After President Obama’s recent announcement of a plan to invigorate the study of neuroscience with what could amount to a $3 billion investment, a reasonable taxpayer might ask: Why brain science? Why now?
Here’s why. Imagine you were an alien catching sight of the Earth. Your species knows nothing about humans, let alone how to interpret the interactions of seven billion people in complex social networks. With no acquaintance with the nuances of human language or behavior, it proves impossible to decipher the secret idiom of neighborhoods and governments, the interplay of local and global culture, or the intertwining economies of nations.… Seguir leyendo »
Everyone knows the power of deadlines — and we all hate them. But their effectiveness is undeniable. People procrastinate. Deadlines help. They speed up performance and, paradoxically, reduce the anxiety of uncertainty. So when President Obama announced on Tuesday night a strict timetable of 18 months before the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan — how did that affect the psychology of the nation?
The emotional effect of the pronouncement depends on the party involved. For the military brass, 18 months is a blink of an eye, so the deadline could motivate them to perform at their peak, or it might paralyze them with fear; for the troops and their loved ones, 18 months is an eternity.… Seguir leyendo »