An Idea about the Brain

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have a theory about the brain.

Very briefly, the brain consists of two components – System 1 and System 2. System 1 is the automatic, effortless part of the brain that handles the associative machinery and jumps to snap conclusions – both right and wrong. System 2 is the vigilant part of the brain that does slow effortful thinking and maintains vigilance over whatever System 1 is cooking up.

The mental exertion of an activated System 2 also causes physical exertion. A frown, palpitations or dilated pupils for example.

<———> Stuff below this line is my speculation.

A highly active System 2 can become a liability very soon. The very mechanism that maintains constant vigilance over System 1, discarding irrational and false conclusions put forth by it may be impeding its associative machinery that is so essential for creativity. After all, at the core, creativity is just an uncanny ability to connect and synthesize ideas.

When System 1 fires off weak associations, System 2 should not be too strict and block associations before they have been fully explored. If this is the case, (I think it is) a highly activated System 2 will not allow the person to make leaps of ideas or even move on to explore adjacent ideas properly. If this is the case, all that is needed is something to blunt System 2 for some time, something to make it go away for some time. Marijuana, anyone?

 

 

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