Starting MAMA’S LAST HUG: ANIMAL EMOTIONS AND WHAT THEY TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES

Self never thought she’d be as engrossed as she is. She’s just emerged from the fantastic space opera that is Leviathan Wakes, she didn’t think that her mind would be able to adjust easily to a subject like primates and their emotions. That would be quite a shwitcheroo. Surprisingly, however, self found it very easy to get ‘into’ this book.

From the Prologue:

Emotions may be slippery, but they are also by far the most salient aspect of our lives. They give meaning to everything. In experiments, people remember emotionally charged pictures and stories far better than neutral ones. We like to describe almost everything we have done or are about to do in emotional terms . . . That’s another thing about emotions: they make us take sides.

Back when Beto was still running for Presient, he gave an interview in which he said that Trump was a “master of emotional language.” That, said Beto, was how he won in 2016.

In light of the book self is currently reading, in light of the fact that the emotions, according to Frans de Waal, “make us take sides,” no wonder America is polarized to such a degree.

Everything Trump says is pitched to target his listeners’ emotions. He never uses reason or logic, but he sure can manipulate this one thing. Just to show you how well this strategy works: Americans actually called into poison control centers last weekend, wondering whether ordinary household bleach could kill the corona virus.

Self thinks it’s dangerous for a politician to appeal to the emotions. That makes the politician a demagogue. Or a fascist. Someone like Hitler.

A mob is ruled by emotions, not by rationality.

We’re not a mob country, are we? ARE WE?

But we’re all so much more emotional now, as a result of this pandemic. Does that make us ripe pickings for the Grifter?

Stay tuned.


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