Concept: Caveman brain
You buy a hammer from the hardware store. This is an incredibly versatile tool. There is seemingly not much to it. If you have ever seen a professional carpenter walk down a line of nails and hit each one dead on with one hit, you know that there is something different about the way carpenters use the tool, compared to the average man. Your brain is built the same way. Your brain is a tool, a resource, and you can hone it or sharpen it to make it better.
So, how do we use our brains? Well, I hate to break it to you, but after millions of years of evolution, you have a caveman brain. We all do. People have only been civilized for a few thousand years. Caveman brains are really good at some things, and really bad at others. A caveman brain is really good at figuring out new and innovative ways to catch small animals. It’s not so good at keeping appointments. The secret, then, is to use your caveman brain the way it was intended.
Do you have trouble remembering phone numbers? A lot of people do! That’s because our ancestors had very little reason to memorize seven-digit numbers. When you’re running away from a mammoth, there is very little benefit to having any particular seven-digit number memorized. That’s not to say that our ancestors were stupid. They were incredibly good at all things spatial.
They knew where to go, and how far to jump, when a man-eating
panther was right behind them. They were also very good at memorizing which berries made you sick. The ones that didn’t have these skills didn’t last long. We inherited from them a very good sense of three dimensional objects. We are excellent at distinguishing a watermelon from a hammock. I bet you have never confused the two, whereas I bet you have dialed the wrong number at least once. Other things we have gotten good at are verbal speech and linguistic recognition, which are very useful when someone is yelling “Holy crap there is a man-eating panther chasing me!”
which is hardest to memorize?