Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The New Psychology

Poul Anderson, Brain Wave (London, 1977).

Psychology and psychiatry change when human nature changes. Certain types adjust more easily to enhanced intelligence:

the strong willed;
those with interests directed outward;
those who already think a lot.

Pre-change, Sheila Corinth's life was unintellectual and sheltered. Post-change, she sees through her former world-view but has not found a new one. Worry about her physiological symptoms increases them. She has neither children nor struggle to turn her attention outward. Therefore, Peter departing on an interstellar expedition might be good for her. Her psychiatrist gives her drills on logical processes and general semantics. She is now intelligent enough to deceive him that she is improving.

Many people use their new intellectual power to rationalize old superstitions, prejudices and hatreds. Then the Third Ba'al tells them to abandon thought in favor of an emotional orgy. But these are transitional problems.

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