Unicorn Ira Einhorn

This is a blog by and about the wrongfully convicted environmentalist and free energy activist, the Unicorn, Ira Einhorn. Here you'll find news and reviews concerning his case and views on how the world is working, or not. Articles from friends and supporters are posted here too. 'Tain't fittin, just 'tain't fittin...all those innocent folks in jail.'

Name:

I'm an old hippie from the 60's. Issues I'm working on include ebooks, hemp legalization, political activism , world trade center illness and bridging the digital divide.

Books Include:
Black People And Their Place in World History - Print Paperback
Black People And Their Place In World History - .PDF ebook edition
DePalma, Free Energy and the N-Machine
Print Hardcover
DePalma Free Energy and the N-Machine
.pdf ebook edition
Prelude To Intimacy
Hemp For Victory: A Global Warming Solution
Hemp For Victory: The Wonder Herb
Hemp For Victory: The Trillion Dollar Crop
Why I Survive Aids: Emergency On Line Edition
How To Compute: Computer Training Notes  On Line Edition.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The New Brain - Ira Einhorn's Book Review


Review By: Ira Einhorn

THE NEW BRAIN
By: Richard Restak (Rodale Press, 2003)

“The dumbing-down, lowest common-denominator dynamic that cable and internet and tabloid culture have brought means that anything that is big and exclusive and legitimate is quickly turned into something trivial, tawdry, and dumded-down. If we had the most consequential scoop of all times about wrongdoing in the Bush Administration, it would quickly turn into “how’s it polling? What are they saying about it on Drudge? What are they saying about it on “Hannity and Colmes”?’ And it would be reduced to its cheapest most ephemeral essence.”

Mark Halperin, New Yorker, October 25, 2004


Richard Restak has written a small book that very deftly and gracefully provides the general reader with easily understandable information from the edge of neuroscience.

Its small package contains information that will eventually dwarf two major public interest issues that have occupied headlines for a while: tobacco and fast food.

Restak’s presentation of the research brings closer to scientific validity the intuitive awareness that many socially concerned people have shared for decades: presentation of violence in the media is a serious problem that effects us all, children in particular.

Restak’s 212 page book contains: a short overview introduction; an opening chapter on the plasticity of the brain; 7 chapters on research that will effect how all of us think about ourselves and live in the world; a concluding overview chapter that talks very directly about both the opportunities that the new knowledge opens up and the ethical dilemmas that our greater knowledge will force us to face.

New tools are now able to monitor the brain in both a safe and non evasive way. The information abstracted by these tools and massaged by computer programs enables researchers to formulate hypotheses and make predictions that are testable.

The correlation between watching violent action on TV and committing acts of violence is now established.

Restak talks with great sensitivity about loss and how TV violence is causing our inability to react to the pain of others. We are becoming desensitized to a whole spectrum of negative behavior.

He shows us what doing 2 or more things at once is producing. Multi-tasking is ineffective and costs us both in time and accuracy. Faster, faster, faster is the theme of an increasingly superficial age (read the head quote to this review slowly and ponder it.) that is characterized by increasing slippage.

He looks at what this frantic pace of processing is doing to our lives and the fact that ADD/ADHD may be classified as diseases, but is actually a lifestyle now being forced on people if they wish to survive.

He provides a number of moving anecdotes about what this lifestyle is doing to personal relationships.

Our frantic rush is overseen and controlled by an economic system that is ruled by one linear variable and can be simply defined as

M O R E

Anyone who has studied systems theory knows that the sad anecdotes that Restak presents are examples of sub optimization: the destructive output of an increasingly mad socioeconomic system that has avoided Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety.

There are positive fruits to the knowledge gained by the research, but they will be but noise in the system, if we don’t pay attention and be more mindful of the wrong pathway that our system-as-a-whole is now perusing.

Our too concentrated linear economic behavior is rapidly making the planet unlivable. What Restak writes about is reflective of the total situation.

If we fail to heed the mirror he holds up, we are looking at species extinction.
Ira Einhorn, November 2, 2004