
    *sigh*, i ain't even mad. Just disappointed really, i was expecting more.

  10. For more on how we are children of the French Enlightenment, read "Voltaire's Bastards" by the greatest Canadian philosopher of our age, John Ralston Saul.

  11. @FreestyleBrain
    Go with your gut, but don't be afraid to sit back and reflect on activities/experiences you've had in the past that you enjoyed. I was initially going to go engineering, but then I went Kinesiology. I wound up leaving that after doing 1.5 years, taking a couple years off of school, teaching myself programming, and going back in computer science. I've now finished creating a small game and am working on a very cool project with people I know.

    I'm happy with my choices.

  12. @roidroid "To know and not do is to not really know" I don't know you but sometimes when we become educated we have a distorted and unbridled desire for novelty. However, because something is "intuitively obvious" as you say does not make it any less important. Because although it is "intuitively obvious" hardly any of us actually practice this axiom of humanity, hence, all our societal problems.

  13. @FreestyleBrain Go with your heart. If you go down a path in conflict with your "calling" you'll lose your life. On a practical note, out of the gate you may get a bigger paycheck in mechanical engineering but over the next 10 years that will fade as you lose out to those in engineering who have the passion. But if you follow your heart you'll end up finding a place where those skills are valued more and you'll be the one with passion which should make you some decent money in almost any field.

  14. didn't like it, too vague. Sounded more like a TEDwoman talk, but done by a man. The conspiracy theorist part of my brain tells me that this is exactly what it was

  15. Alright presentation, but does anyone else feel the guy is jumping into new-age woo-woo territory a bit?

  16. @DonAnonimus It's the part where he talks about the soldiers detecting "coldness" where there were landmines… but I'm willing to bet that "coldness" just means "empty."

    I wouldn't hang around a land mine I just planted, would you?

  17. He explained why Mitt Romney will win the republican nomination, which means that we will have a question between bad and worse again.

  18. Seemed really great til his comment about Iraq….just like when someone from the right starts talking about jesus…..he's an idiot….

  19. bull shit over bull shit. there is more factual statements in a chuck klosterman book. he just babbles like he's smart but is saying NOTHING

  20. @mikaelfodor If you didn't learn anything it is because you failed to be open enough to learn; because it was against your own prejudices to allow yourself to learn. It is impossible not to learn, for familiarity isn't absolute truth, for there is nothing in this world that you completely know, including yourself .I can learn something by looking at something I've seen a thousand times before, I can learn by staring at the back of my hand. Really, learn to learn, set yourself free.

  21. @sixtiksix An idiot is an individual who is pre-cognizant, they literally have no ability to think or formulate thoughts. Though I could translate your comment as such, once he started challenging my own beliefs the cognitive dissonance made me uncomfortable, and instead of being able or willing to see things in a different way, I put up my walls and dismissed him with a word that is hardly descriptive. It's okay to be scared, we are all scared.

  22. u r a social animal. Now, either accept it, or don't accept it. This guy: "accept it!". He wants to "thrive" 11:00. If your reason is "weak", why not enhance it? If you're governed by your animaltions, why not learn to overcome them?

    But actually he conflates another thing into the mess, and that's Values. True, deepest values are emotional, but not every emotion is result of animalcy. What we need is ETHICAL AXIOMS: Do No Harm. Free Mind. No Coercion!

    So is really free mind "dehumanizing"??

  23. IOW, that we are social animals, I see as impediment, not something to cultivate. One concrete example: it is natural for humans to form hierarchies, pyramids with few on top treading over those below. Is this something you would consciously choose as an ideal, a master/slave civilization? Obviously the Free World chose otherwise, it chose parliaments and free discourse. So it's not something to embrace unconditionally, most of it is something to fight against.

  24. Foreign Policy is driven by economic means, often pressured by interest group. The choices that are available in foreign policy are greatly influenced by profit and security. Foreign policy evaluates corporate interest with government capabilities in relation to public concerns. Politicians are not philosophers; they often do not look at the overall consequence of their action. peoplebreeze com

  25. When they finally do, that decision can be vetoed, challenge by congress or slowed down through bureaucracy. Moral values are often discouraged in foreign policy due to potential conflict that can elevate through the effort of securing interest, especially when promises have been broken. Therefore, the human experience of a good life is forever shrinking as conflict across the globe continues. Sorry there’s no happy ending…peoplebreeze com

  26. Politicians are faking their social skills to gain power over people who allow their emotions to rule their actions too much. Do not be oppressed, this guy seems totally wrong to me.

  27. The social mind is a wonderful thing. Mittt Romney in 2012 is viewed differently by the generalized other than he he was viewed by the same audience in 2008, yes? Every traditional society's members knows emotions are inextricably interwoven into reason . The English language has many words but few words for expressing emotions. I get excited about learning! Engagement might be the best word for learning. higher the social class the les emotional we become in most Industrialized societies.

  28. "dictatorship" talk to anyone with a boss on top of them about that. "applying order" what are your views on virtues of bullying? see much value in applying that? "parliaments" a representative reprsents will of electors, not dictates his will onto them. u obviously have no idea what freedom is and r happy to live under control, like so many consumerized humanimals preferring their "feelings" over Reason+Values. "hierarchical discourse" (whatever the heck that is) is certainly not free.

  29. David Brook calls Edward Snowden a delusional individual, but the NSA paid Snowden $200,000 a year.

    David Brook is aiding Big Brother.

  30. I'm not sure you'll ever find an 'expert' who integrates all the data into one big picture. DB seems well informed and he speaks from his own experience.

  31. a great book that brook wrote, but his speech is with the same tune as if he disconnects with his emotion when saying emotion is important. His voice trembles perhaps he was nervous, but a very humble man indeed

  32. Sounds like this guy is talking about theory of mind and emergent systems theory. Maybe if we standardized the language we could fix society faster.

  33. Explicitly anti-reason and anti-individual, in the same lecture. He is trying to start a de-revolution in human thought. To a limited extent he is right, that a person who is highly rational but has a poor emotional intelligence is indeed missing something of major importance, but he overlooks that a person who is barely rational and highly emotional is probably more dangerous.

  34. Wow good stand-up routine.

    So… the ACTUAL most socially-attuned people aren't the sort of smarmy dickheads that make it in politics?

  35. El candor de la garra del Condor con AGua de Mr. Riberas Pirennees to strech to wide Bulbs Meer Baltics strech sinistra Copenhagen HUmour is the 1st intution to survey JOY INTELIGENT FREEZY BREAZY wild lightness accuracy respect HUmour RAtios END>]

  36. from 2011. this talk so relevant with the tribalism preoccupying america today. especially, as run by the megalomaniac scam artists who acts as politicians led by a very stable genius criminal mastermind.

  37. I like David Brooks. He is thoughtful and he seems considerate and kind.

    However, as a Scot, I am not sure that the relation between sentiment and reason attributed to David Hume is entirely correct. It may be, I am no scholar on the matter, however, from the little that I know, I understand Hume's view to be that that the "passions" should govern that, over which, one should apply one's "reason", rather than the notion that one's passion and reason are somehow opposed.

    Anyway, since I am obviously not a philosopher, and as I have also, in all probability, made several logical fallacies, please go easy on me!

    By all means tell me more about Hume and why my scant knowledge of him is inaccurate!



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