bangtan’s chapters of 2016

The brain does much more than recollect. It compares, synthesizes, analyzes, generates abstractions. We must figure out much more than our genes can know. That is why the brain library is some ten thousand times larger than the gene library. Our passion for learning, evident in the behavior of every toddler, is the tool for our survival. Emotions and ritualized behavior patterns are built deeply into us. They are part of our humanity. But they are not characteristically human. Many other animals have feelings. What distinguishes our species is thought. The cerebral cortex is a liberation. We need no longer be trapped in the genetically inherited behavior patterns of lizards and baboons. We are, each of us, largely responsible for what gets put into our brains, for what, as adults, we wind up caring for and knowing about. No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain, we can change ourselves.
—  Carl Sagan