Showing posts from February, 2011

Ideas that Resonate: "Social Animal" by David Brooks

A twitter link posted by Jad Abumrad of WNYC’s Radiolab steered me in the direction of this article in The New Yorker by David Brooks: “Social Animal”.

Strands from this article keep floating into my thoughts. It resonates with me because it aligns well with my viewpoint on how humans work. I’m shaped by the work of B. F. Skinner, and anyone who has read his work knows that that statement curls around on itself in a satisfying way. In the smallest of nutshells, I believe that we are who we are not only because of who we are at birth, but also because of the environments we grow up in, study in, work in, live in.

I am one of the last people who would have any interest in the ideas of Ayn Rand. I do not believe that we are individuals who can stand free of connection or culture. I’m with John Donne:

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, …