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October 16, 2003
An Emotional Revolution
When I started writing my forthcoming book on our emerging neurosociety several years ago, my working title and focus for the project was -- The Emotional Revolution. Human emotions are extremely complex and depending on who is doing the talking there still exists broad contention about what constitutes emotions.
Human emotions have been honed over millions of years by natural selection to be trigger-happy. Although deeply engrained emotions like fear, anxiety and anger were critical survival behaviors for our ancestors, many human emotions, at least the severity to which they are felt and expressed, no longer provide the same advantages. Instead, they actually get in the way of cooperative efforts to solve problems.
Emotional control, not cognitive enhancement, will be the area where neurotechnology will make the most decisive impact on productivity and society in the coming years. Whether one agrees with the philosopher Thomas Hobbes that our future hunger for pleasure drives our decisions or with the political economist John Locke that it is our uneasiness with painful circumstances that spurs humans to action, it is clear that pain, pleasure, and every emotion in between, influence our daily decisions.
| Category: Emoticeuticals
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