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Excerpt from Dreams

Shrinking Brains (p. 430)

From chapter "Stupidity"

In related news, I just read an article, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise, that shows that our brains have been shrinking since civilization began: “Based on skull measurements, the human brain appears to have been shrinking over the last 5,000 years or so.”

Gosh, when the world is being murdered and people can tell us that nobody is willing to pay the cost to stop this murder; when the entire economy is systematically based on this murder, yet even most of those who claim to advocate for a halt to this murder express a deep desire to save not the real physical world but rather this murderous economic system; when the vast majority of people in this culture confuse their own emotional states with sustainability; when people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are held up as public intellectuals, it frankly comes as no surprise that our brains just ain’t what they used to be (presuming, of course, that we think with our brains, which is something I don’t really believe).

One of the authors of the study said that we “know from archaeological data that pretty much everywhere we can measure—Europe, China, South Africa, Australia—that brains have shrunk about 150 cubic centimeters, off a mean of about 1,350. That’s roughly 10 percent.”

He gave his explanation: “As to why is it shrinking, perhaps in big societies, as opposed to hunter-gatherer lifestyles, we can rely on other people for more things, can specialize our behavior to a greater extent, and maybe not need our brains as much.”

Read that again: “Maybe not need our brains as much.”

If you’ve been enslaved, if you’ve been zombified, I guess he’s right, you wouldn’t need your brain quite as much, would you?