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CELEBRATE YOUR RIGHT BRAIN

WELCOME TO URBANICITY
SENSING URBANITY
LISTENING FOR WORDS
VIEWING IMAGES OF MYSTERY
LOVING MUSIC
READING FOR LIVING
CELEBRATING THE MIND
TRAVELING TO EXPLORE
SEARCHING THE FUTURE
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Writer David Pink  thinks that the emphasis on right-brain thinking is wrong-thinking.
 
First, let's look at the biology of our brains. The two hemispheres work in concert together but with different specialties:
 
The left specializes in logic, sequence, literalness, and analysis. As a perfect complement the right gifts us with the abilities of synthesis, emotional expression, context, and 'the big picture.'
 
Our brains don't have isolated hemispheres. Rather they are actually two half brains, designed to work together as a smooth integrated whole in one entire complete brain.
 
The left knows how to handle logic and the right knows about the world. United, our brain is one powerful thinking machine.
 
Some people find their strength in logical, sequential, computer-like activities.  Others are more comfortable with holistic intuitive and non-linear reasoning.
 
Left-brain directed thinkers have been ascendant, in demand, in the information age. They operate in a sequential, literal, functional, textual and analytical manner.
 
We've  long been in the thrall of reductionist, binary thinking. Our unsteady educational system still shows a decided tilt toward left-brain thinking-- over its counterpart.
 
But a dramatic change is already upon us. The complexity of our problems and challenges as a nation require new ways of thinking-- because relying so much on the left  hemisphere is no longer sufficient.
 
Abstraction, empathy, taking the long view, and pursuing the transcendent will increasingly soar and inspire change.
 
Let's take the long view:
The Agricultural Age, The Industrial Age, and the Information Age relied on the talent of left-brainers. They shaped the character, leadership, and social profile of the age. But we are now moving toward the "Conceptual Age," and the future will  rely on the leadership of right-brainers.
 
Example: There is too much anxiety about 'out-sourcing.' Yet we know that left-brain directed work like computer programming can be done for a lot less overseas and delivered to clients instantly by fiber optic links. So that's where that work should go.
 
America has weathered such transitions before. The tidal change will tap the great reserves of right-thinkers who will direct their abilities here at home, such as forging relationships rather than executing transactions. They will tackle novel challenges instead of solving routine problems. They'll synthesize the whole rather than analyze a single component.
 
We all use right-brain thinking. It's been "in reserve" while our culture has honored the results of test scores as gatekeepers for entry into meritocratic, middle class society.
 
For most the last century left-brain functions of logic and analysis were rewarded by test takers-- PSAT, SAT- GMAT, LSAT, MCAT--- These test achievers were extolled by our leaders during the emerging knowledge society. They shaped the character, leadership and social profile of that age.
 
But the SAT-ocracy is now in its dying days. It's over. We're speeding into an era in which right-brainers will determine who gets ahead. And the future of global business now rests with their contextual abilities . Clearly, right-brainers will rule the future.
 
 

go to Pinker

"The most striking feature of contemporary culture is the unslaked craving for transcendence."
 
Andrew Delbanco, Columbia University.

return to "Celebrating the Mind"

Remain curious.