His Story

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are we malleable?

There is lot of debate these days on whether certain traits or qualities which are not found in the mainstream(tendency to be violent, perverse in one's actions and thoughts, promiscuity etc) can be controlled. If these traits or aspects of character acquired, surely they can be controlled to a great extent by positive intervention by a wider section of society(including the media as well). Taleb's "The Black Swan" has an interesting section related to this -

By a process called reverberation, a memory corresponds to the strengthening of connections from an increase of brain activity in a given sector of brain - the more the activity, the stronger the memory. While we believe the memory is fixed, constant and connected, all this is far from truth. What makes sense according to the information obtained subsequently will be remembered more vividly. We invent some of our childhood memories - a sore point in courts of law since it has been shown that plenty of people have invented child-abuse stories by dint of listening to theories
And there we go. People, and their minds are indeed malleable to the wide array of influences that permeate them through the medium of their surroundings, environment, people and the media that inhabits them. Violence, and perverse actions detrimental for the society can be reduced by societal intervention in form of responsible programming, and also positive stimuli of thoughts and stories.

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