The Right Stuff

At CNN this morning we find Oprah Winfrey interviewing a Dr. Daniel Pink, who, in his book A Whole New Mind, suggests that linear, rational, “left-brain” thinking is hopelessly passé, and that those who wish to prosper in the brave new world of the 21st century had better get their right brains off the couch.

I quite appreciate the value of the sort of holistic, fuzzy-wuzzy, creative, Big-Picture cogitation the right hemisphere is said to specialize in, but I do hope that in his book Dr. Pink offers a rigorous and coherent logical argument to buttress his case. It’s not enough, for example, just to imagine a beautiful, glittering bridge, spanning a mighty river gleaming gold in the promising light of sunrise, that will allow people to come together in an ever-widening circle of love and harmony — I’d also like to make sure that it doesn’t collapse an hour after they cut the ribbon, and would hold off on retiring all the engineers just yet.

There is increasing chatter these days about legalizing marijuana use; If Oprah and Dr. Pink are as eager as they say to wean the nation off its left-brain addiction, that might be the fastest way to go. And if you really want to get an idea what the right side of your brain does, watch this remarkable video by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.

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