REVKIN: In The Descent of Man, in 1871, Darwin wrote a passage about how we were fundamentally tribal, but that the more that humans were interrelating with each other … the more our sense of tribe would expand. Then he said, only an artificial barrier stands before we will become essentially one tribe, not just intelligence, but a global community. And now, of course, we’re breaching that artificial barrier with technology.
TIPPETT: And you talk about this also in evolutionary terms. … [Y]ou say things like … “we have been in puberty as a species” …
REVKIN: There was a wonderful cover story in National Geographic sometime last year by my friend David Dobbs, on the teenage brain. And everything he said about the teenage brain is exactly replicated when you look around the world at the turbulent nature of how we’re using information right now … And one thing that was fascinating was he said that the transition from teenage brain to adult brain involves a lot of not just new wiring, but rewiring. Things are kind of being unmade and remade. All these connections in the brain are fundamentally going through transformations and, of course, that’s reflected in behavior through it and all kinds of turbulence. So you look at anything from stock markets to the way the Tahrir Square events unfolded and … refolded and kind of modulated themselves through Twitter and Facebook, to me it’s as if we’re test driving new wiring and we definitely have not figured out how it’s all going to work.
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Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.
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