The brain systems that evaluate others are not used in self-evaluation. It is
easy to argue that humans, like other primates, are mostly interactive
creatures, pre-occupied with what others are doing; humans have little or no
cognitive ability for self-evaluation. One human relies on others to evaluate
behavior and therefore, human society has built in multiple and complex
evaluative procedures that operate daily as external controls.
The innate rules of association built into the brain pertain to small groups
and tend to become dysfunctional when individuals try to relate as members of
large and anonymous groups. Large groups are still controlled by individuals and
small groups with limited ability. Enlarging organizations rely on repeating
modular structures controlled from above. A large corporation has many repeating
subunits linked and administered by a central office that is controlled by a
small group of executive officers and directors. As the corporation grows, the
executive officers do not become more intelligent, better informed and more
expansive. Indeed executives in growing corporations usually become isolated in
their immediate social groups and have difficulty grasping issues beyond their
immediate local group and self-interest.
Visual information gathering is dominant in primates and specialized area of
the cortex a devoted to evaluating what others are doing. Neurons in the
inferotemporal cortex of macaques respond to faces and hand gestures and some
neuronal groups are tuned to specific behaviors. The most basic intelligence
modules identify individuals by appearance and behavior and evaluate the
advantages and disadvantages of association with other individuals. Smart people
are better leaders because they are better evaluators of the behavior and
intentions of other members of their group and are more accurate in responding
strategically to challenges from their subordinates.
Hear About Limited Self-Evaluation
I and Thou focuses on intimate relationships. Innate tendencies are hard at
work when people meet, become lovers and end with arguments and fighting. The
same tendencies determine how family members interact and explain why so many
families are “dysfunctional.” When lovers form an enduring pair bond, they often
become parents and everything changes. Humans seek bonding with others and are
distressed when they become isolated. Humans bond to each other in several ways.
The most enduring bonds are kin-related, based on closely shared genes. The
deepest bonding occurs when mother and infant are together continuously from
birth and mother breast-feeds the infant. Bonds among family members are the
most enduring. Bonds to friends, lovers and spouses are the next most
significant. Bonds to colleagues, neighbors and even strangers that are admired
from a distance are next. Friendships are often temporary bonds, based on the
need to affiliate with others for protection, social status, feeding, sex and
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