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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

对一个医学门外汉来说,这本书尤其是整个第二章不太好读。其实应该从附录看起,因为作者特意编写了有关神经科学内分泌及蛋白质的基础知识以便理解。

作者引用了以下这个寓言来概括出驱动行为的动因有很多:基因文化环境等共同作用,而科学家目前还只能在光亮处找链接。

一个叫莫拉的人,在大街上找东西。他的朋友看到了,问他,“莫拉,你在找什么?”“找钥匙”,他说。“我来帮你找!”朋友说着,也蹲在地上到处找。“莫拉,你记得钥匙掉在哪个角落吗?”“我在屋子里掉的”,他说。“那你在大街上找什么?”朋友责怪他。“因为街上比较亮啊!”

 

  • It’s great if your frontal cortex lets you avoid temptation, allowing you to do the harder, better thing. But it’s usually more effective if doing that better thing has become so automatic that it isn’t hard. And it’s often easiest to avoid temptation with distraction and reappraisal rather than willpower.
  • While it’s cool that there’s so much plasticity in the brain, it’s no surprise – it has to work that way.
  • Childhood adversity can scar everything from our DNA to our cultures, and effects can be lifelong, even multigenerational. However, more adverse consequences can be reversed than used to be thought. But the longer you wait to intervene, the harder it will be. //一想到“寒门难出贵子”的舆论,我就汗毛倒竖,给所有孩子基本的生活学习保障本就应该是整个社会应当承担的责任,而不是光指责不作为的家长没良心的商家。
  • Brains and cultures coevolve.
  • Things that seem morally obvious and intuitive now weren’t necessarily so in the past; many stared with nonconforming reasoning. //作者举例了美国黑奴制度。
  • Repeatedly, biological factors don’t so much cause a behaviour as modulate and sensitize, lowering thresholds for environmental stimuli to cause it.
  • Cognition and affect always interact. What’s interesting is when one dominates.
  • Genes have different effects in different environments; a hormone can make you nicer or crummier, depending on your values; we haven’t evolved to be ‘selfish’ or ‘altruistic’ or anything else-we’ve evolved to be particular ways in particular settings. Context, context, context.
  • Biologically, intense love and intense hate aren’t opposites. The opposite of each is indifference. //爱的反义词不是恨,而是冷漠,现在有了生理依据。
  • Adolescence shows us that the most interesting part of the brain evolved to be shaped minimally by genes and maximally by experience; that’s how we learn-context, context, context.

    青少年确实不能自已地会在情绪上大起大落。

    青少年确实不能自已地会在情绪上大起大落。

  • Arbitrary boundaries on continua can be helpful. But never forget that they are arbitrary.
  • Often we’re more about the anticipation and pursuit of pleasure than about the experience of it.//所以我们现在不容易开心了,因为再也不需要等一年才能吃上一碗黑洋酥猪油汤团……
  • You can’t understand aggression without understanding fear (and what the amygdala has to do with both).
  • Genes aren’t about inevitabilities; they’re about potentials and vulnerabilities. And they don’t determine anything on their own. Gene/environment interactions are everywhere. Evolution is most consequential when altering regulation of genes, rather than genes themselves.
  • We implicitly divide the world into Us and Them, and prefer the former. We are easily manipulated, even subliminally and within seconds, as to who counts as each. //有些 Us /Them显而易见,譬如家人/陌生人譬如男人/女人;有些则莫名其妙,譬如穿Prada/不穿Prada譬如司机/女司机
  • We aren’t chimps, and we aren’t bonobos, we’re not a classic pair-bonding species or a tournament species. We’ve evolved to be somewhere in between in these and other categories that are clear-cut in other animals. It makes us a much more malleable and resilient species. It also makes our social lives much more confusing and messy, filled with imperfection and wrong turns.

    作者说人类在两者之间,我觉得作者心地善良,怎么看都更接近Tournament。

    作者说人类在两者之间,我觉得作者心地善良,怎么看都更接近Tournament。

  • The homunculus has clothes.
  • While traditional nomadic hunter-gatherer life over hundreds of thousands of years might have been a little on the boring side, it certainly wasn’t ceaselessly bloody. In the years since most humans abandoned a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, we’ve obviously invented many things. One of the most interesting and challenging social systems is where we can be surrounded by strangers and can act anonymously.
  • Saying a biological system works ‘well’ is a value-free assessment; it can take discipline, hard work, and willpower to accomplish either something wondrous or something appalling. ‘doing the right thing’ is always context dependent.
  • Many of our best moments of morality and compassion have roots far deeper and older than being mere products of human civilization.
  • Be dubious about someone who suggests that other types of people are like little crawly, infectious things. //一个简单易行的鉴人方法。
  • When humans invented socioeconomic status, they invented a way to subordinate like nothing that hierarchical primates had ever seen before. //上周《海上畅谈》有位大学副教授举例说‘女同学在朋友圈里秀喜茶鲍师傅’~~连这个也能分成Us/Them
  • ‘Me’ versus ‘us’ (being prosocial within your group) is easier than ‘us’ versus ‘them’ (prosociality between groups). //同上
  • It’s not great if someone believes it’s okay for people to do some horrible, damaging act. But more of the world’s misery arises from people who, of course, oppose that horrible act…but cite some particular circumstances that should make them exceptions. The road to hell is paved with rationalization.
  • The certainty with which we act now might seem ghastly not only to future generations but to our future selves as well.
  • Neither the capacity for fancy, rarefied moral reasoning nor for feeling great empathy necessarily translates into actually doing something difficult, brave, and compassionate.
  • People kill and are willing to be killed for symbolic sacred values. Negotiations can make peace with Them; understanding and respecting the intensity of their sacred values can make lasting peace.
  • We are constantly being shaped by seemingly irrelevant stimuli, subliminal information, and internal forces we don’t know a thing about.
  • Our worst behaviors, ones we condemn and punish, are the products of our biology. But don’t forget that the same applies to our best behaviors.
  • Individuals no more exceptional than the rest of us provide stunning examples of our fines moments as humans.
  • This hostility toward someone being overly generous is because they’re going to up the ante, and soon everyone will be expected to be generous. Unequal cultures make people less kind, and less healthy, more crime and violence.//惩罚违反公序良俗的好理解,但为什么还有些社会反而花大力气惩罚善举呢?因为那些大善人提高了做好事的标准。

    以社会资本来看,我们成都超过韩国的首尔,赞

    以社会资本来看,我们成都超过韩国的首尔,赞

  • Despite the conservative nightmare of class warfare, of the poor rising up to slaughter the wealthy, when inequality fuels violence, it is mostly the poor preying on the poor. //配这条微博作为解释,穷人的日子确实很难过。

     It happens because so many of them are part of the same class – an exalted and privileged class. They are professionals and they believe in the things that so many other professional groups believe in: consensus, “realism”, credentialing, the wisdom of their fellow professionals and (of course) the stupidity of the laity.

    It happens because so many of them are part of the same class – an exalted and privileged class. They are professionals and they believe in the things that so many other professional groups believe in: consensus, “realism”, credentialing, the wisdom of their fellow professionals and (of course) the stupidity of the laity. These people are out of touch with their own life experiences. For all their training and expertise, as well as their obvious empathy in many cases, they raised in comfort and privilege can’t possibly understand what it’s like to live in certain circumstances.

 

 

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