Dr. Francisco Miraval

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May 13, 2018

7:59 PM

Which word or idea makes you stumble?

I recently had the good fortune of meeting an educator, now retired, who shared with me anecdotes about his long career. I asked him what “education” meant for him and he immediately said that education is the process of detecting the words that create obstacles for a student and then helping the student to overcome those obstacles.

Talking about elementary school students, this educator provided many examples of students who, facing a word they never saw before, simply stop reading and, in many cases, they don’t even ask for help.

However, he said, those cases are easy to resolve because the student acknowledges that he/she found a word he/she doesn’t understand. With help and the proper methodology, the student will learn the meaning of the “new” word and, more importantly, will incorporate the word to his/her vocabulary.

There is, however, a more complex situation. Sometimes, a student finds a word, be it at school or at home, and, because he/she knows one meaning of that word, the student assumes he/she understand what that word means in that particular context. Consequently, the student arrives to a wrong conclusion of the meaning of the word, sometimes with absurd and hilarious results.

Those cases are more challenging because the student believes he/she understood what he/she read or heard, when in fact that’s not the case. In the case of students in elementary school, they also have the challenge of accepting new meanings for words they already know. For example, how many meanings the word “one” has. One can only guess.

The educator I met, clearly a wise person (and, by the way, with degrees in several fields, from medicine to AI), told me there is a case even more difficult to solve, perhaps the hardest one to solve, even harder than a student not knowing a word or knowing only one meaning of the word. And that’s the case of adults and, more precisely, professional adults finding a “new” word.

Why? Because, contrary to what children do (they stop reading), adults don’t stop and, even worse, they create their own meaning for the word or idea they don’t understand. Among professionals, the problem is even worse because they can’t admit, to themselves or to others, that they don’t know.

According to the educator, instead of acknowledging they stumble upon a case of their own ignorance, professionals keep going, traveling farther and farther in the path of ignorance, being certain they know when, in fact, they don’t.

The educator told me about a lawyer who, not knowing the meaning of “alas”, thought it was similar to “at last” and, therefore, used “alas” to indicate the conclusion of his arguments.

Perhaps they were never taught how to stop and reflect if they find a “small mystery”, such as a new word or idea. Or perhaps they were taught, but they never learned to “look inside” and recognize they don’t know.

Each word or idea that causes you to stumble is an excellent opportunity for self-discovery.

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May 13, 2018

7:58 PM

¿Qué palabra o idea te impide avanzar?

Francisco Miraval

Recientemente, y por casualidad, tuve la posibilidad de conversar con un educador, ya jubilado, a quien le pedí que me diese su definición de “educación”. El veterano docente inmediatamente respondió que, para él, educación consiste en determinar cuáles son las palabras que se interponen en el progreso de los estudiantes y ayudar a esos estudiantes a superar ese obstáculo.

Siempre hablando sobre estudiantes en los primeros grados de la escuela primaria, este educador compartió varios ejemplos sobre estudiantes que, cuando llegan a una palabra que no conocen, allí se quedan, sin saber qué hacer e incluso sin pedir ayuda.

Pero esos son los casos más fáciles de resolver, me dijo el educador, porque el estudiante reconoce que repentinamente se encontró con algo que él o ella no sabe. Por eso, en el contexto adecuado y las técnicas correctas, se puede ayudar a ese estudiante a aprender y entender la “nueva” palabra.

Otro caso, un poco más complejo, es el de aquel estudiante que, cuando llega a una cierta palabra (sea en la escuela o en la vida en general) cree que ya conoce lo que esa palabra significa, cuando en realidad conoce un solo significado de la palabra. Como consecuencia, el estudiante llega a conclusiones erróneas (y en muchos casos absurdas y cómicas) sobre lo que lee o escucha.

Estos casos son más difíciles de resolver porque el estudiante involucrado asume que entendió lo que leyó o escuchó, cuando en realidad no lo entendió. Y el tema también es complicado porque los niños pequeños, dijo el educador, no siempre entienden con facilidad que una misma palabra puede tener más de un significado. (Piénsese en todos los significados de “uno”.)

Basándose en la sabiduría y experiencia acumulada a lo largo de los años y, dicho sea de paso, en varios títulos universitarios avanzados, el veterano educador me indicó que existe un caso aún más complicado que el del estudiante que no sabe el significado de una palabra o que sólo conoce un significado de una palabra con múltiples significados. Y ese caso aún más complicado, me dijo, es el de los adultos, y especialmente los adultos profesionales.

¿Por qué? Porque al contrario de lo que lo hacen los niños (dejan de leer si no entienden una palabra), los adultos siguen leyendo y crean sus propios significados para las palabras o ideas que no entienden. El problema se agudiza entre los profesionales porque no pueden admitir que no saben algo.

Y entonces, dijo, esos adultos profesionales, en vez de trastabillar en la piedra de su ignorancia, siguen caminado por el camino de la ignorancia, creyendo que saben.

Parte de la razón, afirmó el educador, es que no se les ha enseñado a esos adultos (o no lo han querido aprender) a tomarse un momento de reflexión, de mirar hacia adentro, cuando se encuentran frente a un “pequeño misterio”, como el significado de una palabra o una idea desconocida.

Cada palabra o idea que te hace trastabillar es una gran oportunidad de autodescubrimiento.

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May 6, 2018

10:11 PM

A limited perception creates a limited reality and its consequences

Paraphrasing Ortega y Gasset, we could say “I am I and my consequences,” that is, those consequences, frequently unknown and unrecognized, of living in a limited reality created by our own limiting thoughts. Even worse, we assume that’s the whole reality and then we want everything and everybody to adjust to “our” reality.

A recent incident at Colorado State university in Fort Collins is a good example of that situation. (The incident lead to positive changes at CSU.)

During a campus tour for prospective students, the mother of one of those students called campus police to report two young people who, she said, were not part of the group, yet joined the group and were acting in a strange way. According to the woman, one of the students was Mexican. Police came, stopped the two persons and questioned them.

It was soon discovered that everything the woman said was false. The two persons were indeed part of the tour. They were late after traveling seven hours by car to arrive at CSU. They didn’t know what to expect because it was their first time on campus. And they were not Mexican, but Native Americans from New Mexico.

I have not doubts about what happened that day: the woman (whose identity remains unknown) saw two young man dressed in a way not “normal” for her, acting a way not “normal” for her, and not answering the questions in a “normal” way for her and she did what every “normal” person will do: she called the police.

She never saw the two brothers were from a family with limited resources and they just wanted to go to college. She never thought not everybody is ready or willing to answer those questions you have to answer at the beginning of the tour, that is, those “icebreakers” when you have to talk about your favorite food or animals. (By the way, I don’t like those questions either.)

So, there was no crime about to be committed. It just two young man being at the right place to do what they wanted to do. But they were not like the “others”, so the “others” decided to call the police. That’s the way many universities treat us. I will not say anything else about that.

In his book The Song of the Bird, Anthony De Mello tells the story about two young devils who, walking on earth, found a piece of truth on the ground. On the devils thought it was proper to bury the piece of truth, but the other one, older and wiser, thought otherwise. One day, he said, a human will find the piece of truth and he/she will assume that’s the complete truth.

To believe that “my” truth is “the” truth is not only a clear indication of narcissism and living inside an echo-chamber, buy also of immaturity. In a globalized and interconnected world, assuming there is only one way of living and thinking, ours, is an inexcusable expression of aggressive ignorance.

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May 6, 2018

10:10 PM

Una percepción limitada crea una realidad limitada y sus consecuencias

Parafraseando a Ortega y Gasset, podríamos decir que “yo soy yo y mis consecuencias”, es decir, las consecuencias (muchas veces no asumidas) de vivir en una realidad limitada por mis propios pensamientos, de creer que esa realidad parcial es la realidad total, y de insistir que todo y todos deben entonces ajustarse a esa realidad.

Un reciente incidente en la Universidad Estatal de Colorado en Fort Collins ilustra ese enfoque.

Durante una visita guiada a esa universidad, la madre de uno de los futuros estudiantes llamó a la policía informando que dos jóvenes que no formaban parte del grupo se habían unido al grupo y actuaban de manera extraña. Y uno de ellos, dijo la mujer, seguramente era mexicano. La policía llegó, detuvo a los muchachos por un tiempo, y los interrogó.

Resultó ser que todo lo que la mujer había dicho era falso. Los estudiantes eran parte del grupo (habían llegado tarde al lugar tras viajar siete horas hasta la universidad), simplemente no sabían qué responder a las preguntas que les hacían (me ha pasado más de una vez) y no eran mexicanos, sino nativos de Nuevo México en su primera visita a la universidad.

No me quedan dudas de lo sucedido: la mujer (no identificada) vio a dos jóvenes que no iban vestidos de la manera que para ella es “normal”, ni actuaban de la manera que para ella es “normal”, ni respondían de la misma manera que para ella es “normal” y, entonces, hizo lo que cualquiera haría en esas circunstancias: llamar a la policía.

Pero resulta que los estudiantes provienen de una familia humilde, que su único deseo era visitar la universidad y que no estaban preparados para participar en la miríada de preguntas a las que uno tiene que responder al inicio de la visita para presentarse. (Debo confesar que a mí tampoco no me gustan mucho esas dinámicas grupales para “quebrar el hielo.”)

Eso era todo. Los muchachos estaban donde debían estar y estaban haciendo lo que debían hacer. Pero, por no parecerse a los otros, los “otros” asumieron que era mejor llamar a la policía. Así como muchas universidades tratan a “los que no son como yo”. Me ha pasado personalmente en más de una ocasión, pero no voy a dar detalles.

En su libro El Canto del Pájaro, Anthony De Mello comparte la historia de dos diablitos que un día se encontraron con un pedazo de verdad tirado en el suelo. Uno de los diablitos se asustó y pensó que era mejor esconderlo. El otro, más sabio, le dijo que era mejor dejar ese pedazo de verdad donde estaba porque “vendrá un humano y creerá que esa la verdad completa”.

Obviamente, creer que “mi” verdad es “la” verdad no solamente es una clara indicación de narcicismo y de encierro intelectual, sino también de inmadurez personal. En un mundo globalizado e interconectado, asumir que existe una sola manera de pensar y vivir y que esa manera es la propia representa una inexcusable arrogancia.

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April 29, 2018

10:03 PM

Machines can read our minds, but we can’t read their minds

In 1928, Carl Jung, quoting Heraclitus, wrote that we, humans, are running into the opposite direction we should or could go. My small mind prevents me to understand the ideas of those two great thinkers, but that doesn’t mean I can feel the truth in what they are saying. I can’t express it, but I feel it.

We can imagine that after thousands upon thousands of years of progress, evolution, civilization, or whatever name you would like to call it, we should have arrived by now at a time when we should be able to solve most of our many problems. We should have achieved the dreams and goals our ancestors hopelessly worked hard to achieve.

There are no doubts we have the knowledge, the science, and the technology to end hunger and poverty around the world, if we wanted to do it. And perhaps we have all the resources to provide liberating education to almost anybody on this planet, as well as health services for many, if not all, of humanity.

Yet, it seems that “progress” and the globalization of a techno-scientific way of thinking and living led us to forgetting the past and neglecting the future, that is, we don’t know where we are coming from or where we are going. We even forgot about seriously asking those questions and then we forgot that we forgot.

After all, who, in their right mind, have the time to read and study 2500 years of Western thinking? Let’s be honest: we seldom take even a few minutes per day to meditate, even knowing meditating daily for just a few minutes creates significant benefits for both our mind and our body.

We just want to perpetuate a past and we want to impose our present to others. Therefore, we are not open to the future.

In fact, we are so closed to the future that we assume that if what we (as an individual, community, or nation) is not achieve, the only other alternative is the end of the world. We see ourselves as controlling the Apocalypse (in the Hollywood sense of the word.) Then, we like to propagate fear to others and we like to live in fear ourselves.

Obviously, not everybody is like that. There is a considerable number of people who, like Heraclitus and Jung, are aware of what many others are still unaware. They are fully aware we are running precisely into the opposite direction of where we say we are going. We are running in the wrong direction.

And while we don’t know what we are thinking, intelligent machines, such as AlterEgo (created by MIT students) can read our unconscious thoughts by detecting minute neuromuscular movements in our faces.

AlterEgo knows what we are thinking, and we don’t know what we are thinking or what AlterEgo is thinking (assuming it is thinking).

Perhaps one day of the AlterEgo descendants will find out why we, humans, in spite of our great potential, are only good at self-destruction.

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April 29, 2018

10:01 PM

Las máquinas ya leen nuestra mente y nosotros no leemos las de ellas

Hace 90 años, Carl Jung escribía, citando a Heráclito, que la humanidad corre en la dirección opuesta a la que quiere o debe dirigirse. Mi mente pequeña de poco sirve para entender las ideas de uno u otro destacado pensador, pero eso no significa que de alguna manera uno no pueda sentir, aunque no verbalizar, la verdad de esa afirmación.

Todo indicaría que, tras miles de años de progreso, evolución, civilización, o como quiera llamárselo, ya deberíamos haber resuelto muchos de los problemas que nos aquejan y ya deberíamos haber alcanzados las metas por las que trabajaron y que sólo podían soñar nuestros antepasados.

Pocas dudas quedan que en nuestra época contamos con los conocimientos, la ciencia y la tecnología como para terminar con el hambre y la pobreza a nivel mundial. Y quizá hasta podamos brindar una educación decente (es decir, liberadora) a casi todos en el planeta, así como servicios médicos a muchos, sino a todos.

Pero ese mismo “progreso” que nos ha llevado a la globalización de la tecnociencia, también parece habernos llevado al olvido del pasado y la incertidumbre del futuro, es decir, a vivir sin saber ni de dónde venimos ni a dónde vamos, pero habiéndonos olvidado de ambas preguntas y luego habiéndonos olvidado de nuestro propio olvido.

Después de todo, ¿quién tiene tiempo o deseos de leer 2500 años de pensamiento occidental? Seamos honestos: ni siquiera nos tomamos pocos minutos para meditar, aunque estudio tras estudio demuestra que unos pocos minutos de meditación diaria generan importantes beneficios para la mente y para el cuerpo.

Queremos perpetuar un pasado que nunca existió, que es sólo el invento de una melancólica y nostálgica imaginación. Queremos imponerles a otros, incluso por la fuerza, la idea de que nuestro presente es el único que merece ser vivido y que cualquier otra expresión del presente, por apartarse de la nuestra, merece ser discontinuada. Y, por eso, no queremos abrirnos al futuro.

De hecho, tanto no queremos abrirnos al futuro que creemos que si no logramos nuestros objetivos (a nivel personal, comunitario, o nacional), la única alternativa es el fin del mundo. Nos creemos en control del Apocalipsis (entendido en la versión de Hollywood.) Y por eso nos gusta propagar el miedo y hasta nos acostumbramos a vivir con miedo.

Obviamente, no todos somos así. Existe un considerable número de personas que, como Heráclito y Jung, son conscientes de lo que otros permanecen inconscientes. Son conscientes que estamos yendo precisamente en la dirección opuesta a la proclamamos ir. Y estamos corriendo en esa dirección.

Y mientras nosotros no nos conocemos a nosotros mismos, las máquinas, como AlterEgo (creada por estudiantes de MIT), pueden leer nuestros pensamientos inconscientes al detectar pequeños movimientos neuromusculares en nuestros rostros.

AlterEgo sabe lo que pensamos cuando nosotros no sabemos lo que pensamos ni tampoco sabemos lo que piensa AlterEgo (asumiendo que piensa).

Quizá un día los descendientes de AlterEgo descubrirán por qué los humanos, a pesar de nuestro potencial, sólo somos realmente buenos en autodestruirnos.

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April 22, 2018

9:42 PM

“You shouldn’t generalize and everybody in the world knows that”

Years ago, my uncle told me, “I told you a million times not to exaggerate.” It was, of course, a joke based in the obvious self-contradiction of the thought expressed in that statement. But it is not a joke the increasing number of people using similar expressions and fully unaware of the self-contradicting aspect of what they are saying.

For example, somebody recently told me “You should not generalize”, and then she immediately added, “And everybody in the world knows that.” Of course, “Everybody knows that” is a generalization, that is, precisely what this person said we should avoid. However, it was clear this person was unaware of that contradiction. O perhaps it was unimportant to her.

The same person told me that, based on what she experienced at her workplace, she knew that the problem we were talking about was not happening in any other workplace. Let me see if I understand: she told me not to generalize and then she takes her experience in one place and generalizes it to all other similar places to draw her own conclusions.

Regardless of the validity of those conclusions, the absence of awareness of the contradiction embedded in the argument made me think that “not thinking” is now the model for all dialogues (or, perhaps even better, alternated monologues.)

Then, another person sent me a message telling something I already know, and I fully agree with: a picture is worth a thousand words. And to make his point, this person wrote almost one thousand words in his message, adding no image (of course.)

Let me see: a picture is worth a thousand words (very true.) And, for me to understanding it, this person sends me one thousand words and no image. I was tempted to ask for an explanation, but I was afraid I could receive another long message.

Again, the contradiction was so evident I wanted to know why it was not immediately perceived as such and why contradictions seems to be irrelevant to thinking and to communication.

And don’t get me started about the person who sent me a message telling me that “God loves the whole world” and his very next message was asking “God” to “annihilate with fire” those who disagree with the expression of faith this person embraces. The “whole world” was just “a world without them.”

To be very clear, I am not talking here about ambiguities (there are too many of them) or about people changing their minds and one day saying one thing and the next day saying something else (that’s very frequent and too common). I am talking about those who contradict themselves in one and the same thought and they not even know it.

So, what’s the problem? Why should we care about somebody expressing self-contradicting thoughts and not being aware of them? First, because “not thinking” is not a joke, because decisions and actions are based on those contradictions. And second, because “not thinking” is way of not knowing ourselves.

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April 22, 2018

9:40 PM

"No se debe generalizar y todo el mundo ya lo sabe"

Alguna vez escuché decir a un tío mío “Ya te dije un millón de veces que no seas exagerado”. Se trataba, obviamente, de una broma basada en la contradicción interna del pensamiento expresado en la frase. Bromas aparte, cada vez me encuentro con más personas que usan frases similares y no lo hacen en broma.

Recientemente, por ejemplo, alguien me dijo que “No se puede generalizar”, pero inmediatamente agregó “Y eso todos lo saben”. Decir que “todos lo saben” es, como queda claro, una generalización, precisamente lo que está persona dijo que no se podía hacer. Pero a esta persona no pareció importarle tal contradicción. De hecho, no creo que la haya visto.

La misma persona me dijo que, basada en lo que ella veía en su lugar de trabajo, ni allí ni en ningún otro lugar existían los problemas de los que estábamos hablando. A ver si queda claro: tras decirme que no se puede generalizar, esta persona usa su experiencia en un solo lugar y la generaliza a todos los otros lugares similares para luego llegar a sus propias conclusiones.

Más allá de la posible validez de las conclusiones, la ausencia de consciencia de la contradicción incrustada en el argumento hace pensar en el no pensar que ahora parece ser la norma para todo “diálogo” (o, quizá mejor, monólogos alternados.)

Y luego recibí el mensaje de una persona que decía algo con lo que estoy muy de acuerdo: una imagen vale más que mil palabras. Y para enfatizar y aclarar ese punto, esta persona escribió un mensaje de casi mil palabras y sin ninguna imagen.

A ver si nos entendemos: una imagen vale más que mil palabras (muy cierto), y para que lo entiendas te lo explico en mil palabras, pero sin ninguna imagen.

Otra vez, sentí que la obvia contradicción no había sido ni siquiera percibida, como si no existiese o como si fuese irrelevante al pensamiento o la comunicación.

Y ni que hablar de aquella persona que me envía un mensaje diciendo que “Dios ama a todos en el universo” y luego en el siguiente mensaje le pide a “Dios” que “aniquile con fuego” a aquellos que no están de acuerdo con la particular expresión de fe esa persona. ¡Vaya amor universal!

Quiero ser claro que no estoy hablando de ambigüedades en la comunicación (algo muy común y frecuente), ni tampoco de personas que cambian de opinión, con o sin motivo, y hoy dicen una cosa y mañana otra distinta. Eso es posible y, de hecho, es algo muy conocido: estoy hablando de personas que se contradicen a ellas mismas en una sola y misma frase y no lo saben.

¿Cuál es el problema? ¿Por qué preocuparse si alguien se contradice y no toma consciencia de que lo dice es contradictorio? Ante todo, porque no pensar no es una broma, ya que estamos hablando de contradicciones que llevan a tomar decisiones y a la acción. Y además, porque el no pensar impide conocerse a uno mismo.

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April 15, 2018

12:08 PM

The undeniable problem of our anxious, distracted, and empty minds

There should be no doubts that we live at a time when our prehistorical brain can hardly handle the multiple and unexpected challenges we now face and that we were not designed to face. We were designed to light a fire inside a cave, not to save a techno-globalized, overpopulated planet from self-destruction.

Our minds still use 19th century ideas, taught and promoted by 20th century people, trying to understand 21sr century problems. Every day, we are farther away from reality (whatever that may be) and we struggle to control our anxious, distracted, and empty minds.

I know such a statement is almost offensive. My apologies. Please, understand I mean no disrespect to anybody. Yet, that seems to be the only conclusion based on the books and topics included in the most recent catalogue of publications about minds and brains recently mailed by MIT.

One of the books listed in that catalogue says that, in the context of the current situation, we should spend our lives in a permanent state of “kindergarten”, that is, we should dedicate our lives to our passions, plays, and friends. (I think that many people are already living with “kindergarten minds” all their lives, regarding of their chronological age). 

Another book rightly says that our ignorance has reached such a level that we ignore our own ignorance (nothing new to Socrates, of course). At best, we confuse ignorance with lack of knowledge, but more frequently we confuse ignorance with knowledge. (A recent study published by a Harvard professor talks about living at a time of “aggressive ignorance”.)

Yet another book in the MIT catalogue explains that our minds lack meaning to the point that we don’t even understand our own ideas and concepts. And another book suggests that our minds lack content. Empty minds, we could say.

This is something that ancient philosophers and thinkers already knew, when they complained about immature adults acting like children, living unexamined lives, repeating thoughts but never thinking them, and accepting mere babbling as wisdom, while rejecting wisdom as babbling.

Today, technology is a good tool to empty our minds, not unlike the neural neutralizer presented by Star Trek in Dagger of the Mind (november 1966).

And there is still more. The MIT catalogue include other books telling us our minds are no longer thinking, but just calculating. That’s why, according to those books, we are always anxious and distracted.

In addition, we no longer care about truth (whatever that may be.) In our post-truth era, feelings and personal opinions, even lacking any solid foundation or evidence, replaced truth. And the past is no longer remembered but imagined. The omnipresent social networks, while taking away our privacy, seem to promote both post-truth and an imaginary past.

In conclusion, we live with childish, ignorant, meaningless, calculating, anxious, and distracted minds, indifferent to reality. And we call it “civilization” and “society” and “progress.” Even worst, that’s what we want to perpetuate, export and impose on the world and on future generations.

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April 15, 2018

12:07 PM

El innegable problema de mentes ansiosas, distraídas y vacías

Pocas dudas caben, si alguna, que vivimos en una época en la que nuestro cerebro prehistórico resulta de limita ayuda para entender y responder a impensables desafíos, para los que no fuimos diseñados. Encender fuego dentro de una cueva está a nuestro alcance. Salvar un planeta globalizado y tecnificado aparentemente no.

Y esas mentes nuestras que todavía usan ideas del siglo 19 enseñadas e impulsadas por personas del siglo 20 para tratar de entender el siglo 21 no solamente están cada vez más desconectadas de la realidad, sino que están cada vez más ansiosas, distraídas y vacías.

Tal afirmación, con todos casi ofensivos sobre la capacidad de nuestras mentes (aunque no es nuestra intensión ofender), se basa en la lista de libros y temas incluidos en el catálogo más reciente de publicaciones sobre la mente y el cerebro publicado por el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachussets (MIT).

Uno de los libros propone, por ejemplo, que, ante la situación actual de nuestras mentes, deberíamos vivir toda la vida en un estado de jardín de infantes (kindergarten), para poder así dedicar nuestra vida a nuestras pasiones, juegos y amigos. (Me da la impresión de que muchas personas ya viven una vida en la que nunca han superado la etapa del jardín de infantes.)

Otro libro afirma, y con razón, que nuestra ignorancia ya ha llegado a tal nivel que hasta ignoramos nuestra ignorancia y, en el mejor de los casos, la confundimos con ausencia de conocimiento, aunque con mayor frecuencia se la confunde simplemente con conocimiento. (Un reciente estudio publicado por Harvard habla de la época de la “ignorancia agresiva”.)

Aún otro libro en el catálogo mencionado sostiene que tenemos mentes sin significado, en el sentido que no entendemos ni siquiera nuestras propias ideas o conceptos. Y otro libro más llega incluso a decir que nuestras mentes no tienen contenido. Mentes vacías, en otras palabras.

Nada de eso es nuevo. Ya en la antigüedad filósofos y pensadores se quejaban de adultos inmaduros, de vidas no examinadas, de pensamientos repetidos. pero no pensados; de charlatanería confundida con sabiduría y sabiduría rebajada a charlatanería.

Y ahora la tecnología parece vaciar nuestras mentes, como una especie de neutralizador neuronal, ya anticipado por Viaje a las Estrellas en “Daga de la Mente” (noviembre de 1966).

Pero aún hay más. El catálogo de MIT incluye libros que afirman que nuestras mentes ya no piensan, sino que solamente calculan. Por eso estamos ansiosos y distraídos continuamente, afirman otros libros.

Además, no nos interesa la verdad. En la época de la posverdad, los sentimientos y opiniones personales (incluso sin fundamento) reemplazan a la verdad y el pasado ya no se recuerda, sino que se imagina. Para eso, y para dejarnos sin privacidad, aparecieron las redes sociales.

En definitiva, vivimos con mentes infantiles, ignorantes, insignificantes, calculadoras, ansiosas, distraídas e indiferentes a la realidad. Y a eso llamamos “civilización” y “sociedad” y “progreso”. Aún peor, eso es lo que queremos perpetuar, exportar e imponer al mundo entero y a las siguientes generaciones.

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