Title : Our insect power
Writer : Sebastian Dieges
Release Date : May 17, 2023
If we know the adage that “perfection is not of this world,” science can prove it to us. Thus, in Our insect powerNeuroscientist Sebastien Diegues has the goal of exploring “everyday psychological errors” in order to provide a richer and more complex view of the beings we are.
We are disordered by nature
Sebastien Diegues takes us back to common everyday situations: making a slip, putting a word on the tip of your tongue, feeling deja vu or even music stuck in your head, getting interrupted while reading, etc. Structural elements such as fatigue, stress, or external distractions can lead to confusion and forgetfulness. We can also explain some errors through automatic or phonological mental associations or through certain cultural and political representations.
However, our Constitution itself is ineffective. Thus the author presents the body as “a wide range of approximations, omissions, reflections and errors”. It invites us to accept two immutable truths that are indispensable to our humanity. On the one hand, we are not perfect. Our cognitive mechanisms are fragile and certain situations, perceived as a failure, are actually essential to our good psychological functioning. On the other hand, we cannot fully explain the nature of our defects. We must therefore let go of our “urgent need to always find one reason for our least behavior.”
A demonstration in keeping with the times
The author fills in contemporary illustrations. He uses current terminology (“embarrassment,” “confusion,” “reality shift”) to analyze the issues. It charts the consequences of technological modernity, such as smartphones that lead us to a “scrolling paper” or GPS that makes us lose our ability to geographical abstraction. He shared and published a very large number of scientific experiments, which are sometimes difficult to understand by the uninitiated. This difficulty is overcome thanks to the humorous features present in the different chapters. Beyond the variety of tales developed, the book raises broad legal, philosophical, and social questions.
Haro on psychoanalysis
In general, psychoanalysis takes its place. The author denounces the “all-encompassing” vision of the human mind according to which all our missteps, mistakes, misfortunes and mistakes will be revealed to the unconscious and have a sexual character. Perhaps one could blame him on a slightly reductive perspective of a method that also made its own self-criticism in relation to the Freudian heritage, the keys to which are varied. However, Sebastien Diguez suggests reversing our trend by encouraging us instead to explore the psychological and social consequences of our mistakes.
The perfect human being, halfway between “total control” and “total indolence”
If it is a little difficult to abandon the consoling idea that “nothing happens by chance,” once this brief disappointment wears off, the perspective proposed by the author turns out to be unrestrained and devoid of guilt. in this sense, Our insect power We are happy to be invited to have fun, to smooth over our faults, to be kind and caring to others and especially to ourselves. This position is conducive to — and essential to — creativity, discovery, or even humor. Like Sebastian Diegues, let us join the “long tradition of cynicism, in which the confusion and strangeness of our behavior are raised to the rank of art.”