The human brain adapts to its environment. One element of this environment is time. We don’t see it, but it forms part of it and shapes the way our mind works. Different sections then create anchors, points of reference, by which we cross reference our position. We use landmarks in time just as we do to navigate our way from and to our homes.
Our lives continue to be measured in time, and inside our brains we accept the ever-changing environment thanks to these milestones. If you like, life is just a long process of coming to terms with what has been experienced.
The esteemed strategist of the title to this mental wonder is known for a number of different reasons, namely for giving reason to the idea of diplomacy being the continuation of war by other means and war being the continuation of politics by other means.
It is difficult to make some people accept change. Often it requires forcing their physical-spatial environment to change, making it obvious to the part of the brain that deals with the obvious. The other areas can create such powerful belief structures, including through social cognition. After all even the worst dictators can find a supporter, ally or sympathiser.
Yet it is from the time-dimension artefacts with which we identify ourselves that we face our most uphill struggle. Uphill indeed, irreversible. A palace robbed of luxury imports can be restored, and it is impossible to erase the prince’s memory.
Our modern, international society has taken this path. It aims to reduce dictators’ means, force them into accepting and believing in new points of reference. This takes time and as the human life grows longer, this process extends concomitantly, thanks to our ever changing hemispheres.
Fools rush in where angels dare to tread as they know not human nature. We are self-believing creatures who need persuading and convincing. We spend all day with ourselves even when lost in the throng, before we even consider those locked in ivory towers. The longer we exist, the more we give our brains the ample room for manoeuvre needed to fabricate an ontological system of things.
Yet, it’s one thing for us to stand around a rock and discuss it’s being and it’s numerous physical properties, and quite another to even stand around an event. We can discuss and analyse, but tempus fugit, we have no museums containing time and events, just the physical relics. Indeed, much of humanity’s progress in the last centuries is due to our ability to record sound and vision. They remain sensually deprived representations, but nonetheless they have much more influence in the emotions than the static.
Running alongside all of this is chemical progress. As we reach a point where we can use such powerful evidence, we have also developed drugs that will produce a similar effect on regions of our brain, inducing a systematic review of everything about which we thought we were sure. And they do so without any stimulus.
Human nature has stopped us from programmes of mass-brainwashing, yet there is an under current to human society that suggests it is the will of the people. In fact, it is our human experience that we move on from our former selves, renovating and evolving. Our modern paradox then is that we live longer and therefore need longer to accept change but in a world that changes more rapidly thus entailing us to change our beliefs more rapidly.
This wave of change is seeping slowly through our lives naturally, pushed artificially through science and politics, measured through our own control mechanisms. We have to decide increasingly more often on an increasing number of facts and factors. This has always been the human condition, what confounds us today is the rate at which the sun changes which part of the world upon which it shines. Combating this involves a better understanding of time and the effects it has on the brain.