Building The Human Brain API

By mass the human mind is overwhelmingly habits, lower emotional reactions, instructs and unconscious regulation. The part of our brain responsible for our logic, and what we associate as our “self” is small. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s very new, and as such is pretty weak compared to the rest of the brain that’s been around for a while.

As the world grows more complex, and information doubles every year, this little guy gets more and more overwhelmed. How can we make effective decisions when there’s a new flood of information to drown in every day?

And what about the exponential growth of data in the future?

How about an API that will give that little frontal cortex a leg up?

A bridge, a second brain we can offload information into, to remember and raw new insights from later. A way to make our frontal cortex bigger, better.

See, right now our little frontal cortexes are getting a real party, with the growth of Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the smart phone innovations. Every few minutes we can check and see which part of our lives has been updated and required a new response.

But these are ego driven, empty brain treats.

What if instead we had the tools to interrupt our consciousness to make us happier, healthier human beings?

This isn’t some remote, absurd proposition. Human psychology and science are making rapid progress in figuring out what makes us humans feel happy.

The logical part of our brain tends to mostly spend its time justifying the emotional reaction of the animal self. So we’ll create excuses with logic for things which we feel immediately.

A tool which reminded us of this fact, and asked us questions about the very pieces of our selves that we take for granted could, in fact, build us into happier human beings.

In our pursuit of happiness, there are some universalities which are required:

  • Incremental Progress -> Get feedback that we are progressing towards something. Frequent reminders of progress make for the greatest happiness generators.
  • Goal Attainment -> Less important than a feedback loop of incremental progress, but still gives us short lived bursts of happiness. Reason goal accomplishment doesn’t make us happy for long is the adaptation principle
  • Adaptation Principle -> We quickly get used to anything. We need constant growth or progress, or we go back to our default state of happiness.
  • Feelings of  Control -> We need to feel as though we’re in control of our immediate reality.
  • Physical Appearance -> As long as we’re not ashamed of our physical appearance, we’re capable of feeling confident and secure.
  • Relationships with Others -> The strength and number of our social connections is one of the most powerful determinants of our level of happiness.
  • Attaining Flow States -> These are activities which happen with music or other people which engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self consciousness. Crucial to maintaing long term happiness.
  • Kindness and Gratitude Activities -> According to studies, the people who do charity work end up with more psychological and physical benefits than the people who actually receive the charity.
Unfortunately, the large majority of our brains are primarily concerned with the most basic of needs. Beyond survival, the bigger brain cares more about prestige than happiness, more about shortcuts than what’s right, and more about avoiding pain than getting potential rewards. And if we don’t keep our minds in check, we default back to these standards.

There are tools to help us maintain this level of standards for ourselves, and we find these in times of self reflection. Our religious texts and our philosophers seek to remind us the importance of mental vigilance, to keep the basic brain from overriding the logical mind’s rule.

Can we build a computer system to do the same for us human beings? To help us make sure our lives are run more by the logical part that we identify with, more than the basic brain, which would rather we stay fat and lazy?

I’m beginning to think the information age is over, and the social age is reaching its peak. We’ll soon be going into the actionable age, where we learn how to better direct ourselves as human beings. We’ll get better tools to regulate and manage ourselves, and become more full, well rounded human beings.

I’m ready to start building the software that improves us as human beings. If you’re interested in helping, I encourage you to check out my kickstarter.

I’ve already made a few great contacts, and I look forward to meeting you.

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