Lucy is a movie about Scarlett Johansson being the super powered femme fatale that is not constrained by living in the male-dominated Marvel universe. She gets to use all her brain and it turns out that let’s her do some pretty cool things. If I got to use all my brain I’m not so sure I’d want that power.
Apparently we only use 10% of the brain at the moment and that seems like plenty for what we need to do, any more than that and it has the potential for a lot of bad. I am able to get up in the morning and stumble around making a cup of tea on just 1% of my brain (as a Brit we have evolved tea making along with breathing and blinking) so what would I do with the rest of the neurons?
Not that free space scares me, growing up with computers in the 90’s meant I was used to managing a small hard drive measured in the megabytes, and being familiar with config.sys and autoexec.bat to keep memory in check. Now as I sit on a computer with a terabyte c:drive and many gb of Ram I still manage it in the same way. As soon as I exceed 50% usage I start looking for ways to make room. This automatically puts a kibosh at using more than half of my cranial capacity.
Even with the remaining amount what would I need it for? I know all the Champions league winners and F1 world champions, a good amount of science and most important facts in history. Yes I could fill my brain with the remnants of Wikipedia and become some kind of Pub Quiz God. Then I wouldn’t have the pleasure of learning something new. Today I learnt about pre-Islamic Arabia, it was fun to discover something I didn’t know. I am not sure I would enjoy being the human Encarta.
I look at what humankind has done with the 10% of the brain we do use, we have landed robots on foreign worlds, written great plays and built monuments that have lasted millennia. We know how we came to be, where we came from and nearly have solved how it all began. We can fly with birds and dive as deep as whales and move faster than the speed of sound. 1/10th of our brain did that.
With the other 90% we could be amazing.
That 10% has also given us unimaginable horrors, I don’t even need to write a list to tell you of the terrible things our “superior” organs have led us to. No other species has shown such creativity and capability for cruelty.
Maybe, rather than using more of our brains we should all use a little less.