How is our brain going to destroy our environment ? | Sébastien Bohler | TEDxESSECBusinessSchool

How is our brain going to destroy our environment ? | Sébastien Bohler | TEDxESSECBusinessSchool



when I was a little boy I often wondered about the origin of the universe but I never wondered what I would do if the world was going to end later at school I learned that thousand years ago in the Middle Ages people readily believed that the world was going to end because of a prophecy in the Bible so they prayed because the threat was divine but what if the threat is not divine what if the threat comes from us first I couldn't believe it I mean we are intelligent we are humans we're just geniuses who we are clever I mean we invented cars we produce smart phones TV screens we built cathedrals with painted Mona Lisa and we save people from death with surgery look at this and precisely one day I was looking at this graph when my attention got caught by another graph a similar one which was actually exactly the same so I thought this is again about human intelligence I was very pleased with that but I focused on the title and it was not written human intelligence it was written Oh total world carbon emissions is that greenhouse gas emissions you know but carbon dioxide this gases that admit in emitted by human industrial activity and that creates climate change global warming that is actually cooking our planet so I asked myself maybe this brain our brain is preparing our own doomsday our own destruction and that we don't know it so I took a closer look at that brain and this is what I saw the brain is mainly composed of two parts an external part the cortex that generates intelligence the cortex builds cathedrals the cortex invents cars produces smartphones engineers planes and this part of our brain is recent in our evolution it appeared later on but at the very center of our brain you have this kind of organ this pink thing here which is called the striatum it's a part of our brain that generates our desires and by giving us pleasure with a molecule called dopamine and it drives us to do certain things because of the pleasure that we expect from it and you see that the striatum lies at the very core of the brain it means that it was there millions of years before the cortex started developing it was there in our primate ancestors at the Stone Age so you have to see this tridem as a kind of the old boss you know in a company he knows how things work he's got all the connections he's got the money he's got dopamine and the cortex is a kind of new recruit eager new graduates you know we come up with ideas it's full of energy but he needs the money he needs bonuses he needs dopamine and the stratum will give him the bonus and dopamine provided he keeps on producing so one day the cortex comes in his boss's office and says what should I do and their stride um says MA this is your first mission young boy I want to get me some food yes because for a company like us for the brain you know food is a key to survival and I want you to get me some food with no limit so the cortex says why with no limit if you had been hanging around in the Savannah for million of years like me my young boy you would know that each time you could catch a prey you'd better eat as much as possible because you weren't sure to find another prey like this within weeks a month so do as I say you're intelligent you're smart and that will give you the bonus find a solution I'll give you the shot of dopamine so the cortex started looking for solutions and he was really very clever so far he found solutions he invented tools he invented the wheel he invented agriculture breeding invented industrial agriculture industrial farming pesticides fertilizers genetically modified organisms so that the yields of our agriculture started increasing and the stratum was pleased and it started eating and he kept on eating and eating so that there was an epidemic of obesity and that the 13% of humans became obese and that people started dying more of a Betty and overweight than of malnutrition and that industrial agriculture accounted for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions so the cortex came back into his boss's office and said are you satisfied and Australian said no I'm not now I want sex and I want sex with no limit and the cortex was panic say sex with no limit but isn't it a bit exaggerated Australian said you seem to be the kind of guy who likes to have explanations so open your ears I'm gonna tell you you know I have orders there is a big board above my head it's called natural selection and the orders are clear I must transmit my genes I must make more copies of my DNA than my neighbor and my rival this is the law of the jungle so go and gave me some sex you're talented you're gifted you did well so continued I will give you the shot of dopamine so the cortex got back to work and was much more than clever he found a solution he invented the internet and he invented dating websites and pornographic websites and the strident started viewing viewing 24/7 so that humanity started consuming a hundred and thirty six billion pornographic videos a year which represented 35% of the whole digital content which accounts for as much as greenhouse gas emissions as the air traffic so the cortex came once again back in his boss's office and said now are you satisfied Australian said no I'm not now I want to be the bus the cortex was in May said what do you want to be the boss you already my boss why do you want to be verbose let's try them and said I have noticed something during all these millions of years spent in the savanna among these groups of hominids on Homo habilis homo erectus and Homo sapiens I noticed something very interesting is that the more social status you get the more access you have to food and sex so I want to be the boss you did well on your first two missions don't disappoint me you're clever you're going to find solution you're awesome so do it or I stop dopamine so the cortex got back to work and he invented social media and people started clicking on buttons to get more likes than their neighbors get more likes and their colleagues their rivals to get more views to get more prestige more friends and the cortex invented cars with all features with all sorts of gadgets so that people started buying a new car every two years to get one more gadget than the neighbor to improve their self-esteem and their social status and the striatum was pleased but one day the cortex came back into his office and said look we have a problem we are running out of natural resources temperatures are rising and sea levels rising maybe it's time to slow down a little bit and then suddenly this try Adams tell his employee right in the eye and said you don't seem to rely what it's all about man we are not alone there is competition if we don't increase production the others will get the markets and we're going to be fried you and me is that what you want is that what you want so the cortex guy back to work and he increased production but a few months later he came last time into his boss's office and said boss I have to be frank with you you know I'm intelligence yes you're very intelligence you're clever you're awesome your brain volume has never started increasing during all our presence on earth so tell me you know I'm intelligent so I can read scientific data I can decipher grass and now it seems that if we go on like this in 30 years we are all gonna be dead stride and burst out laughing and said why did he tell me in 30 years you mean 30 years of time but there is something I haven't told you about me time is meaningless to me you're talking to me about the future you talked to me about 30 years I don't understand these words I am a deeply rooted dopamine region of the brain and I don't know what time is if you want to talk to me about time you're wasting yours so just go back to work you're clever you're good and now we'll give you the shot the shot of dopamine I will give you the money and it will continue and it will continue continue I have won game over so here I am back again wondering about the origin of the universe and this morning in the newspapers I read a very interesting article about a study carried out at the University of Zurich in this experiment people men and women were put in an MRI apparatus to measure the brain activity while they were performing a cognitive task they had to choose between keeping a given amount of money for themselves or sharing it with a total stranger and scientists observed that men kept the money and that their stride 'im release dopamine which was quite logical but women tended to share the money and that their stride and release dopamine – and this was very surprising this experience this experiment showed that women can get pleasure biochemical pleasure by giving and by sharing and the explanation for this in the in the article was that it was due to education because as young girls from their very childhood little girls are valued socially and encouraged each time they give each time they share and so they are given social status which is what our striatum wants the most so what if we could use our dopamine not for ourselves but for others not for accumulating things but to give them then we could reconfigure our brains but we should start at a young age and with boys not only with girls then we could change our brains and this is not an option this is a necessity we don't have another choice and so looking back at the origins of the universe and how we were born on this planet and how we are about to destroy it I'm thinking if we have a solution and we don't use it maybe we're not worthy to live in that universe thank you for attention [Applause]

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2 thoughts on “How is our brain going to destroy our environment ? | Sébastien Bohler | TEDxESSECBusinessSchool

  1. Every human achievement and destruction is done by "dopomine"
    It going to countinue that way only ,till the extinction of this species

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