July 25, 2012

MUSE: Why are you looking at me like that?

It's no secret that I'm fascinated with human behaviour. As a youngster, I kept a notebook while observing my friends' activities, attempting to analyze the complex interplay of dynamics that revolved around me. My mother came across my notes and chided me for being intrusive; she felt that putting it into words was somehow a violation of privacy. The notebook disappeared.

My fascination did not, and became a lifelong pursuit. I suppose I could have made a profession out of my obsession, but 30 years ago it was a long climb through academia to get the required degree; I was too impatient and not that interested in listening to other people's problems, which (at the time) was the practical and likely outcome of studying psychology. As my marketing career veered into the medical world, I attached to the world of science easily and eagerly. So many experiments, so many possibilities! I used my new resources to feed my curiosity in matters of the brain. I devoured information about relationships, addictions, connectivity, isolation, imagination, suppression, emotions, creativity and more.

It has taken many millennia to understand the human body. We are just now beginning to understand the human brain. The irony of ourselves studying ourselves is not lost on me - our interpretations are akin to a baby fascinated with his or her hands.Yet we have so much to learn, and so many amazing people who are equally fascinated and eager to share their discoveries. Here's a TED talk by a prominent researcher, who is also an excellent storyteller. Brene Brown, on The Power of Vulnerability. 

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