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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  1487 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: United by feelings

Thank you for posting. This has been a topic I've been struggling with for a long time and I don't think I've come any closer to finding any answers. I am just very confused.

I don't know about you, but I've encountered people in my personal life who seemed to have lost the ability to experience emotion. This goes beyond pointing to how "irrational" the world is and how very little makes sense. That people - and societal institutions - should always behave in accordance with some pre-defined logic. And either the assumptions underlying that logic cannot be questioned or worse, they don't believe they're even making an assumption to begin with. Sometimes those statements are backed up with needless cruelty. But I don't know what makes a person different to not think in that way.

This person could not understand why anyone would ever want to go to a concert and dance. It's so illogical. You're just paying money to listen to music you could get at home. And music is a waste of time too. Sorry if this sounds like an aside, but it's a train of thought that feels connected to this point.

Similarly, it's a cliche and a traditional gender hierarchy, but people will say when men complain we're looking for a solution and when women complain they're looking for sympathy.

I ended up calling it the "art experience," beauty, form, whatever. It's a kind of subtle shift in understanding of reality that I think happens to most people in early adolescence. The idea that things have an emotional depth beyond the analytical mind and that being able to think rationally about things only goes so far. And that love and compassion aren't just important, but necessary.

Because up until that point, 13 or 14 or so, kids can be needlessly cruel. They don't feel the emotions yet.

From a scientific perspective - the article nails it as the myth is the intellect is largely a recent development. The neocortex is responsible for most higher-order thinking skills with the earlier parts of the brain being more responsible for emotions. As such, viewing "emotional" reactions as primitive can be justified in this way. Sometimes emotions can kill. But sometimes "rationality" can kill too. So what is good when the neocortex built the killing machines. A "feedback loop" should be obvious to anyone.

I don't know where I'm going with this but when I was in the 8th grade I thought I was a genius and smarter than everyone else. I judged everyone and cracked mean jokes. All I did at that time in my life was try to compile Gentoo. Had I seen a psychiatrist, they may have tried to diagnose me as ASD. I had an enormous ego and the world was rational. Afterward things changed. The world became a lot more emotional and feelings mattered a lot more to me. So I feel it's an essential part of brain development rather than a cloud. But some people never go through that.