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Brain ''Wiring''

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With the Presidential elections coming up in 2008, I would like to start a discussion on what may be a biochemical difference in human beings. My question is this: why are approximately 40% of Americans liberal and 40 %

conservative with the rest somewhere in between? How can two people view the same event and have totally different perceptions of what occurred and the sequelae thereof ? Politics and political campaigning are highly emotionally charged events and create many arguments and hard feelings

among people otherwise peaceful and placid. Our country is about to undergo

a tough political war with the winner being faced with the monumental job to lead us through some perilous and uncharted waters. Since the opposing candidates have such differing world views, I can't help but think there has to be a basic difference in the biochemical processes of their brains. I call this

''different wiring''. I have googled ''Left brain, Right brain''thinking and am aware that the brain halves seem to be specialized with the right brains artistic and idealistic, the left mathematical and more rational. It would seem that if the world's largest business is to be run properly you need to have a large portion of rationality with a seasoning of idealism. I can envision the time when all our politicians will have to have their brains scanned so as to fit the activity which they are supposed to perform. I would encourage comments from those who may be familiar with recent brain research or from those of you who would find this a subject of interest.

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The emotionally charged debate between political parties, shows that emotion is driving reason. In terms of the brain, the affect is right to left hemisphere, which appears to be how the brain is designed. The right hemisphere is more artistic, creative and spatial. In a loose sense, politics is like a work of art, which if done well, can induce a subjectivity in the art patron. Once the subjectivity is induced, the art partron will begin to rationalize what they think the artist had in mind. The critics will often tell everyone what they are suppose to say to be at the cutting edge.


As an example of this art affect from the right hemisphere, if I am feeling scared, I would try reason to reduce the fear. But if the pressure is maintained, and the fear will not go away, I may have to reason with the fear in tow. Instead of "there are no ghosts in the closet", so I can get my coat, the ghost may or may not be there, so, to play it safe, I have to figure out how to get my coat out of the closet, safely, just in case. Without the fear, the reasoning goes in a different direction. By selecting how the art will affect people, one can lead them, emotionally. Once that is set, then the reasoning can become pigeon holed by default.


Mudslinging is important to political artwork, since it can induce a different emotion as the starting point for reasoning. Without the mud, one may only look at ability. If we add mud, one is looking at the dirty shirt and begins to reason maybe the socks are also dirty. One get bogged down in irrelavant things and forgets about the ability. But everyone gets so worked up about the dirty shirt, it is all they can think about.


The reason this occurs is the 3-D nature of the right hemisphere. The 3-D memories are very fast and very dense. These memories would sort of be like recording a 30min presentation and playing it back in 1min. The data gets merged into a humm, which is felt with emotional valence. The feeling is hard to put into words, because it is very data dense. But at times, bit and piece of information will become conscious.


On the right side of the brain, we have the emotional humm, which may actually contain all the data organization needed. But going so fast, we only sense this with a gut feeling that may have conviction. Since only part of the data transfers, we will use the data subset as the source of our reasoning. When we get a good humm combined with subset reasoning, it can appear it be valid, since the humm appears to be reinforcing. The data is valid, while the humm lingers to transfer additional data.


In practical terms, with the 3-D humm very data dense, it is usually not possible for one person to translate it. What tends to happen is a social team effort, with many people each getting pieces of the puzzle. Both political parties have the same 3-D humm, but each only has part of the data from the humm. The debate gets all the arguments out on the table, with the hope someone will put it all together. But the parties maintain the polarization, so compromises don't carry much weight.


The reason this occurs, is the potential between the 3-D humm and the rational sub-set, will increase if an artifical wall is created. This creates another affect, connected to unconscious doubt in the validity of one's narrow interpretation of the 3-D humm. The result is that these two emotions play at the same time. The brain is sort of multi-tasking, one good emotion for the 3-D humm and one doubt humm to help one become conscious of their limited interpretation. If the person blends them into one, one combination implies a good feeling of truth about the doubt, i.e., fanaticism. One also gets a feeling of doubt about what is true. One way to settle this confusion is through projection. The doubt about the truth is projected onto the other party, so they are the source of this feeling instead of one own self limited orientation. The fanaticsm does give one energy, so most will keep that combo.


To add to the confusion both sides use fear as part of their artwork. The brain again is multi-tasking, now with three separate subroutines. But if one blends them all together, as one composite emotion, now there are even more combo's for projection and for fuel. One can get a fear of doubting the truth in the 3-D humm. Or feel truth in their doubt because o fear. Or fear the truth, in the other side, due to doubt, etc. It is all quite entertaining ,as long as nobody takes it too seriously. But these irrational dynamics brings up a discussion and rhetoric as different people weigh the truth, doubt and fear from unique angles.

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All of what you have written may be wholly or partly true. I do know the difference in left brain- right brain thinking and it seems obvious to me that businesses and governments should be run by left brain thinkers, the more practical, pragmatic, mathematically inclined. The right brain thinkers are more

''head in the clouds'' and less able to make quick and incisive decisions. Right brain thinkers have trouble understanding cause and effect and are less suitable for mangement of businesses or governments. As proof of this theory, the US seems to be poised to elect a right brain thinker as President. A person who has no experience in business or management or foreign policy. A person who continues to threaten us with higher taxes and social experimentation, and has no conception of cause and effect. All of this because 40 or so % of our population are also right brain thinkers and have

''different wiring''.

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A left sided thinker is better able to perform the rational requirements of business and organization. The left thinker has the skills needed for interfacing ideas with the reality of the situation, but may make lack fresh creative ideas. If nothing needs to change, this is ideal. If we need alot of change, he will have to rely on advisors to be his right brain.


The creative mind or right brain may have their heads in the clouds fishing out new ideas. They may have good ideas, but they may not be able function in an affective way to connect their ideas to the reality of a large partisan organization. The right side thinker would have the ideas, but would need to recruit go-to or left side people who can interface the system more effectively for him.


The left brain leader, with his group of right side advisors, may not have the time to reason all these ideas through. His strength is putting the ball in play and moving it down the field. He is ready to move and needs the ideas to move as fast as he is able to go or else he is unhappy. He is sort of the quarterback and needs the coaches to send in plays. He is taking hits and gaining yards and wants to keep the ball moving.


The right brain leader has all the ideas but needs others to drive them through the system for him. He is more the coach than the quarterback. It is easier for him see the entire field and the strategy of the other team. He is buffered from the field abuse, by having good field generals.


The left brain person is more like the quarterback in the field. He gets more glory, than the coach, since he is the one in the game. But he is also going to take hits, will fumble or throw intersceptions at times. He doesn't really have other field generals, but only a staff of coaches. Even if they all agree, a couple of rocky hits can make it hard at times to implement the ideas of the coaching staff, who can't give him rest, since they do no really have a backup quarterback.


The right side thinker, is safe on the sidelines, like a coach. If his star is hurt, he can send in another replacement to give him rest. This way the attack is never stopped, so the other team gets tired. He can also double team or even flood a zone with a battle grouping of quarterbacks.


The election process would never elect a right thinker. One has to be the left side quarterback, with a group of right side coaches. A right side thinker would be ineffective in this process. All he has are ideas, but not the left side push to drive others to see all his ideas. The process goes to the left side, but the job is better suited to the right side.


Many people don't like Bush and Chaney. Chaney is a different type of vice president. He is more like a field general who gives and takes heat for the president. He is not the more traditional side-line coaching staff for the star quarterback. If a president he had a half dozen Chaney caliber field generals, and they were on a tight leash, things would happen. We may never see that since the process is designed to be a quarterback try-out. A coach may know all the plays, and try out, but after a few tackles, he's is toast. He would need to bring his captains with him to protect the coach when he is in the pocket ready to make his pass.


In my opinion the best quarterback out there is Mitt Romney. He is a republican govenor in a very liberal state but can build consensus. He would have to surround himself with good right side thinkers. Hilary appears to have a a better natural balance between right and left. She is sort of blend of a quarterback and coach, which is like more a back-up quarterback. She does have her husband ex-president Clinon who was an excellent quarterback who could be placed on her staff.

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Your football analogy is interesting . The problem in politics is that left brainers vote for left brainers and right brainers vote for right brainers, with a certain amount of crossing back and forth. In Hillary's case, we are being asked to vote for a right brainer with none of the good qualities of a left brainer, no experience, no discernable concern for our country, and only interested in the power of the presidency to run other people's lives. She wants to prove to Bill that she is just as good as he is. If you had to make a list of the qualities a good president needs, how many would Hillary have?

I'll mention a few she doesn't have:

1. Honesty

2. Concern for our country, proper motivation

3. A good grasp of foreign policy

4. Experience in running a business

5. Experience in managing people

6. A good understanding of cause and effect

7. A good understanding of the difference between socialism and capitalism

These are just a few of the reasons that Hillary would be a disastrous president. She may be intelligent and articulate, but she has no wisdom. She is only in the game for one thing....Power!, and she will do anything to get it.

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If participants in this discussion intend to seriously explore possible neurological factors that influence political views and behavior, I suggest they avoid political specifics, such as examining and endorsing 2008 US presidential candidates. :naughty:


Recent research by James Fowler and colleagues (summary Scientific American article, links to paper by Fowler, Baker & Dawes) suggests that genetic (and thus neurological) factors may strongly effect not so much a voter’s political ideology and partisan loyalty, but rather his or her likelihood of voting. To summarize and paraphrase the conclusions of this research, the act of voting appears to require a somewhat unusual emotional behavior that might be summarized as “a quixotic nature”, because on an emotional level, an individual voter does not feel like his or her actions can have much effect on the outcome of an election. Evolution, it appears, has selected for people who don’t waste time and effort on actions that can’t be counted on to produce guaranteed results. So low voter turnout, rather than indicating disillusionment and/or apathy, may reflect a once (and possibly still – witness the fact that, in much of the world, voting can get a person imprisoned or killed) high-survival value human behavior trait.


On the other hand, evolution has almost certainly selected for “group participation” genes. This suggests that, as many current political strategists claim, the key to “mobilizing” voters is to promote a sense of “going along with the troupe”. This suggest to me that the most effective sort of political advertisement is one that presents little idea content, but shows vivid visual images of similar looking people engaging in political camaraderie and going as a group to the polls, while also ridiculing “futile, looser” supporters of their opponents. This approach should increasing their likelihood of ones supporters voting, while assuring that ones opponents supporters feel that voting would be a waste of time.


For me, this sheds new light on a media and political speech phenomena I’ve long found puzzling – the criticism of a candidate as being “irrelevant” or “unelectable”, while ignoring his or her virtues and vices as a potential leader. Such a tactic exploits that candidate’s supporters’ “avoid futility” traits – which may well have a strong neurological and genetic basis.

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Your statement,

''If participants in this discussion intend to seriously explore possible neurological factors that influence political views and behavior, I suggest they avoid political specifics, such as examining and endorsing 2008 US presidential candidates''. I don't quite understand this statement. I would think that all citizens would like to understand whatever elements in a candidates neurological makeup make them more or less qualified for the job of president of the largest and wealthiest business in the world. Since we are locked in the struggle between socialists and conservatives, it should be of interest to voters which candidate holds the best credentials. That goes for the coming election or any other election. In my opinion, the debates are merely to see which candidate looks best on TV or is quickest with a zinger. I would bet that not one voter out of 10 could actually explain any candidate's

position on the 10 most important issues of the day.

As more research is done on neurological activity as it pertains to ability to think and act quickly and rationally, I think understanding ''wiring'' will become more important and perhaps even a test for a candidates suitability

for office. We have already been presented with one candidate's inability to think clearly under pressure.

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I always thought a better way to elect the president would be sort of a national election bee, based on the format of the spelling bee. Here is how it goes. At the beginning of the process, anyone who qualifies, by the consitution, in age and citizenship is able to run. The first level of competion begins at the smallest voting district level. So across the country there may be 1000's of preliminaries going at the same time, allowing thousands of interested citizens to run for president. The process is more one of ideas ,than the traditional marketing, sort of like the spelling bee, where there are objective things to compare.


The winner of each preliminary, teams up with the five other finalists to form a team. This team will then compete with other election district teams, for the city district championships. The teams give more ideas and minds to help prime their champion, with regional pride helping the team to put aside differences, since they goal is president. It is sort of like a sports teams, where there are differences on the field, but once they play another team, they are all working to win the game.


The winner of the city district championship forms a team with the other five city district finalists. These go to the city finals, etc. The president who results, forms his cabinet from the top finalists. In a nut shell, this is a tough president school, taking four years to complete. The advancement of good ideas, so the advancing teams can be competitive in tougher and tougher competitions, creates a president that reflects the best ideas of all the people.


As far as elected official who wish to participate, they do not have to enter the competition until the level of their office. A senator would not have to compete until the state finals. The existing president can wait until the nationals. Or they can get in earier, for the extra practice. This would be a prime-time reality TV show, where the people would be entertained and learn. It would also give bragging rights, allowing thousands of citizens to to say "I ran for president". Anyone, left or right brain, who becomes the grand champion, would have the support of the people. After he is sworn in preparations begin for the next four year president school. This will never happen since it is not based on partisian politics.

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You are totally correct that there should be a new way to elect a president

and the thrust should be to save time, money, and have a firm understanding

of that individuals plans for the country. Politics is rapidly degenerating into

a tyranny of the minority, where the most needy and vociferous interest groups control the election. Winning candidates are those that promise the largest handouts to those that think they have a ''right'' to the fruits of other folks labor. If you have listened to the current political debates, it's all about how much money can be thrown at problems rather than a way to solve the problem. This is what results from right brain thinking--pie in the sky attempts

to solve problems that need an in depth diagnosis and a rational solution.

As far as electing a president, here is my solution:

1. the election will be paid for by a $1. poll tax from all voters

2. no outside contributions will be allowed

3. the campaigning period will be six months

4. a list of the 20-30 most important issues of the day will be published and each candidate will state his position on that issue with an estimate of it's cost

5. each candidate will get six appearances on TV to explain his positions.

6. negative ads will not be allowed, but the political history of each candidate can be presented

7. voting machines and procedures will be nationally standardized.

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My question is this: why are approximately 40% of Americans liberal and 40 %

conservative with the rest somewhere in between? How can two people view the same event and have totally different perceptions of what occurred and the sequelae thereof ?


Hi Questor,


The problem needs to be broken down a bit to get to the bottom of things as we are going through a similar thing in Australia at the moment.


This further break down is between 'supporters' and 'true believers' and you will find that the more extreme perceptions are from the latter grouping.


I was talking with some 'true believers' earlier on today and they told me that their Prime Ministerial candidate was one of only three state MP's who they had voted for in the past and who had been elected to state parliament so they believed that it was a good omen.


When I was told the names of the other two successes I responded that one was still in jail for child molestation offences that occurred before he became a politician and the other had been forced to resign recently because he wanted to spend 3 months at his south east asian mansion instead of turning up for state parliament. A good omen or what for a left wing government controlled by the extreme right?

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I am not conversant with your problems down under, but there are good and bad people of all persuasions. When found out, they should be prevented from

impacting other peoples lives. My basic theory is this:

Right brain thinkers occupy the liberal wing of politics. some are benign, some are violent activists. They have difficulty understanding cause and effect, they may be able to describe a problem, but can't understand the proper way to solve it. This has caused our educational system to be a dismal failure, since we have to dumb down the curriculi to comply with the slower students. The US welfare system was a dismal failure for the same reason, so was affirmative action. They do not understand that forcing a productive worker to support a non-productive person is beneficial to neither. They are non-judgemental, meaning that no one gets criticized for bad behavior. This, of course, leads to more bad behavior. They are unable to understand the societal value of religion or a ''higher authority'', so they each make up their own set of morals which allow them to do ''whatever feels good'' at the time.

This has led to a coarsening and degradation of our society is taking place.

Compare our movies, TV shows, music, art of today with that of 20 years ago.

Liberals are mainly interested in themselves, although they claim to be acting for others. Witness the war in Iraq where they claim to support the troops while cutting off the funds needed to supply them. Which liberal has shown support by visiting hospitals, fund raising for wounded vets and their families

or any evidence of help whatsoever?

These are the people that want to lead our country, they do not understand

business procedures, they have no moral base, and cannot understand cause and effect. There only desire is to have power over their fellow man and they are not morally or mentally fit to be our leaders.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Instead of Left Brain and Right brain, perhaps the difference between the Parties is that most Democrats are people who are or sympathize with the poor and working class while Republicans worry about protecting the economic system and hence their position in it.


The political debates are so emotional and so consistently on TV news because we are social primates instinctively motivated to take sides and feel enmity toward the other side or group. The media plays on this and turns it into an unending sports event. The result is the humiliating and demeaning of the candidates, putting them up as a circus, for their media spectacular. No wonder we get such insincere people elected and, as a result, come to hate politicians. We get what we deserve.


How can people see the same subject from extreme opposite perspectives? When you consider how divided, confused and complex our society is, it is a wonder there are only two sides! As in some other countries, there could be dozens of them!

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Charles Brough, you said:

''Instead of Left Brain and Right brain, perhaps the difference between the Parties is that most Democrats are people who are or sympathize with the poor and working class while Republicans worry about protecting the economic system and hence their position in it.''

This is a typically ridiculous staement by a right brain thinker. The Democrat initiatives frequently make worse the problems they try to solve, e.g. Welfare, Affirmative action, American education, the economy. If the American economic system goes bust, how will the poor be helped? Have you ever been hired for a job by a poor person? How do higher taxes help the economy? This is the type thinking our liberal leaders have and facts and evidence seem to be beyond their ability to fathom.

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This is a typically ridiculous staement by a right brain thinker. The Democrat initiatives frequently make worse the problems they try to solve, e.g. Welfare, Affirmative action, American education, the economy.


What's ridiculous is this whole thread's attempt to split and categorize people, their priorities, and their political affiliations solely on assumed and unsubstantiated hemispherical dominance.

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Perhaps you disagree that there are two (or more) almost diametrically opposed political/social/philosophical groups in our country today. This deduction would fly in the face of the political shenanigans evident in every newspaper published. You may be interested in this article:


''Right Brain and Left Brain Inventory


An inventory of the different ways the right brain and left brain process information.




While we have a natural tendency towards one way of thinking, the two sides of our brain work together in our everyday lives. The right brain of the brain focuses on the visual, and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The focus of the left brain is verbal, processing information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole.


The bullet describes right brain, the# describes left brain.

Right Brain Inventory Left Brain Inventory

• Visual, focusing on images, patterns # Verbal, focusing on words, symbols, numbers

• Intuitive, led by feelings # Analytical, led by logic

• Process ideas simultaneously # Process ideas sequentially, step by step

• 'Mind photos' used to remember things, writing things down or illustrating them helps you remember Words used to remember things, remember names rather than faces

• Make lateral connections from information # Make logical deductions from information

• See the whole first, then the details # Work up to the whole step by step, focusing on details, information organised

• Organisation ends to be lacking # Highly organised

• Free association # Like making lists and planning

• Like to know why you're doing something or why rules exist (reasons) #Likely to follow rules without questioning them

• No sense of time # Good at keeping track of time

• May have trouble with spelling and finding words to express yourself # Spelling and mathematical formula easily memorised

• Enjoy touching and feeling actual objects (sensory input) # Enjoy observing

• Trouble prioritising, so often late, impulsive # Plan ahead

• Unlikely to read instruction manual before trying # Likely read an instruction manual before trying

• Listen to how something is being said

# Listen to what is being said

• Talk with your hands

# Rarely use gestures when talking

• Likely to think you're naturally creative, but need to apply yourself to develop your potential

# Likely to believe you're not creative, need to be willing to try and take risks to develop your potential


In Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Betty Edwards quotes psychologist David Galin's favourite example of how we use our right brain when something becomes too difficult to describe something verbally: "Try to describe a spiral staircase without making a spiral gesture.'' ''


There have also been articles recently published by faculty at Emory U. and

the U. of Iowa as to differences in response when people react to politicians' names. Since the brain is the residence for thought, emotion, and rationality, it can only be assumed that these differences in perception come from differing brain patterns. In looking at the above characteristics, I would much prefer a left brain person as president.

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Perhaps you disagree that there are two (or more) almost diametrically opposed political/social/philosophical groups in our country today. This deduction would fly in the face of the political shenanigans evident in every newspaper published.
Polarization has become a popular political technique of some strategists.


It is certainly true that there are extremists at both ends who can't stand the other.


But polls consistently show a majority agree with a variation of the statement "a pox on both their houses."


The truth is the greatest enemy of the State, :rolleyes:


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Buffy, I think this exists far more than at the extreme ends of both poles, although one could ask what is wrong with the wiring of those polar extremists. The ''pox'' that a great number of people are calling for is because neither side is satisfied with how his/her interests are being served. If you happen to be a conservative, entertain yourself by going up to any liberal and ask ''What do you think of George Bush?''. Be sure you have on your earmuffs, because you'll surely get a hearty dose of vitriol. The answer will be ''He lied to us!'',

''There are no WMD'S!, and he started an illegal war!'' This is what about 40% of the country believes. The other half believes a vicious dictator was deposed, we are trying to bring Democracy to the Middle East and protect global interests in oil production and eliminate terrorism. These opposite views were caused by the same set of circumstances, so it's obvious there is a difference in the reasoning apparatus between these two camps. I think the gulf between the views of Americans is widening every day because of the

''different wiring'' and it is more difficult to reach consensus on issues which is

needed to bring bipartisanship and progress.

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