Why don’t we quantify the brain? What I want to argue today is that we need a shift from diagnosis and treatment, to wellness and prevention. And that we have the data to do it.
During the war in Afghanistan, the military decided to air drop food packages as part of its winning hearts and minds campaign. Unfortunately, the food packages were very similar in appearance to the cluster bombs they were dropping at the same time. If military decision-makers had spoken to communities, aid workers, military personnel on the ground, they’d have figured out there were smarter ways to deliver food and win the trust of the Afghan people.
In 2004, after working for more than ten years as a cook, I visited a favela for the first time. I saw in cooking a way to train people, and so I offered a vocational training program in a local institution.
We used to think that sleep is a passive process caused by reduced sensory stimulation so that our normal mental and physical activities can shut down. We held this belief since the time of Aristotle, and perhaps even before that. But now we know that this idea is completely wrong.