- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (April 25, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316300195
- ISBN-13: 978-0316300193
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently
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"Deviate is an entertaining read that raises fascinating questions about how we perceive the world. Aside from being an accomplished scientist, Lotto is a talented writer who uses illustrative examples and visual experiments to dazzle and to teach."―The Washington Post
"Provocative...a radical philosophy of perception...balanced by many astute observations."―Nature
"Beau Lotto's Deviate is the beginning of a conversation-with yourself. Based on my years working at Pixar and with Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters, Beau is on exactly the right track for using neuroscience to understand the mechanisms that keep us stuck and the power of paying attention to the mind. And he does it with an infectious enthusiasm that cannot help but draw the reader into this engaging material."―Lawrence Levy, former CFO of Pixar Animation Studios and author of To Pixar and Beyond
"Lotto, a brilliant neuroscientist, explains why our perceptual hardwiring makes it difficult for us to live with uncertainty...His insights help us understand the mindset and talents-like asking great questions-that can help people live in the future as opposed to the past. Deviate shows us how to reengineer our brains and prepare ourselves to lead and innovate in our organizations and lives."―Linda Hill, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of Becoming a Manager
"Deviate is a more accessible, fun, interactive version of Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow-involving the reader in building an active understanding of the value of relying on perception as well as reason, and doing so in enjoyable ways. Beau Lotto is a powerful storyteller who bridges peer-reviewed science and the creative arts in rare ways to offer actionable insights."―David Rowan, Editor-in-Chief Wired (UK edition)
"[A] sprightly look into the nature of things.... Among Lotto's most valuable contributions to our lay understanding of perception and thinking is his formulation of perception as an 'ecology,' meaning 'the relation of things to the things around them, and how they influence each other....' Lotto's provocative investigation into the mysterious workings of the mind will make readers just that much smarter."―Kirkus Reviews
"Beau Lotto is one of the most creative scientists I know, and his passion for introducing neuroscience to the public ranks him among those rare communicators like Carl Sagan whose ideas can change peoples' thinking. At a time when many neuroscientists are pursuing the mindless goal of mapping all the connections in the human brain, Beau is right on target in his conviction that science advances by doubting the conventional wisdom and asking simple questions in a novel way."―Dale Purves, Professor Emeritus at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and member of the National Academy of Sciences
"Beau Lotto is the ideal writer for a popular book about the neuroscience of perception. He has already proved himself to be an immensely engaging and daring populariser of science. Above all, he is well-established neuroscientist who really knows what he is talking about. In this book he will convince you that our every-day experience of seeing is far more mysterious and exciting than it seems."―Chris Frith, Professor of Neuroscience at University College London
"In a brilliant and skillful way Beau Lotto pulls the rug from under our naive view of reality-bit by bit. In reading this book, we discover how our conventional way of seeing, of perceiving reality, is incomplete and illusory. He begins to dismantle this illusion by showing us why we see the world the way we do, and in doing so he opens the curtain to a new beginning, a new beginning of seeing past our individual interpretation of reality, to recognize that others may surely have a different interpretation. In daring us to deviate Lotto encourages us to discover that compassion has a root that can be revealed through scientific insights."―Peter Baumann, Founder of Tangerine Dream
"In Deviate, Beau Lotto's remarkable research into human perception is crystallized into a series of astute explanations of how we experience reality. By bringing together an 'ecology of the senses' that goes beyond the mechanisms of the eye, Lotto's ingenious account of the brain's perceptive evolution arrives at an extraordinary proposition of how we can go beyond our current ways of seeing. Following Olafur Eliasson's words that 'what we have in common is that we are different,' Deviate unravels the bind to our human history in order to foresee a radically different future for a reconfigured, individual perception. It is a brilliant book!"―Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director of the Serpentine Gallery (London)
About the Author
Beau Lotto is a professor of neuroscience, previously at University College London and now at the University of London, and a Visiting Scholar at New York University. His work focuses on the biological, computational and psychological mechanisms of perception. He has conducted and presented research on human and bumblebee perception and behaviour for more than twenty-five years, and his interest in education, business and the arts has led him into entrepreneurship and engaging the public with science. In 2001, Beau founded the Lab of Misfits, a neuro-design studio that was resident for two years at London's Science Museum and most recently at Viacom in New York. The lab's experimental studio approach aims to deepen our understanding of human nature, advance personal and social well-being through research that places the public at the centre of the process of discovery, and create unique programmes of engagement that span the boundaries between people, disciplines and institutions. Originally from Seattle, with degrees from UC Berkeley and Edinburgh Medical School, he now lives in Oxford and New York.
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Deviate reminds this reader of the invaluable contribution that Bishop Milton Wright made to the invention of flight. Bp. Wright’s interest was not in lift but life. He told his sons that they could study flight provided they did not get themselves killed.
Bp. Wright’s primary concern was not getting to B, flying. He was interested in “not A,” not being safe on land. The young brothers Wright saw wisdom in the good Bishop’s advice. They decided to limit their flights to an altitude of ten feet. Once airborne, the Wright Brothers, unlike most of their competitors, lived long enough to realize that they needed to engineer steering into their flyer.
People who have not read Deviate would say the Wright Brothers went from A, landed, to B, flying. But after reading Deviate we know that the Wright Brothers did not take one great creative leap skyward. It was their father’s brilliant insight into the danger of, “not A” that allowed his sons to touch heaven while still in earthly form.
Deviate is eminently readable and it contains startling optical illustrations that reinforce Lotto’s contention that perception is subjective. Deviate has the potential to alter your understanding of creativity and perception but only if, you go from not owning, to owning Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently.
Our brain is a physical embodiment of our ancestors’ perceptual reflexes shaped through the process of natural selection, combined with our own reflexes as well as those of our culture in which we are embedded. These in turn have been influenced by the mechanisms of development and learning, which results is seeing only what helped us to survive in the past – and nothing else (p. 3).
In the book, there are at least fifteen interesting themes, which I have liked the most.
Resolving uncertainty is a unifying principle across biology, and thus is the inherent task of evolution, development and learning…Uncertainty is the problem that our brains evolved to solve (p. 8). Our brain evolved to take what is inherently uncertain and make it certain (p. 9). Certainty meant life. Uncertainty meant death. To not “know” was to die (246).
The biological motivation of many of our social and cultural habits and reflexes, including religion and politics, and even hate and racism, is to diminish uncertainty through imposed rules and rigid environments … or in one’s vain attempt to disconnect from a world that lives only because it is connected and in movement. In doing so, these inherited reflexes – by design – prevent us from living more creative, compassionate, collaborative, and courageous lives. With the making of this kind of uncertainty, we lose … freedom (p. 9).
Humans have come to structure their societies around institutions that provide certainty: courts, governments, police, and, most sadly, our educational systems (even at the university level), and processes therein… Religion also reduces uncertainty for us, which is a principal reason (among other reasons) why so many billions of brains value so passionately the assumptions that their unquestioning faiths espouse… But the flip side of this security is that religions replace your own assumptions with theirs, and take it as an article of literal faith that you will not question them (p. 254).
The second biggest challenge to creativity: We are afraid of the dark. Darkness is a fundamental, existential fear because it contains all the fears that we carry with us in our brains – fear both real and imagined, engendered from living life and from the life lived in stories, from culture, from fairytales… Darkness is the embodiment of the unknown, and this is what scares us more than anything else: knowing that we don’t know what dwells in the space just beyond (p. 244). The world was a hostile and erratic place – the epitome of uncertainty, with the future cloaked in “darkness” (p. 246).
Living systems in general hate uncertainty. That is why a fear of the dark appears not just in humans but across all simian species, as it makes us tremendously vulnerable. It is not simply the literal darkness that we try to avoid, but also the fear we feel when stepping into the uncertainty of both literal and metaphorical darkness. In contrast (yet deriving from the same perceptual principle), as nocturnal animals, rats fear not the dark, but the light… So all living systems (individually and collectively) evolve and learn their own particular “darkness,” as well as a deep, active resistance to that particular uncertainty, just as each living system evolves physiological responses for dealing with unavoidable uncertainty (p. 247). When you feel you have agency (i.e. a sense of control – delusional or otherwise), your sense of uncertainty decreases. That is the deep inverse relationship between our fear of uncertainty and agency. For instance, even if the waiting hours are long, knowing how much time to wait makes the waiting experience emotionally tolerable; otherwise not (p. 252).
Celebrating uncertainty: to approach “stopping” and all the questions this stopping spawns from the perspective of gain, not loss. Play enables one to step into uncertainty and thrive (272).
Doubt is the genesis of powerful, deviating possibilities (p. 12). To overcome our inborn reflex that pushes us to seek certainty (sometimes at any cost), we must lead with our conscious selves and tell ourselves a new story, one that with insistent practice will change our future past and even our physiological responses. We must create internal and external ecologies that … celebrate doubt” (p. 253). If you can muster the courage to celebrate doubt enough to say, “Fine, I don’t know,” suddenly the constricting axes of your space of possibility fall away, freeing you to construct an entirely rebooted space full of new ideas. Approaching conflict with doubt is not just possible but ideal. (p. 255).
What defines a good leader? Enabling other people to step into the unseen. Our own fears about what can happen in the uncertainty of that unseen place, however, often lead us – and therefore others – astray (p. 294). Our protective nature can cause us to constantly plug in metaphorical nightlights for our children, because we think we should illuminate the space for them. We need to lead kids into the darkness so that they learn to navigate it themselves (p. 294). Rather than lead from the front toward efficiency, offering the answers, a good leader is defined by how he or she leads others into darkness – into uncertainty (p. 295). Trust is fundamental to leading others into the dark, since trust enables fear to be “actionable” as courage rather than actionable as anger. Since the bedrock of trust is faith that all will be OK within uncertainty, leaders’ fundamental role is to ultimately lead themselves (p. 296).
We evolved to perceive in order to survive, which presupposes action on our part … the need to do something (p. 59). By physically changing your brain, you directly influence the types of perceptions you can have in the future. This is called cellular innovation, which leads to innovation at the lived level of the things you think to do and the ideas you have (p. 70).
Only through empiricism are we able to make meaning out of the meaningless. The meaning we make then becomes a part of our past, our brain’s database of perception (p. 102).
Perceptual history (p. 114). Knowing this, you can learn to take ownership over your brain’s apparatus and thus make new pasts that will change your brain’s perception of future possibilities (p. 118). In essence, living is nothing other than experiencing continual trial and error. Living is empirical. To succeed, you need to have as many possibilities – and possible perceptions – at your disposal a your brain will permit. A narrower outlook gives you fewer paths to take (p. 119). None of our perceptions has a one-dimensional meaning. All our perceptions are multilayered meaning: red is a meaning, and a red apple is a meaning upon a meaning, and a ripe red apple is a meaning upon a meaning upon a meaning, and so on (p. 121).
3. External environment (Ecology)
The complexity of ecology is matched by the complexity of the sensing apparatus (p. 78). Your ecology shapes your brain (p. 83). Change the environment and change your brain (p. 84).
Learning to deviate innovatively requires you to embrace the glorious mess of trial and error, and much of this engagement grows out of the obstacles of your surroundings (p. 84). Parallel to our trail-and-error, empirical physical engagement in the real world, we can use our brain to change our brain internally (p. 122). Brain can be restructured by trial and error and learning how to see things (p. 136).
This physiological reality is also a biological principle: Systems are defined by the interaction between their inherent properties and their external relationships in space and time … whether cell in the cortex, or a person in a larger society or organization (p. 152). The brain matches its environment, both for good and for bad. The cerebral cortex becomes more complex in an “enriched” environment – or less complex in an “impoverished” environment (p. 85). Marian and other discovered that this matching ability enriches the physical makeup of the brain through the release of growth factors that lead to the growth of brain cells and the connections between them (p. 86). Change your ecology and you change your brain (p. 137).
4. Internal environment
One can run mental simulations and thereby practice for a future encounter (p. 135). Your brain matches the complexity not just of its external surroundings, but of its internal environment as well. If you imagine complex, challenging possibilities, your brain will adapt to them (p. 137). Think positively today and it is statistically more likely you will do the same tomorrow (p. 140).
5. Adaptive assumptions
We are lucky that our brain evolved to have assumptions … Every time you take a step, you assume the ground won’t give way, that our leg won’t give way (p. 149).
Recent research suggests that human are born with an innate fear of snakes, an adaptive assumption from our past that helped us survive, and still does… Both the children and adults showed an “attentional bias” toward snakes, detecting them more quickly than they did unthreatening stimuli such as frogs, flowers and caterpillars. It is clear, then, that human beings are not a blank state … The concept of blank state (i.e. tabula rosa) raises a question whether we are a product of nature or nurture… It is not one or the other. Nor is it a combination of both. Rather it is their constant interaction…Genes do not encode specific traits as such; rather, they encode mechanisms, processes, and elements of interactions between cells and their cellular and non-cellular environment. Genetics and development are inherently ecological processes (p. 151).
6. Learned assumptions
Socially learned assumptions and biases … affect our gray matter, as well as subsequent perceptions and behaviours, yet they are developed so unconsciously from larger cultural assumptions that we don’t even know they are here, embodied in our brains (p. 154).
The empirical process of shaping the brain by trial and error… In short, your assumptions make you YOU (p. 160).
Brain’s perceptual apparatus is simply the history of past meanings made (p. 184). We change our future by changing our past. As strange as it may sound, this is entirely possible. As a matter of fact, it is what we do all the time. Every story, every book, all narratives spoken, read or enacted are about changing the past, about “re-meaning” past experiences, or more specifically, about changing the future past (p. 188). All our perceptions represent nothing other than our and our society’s past perceptions about what was useful (or not) (p. 191). The landscape of your space of possibility is determined by your assumptions (p. 218). Changing your assumptions can change the next possible perception (p. 220). Reconstruct assumptions by expanding them in number and by letting contradictory survive together.
7. The power of why
The power of why is immense (p. 193). The most insightful quest begins with “why?” (p. 213). The importance of why is that it is all about changing your space of possibility by questioning the assumptions that delineate its dimensions. Otherwise, it is like teaching under the streetlamp, when we know that we dropped our keys somewhere else, in a place of darkness …Rather than “ideas worth spreading” we need to consider “questions worth asking” (p. 197).
What philosophers do is take previous assumptions (or biases or frames of reference) and question them. This leads them to elaborate on them or tweak them or try to destroy them, to then replace them with a new set of assumptions that another philosopher will engage with in the same way … Schools rarely even teach children how to ask questions, much less what a good question is, or the craft of finding it. As a result, we are – metaphorically and in a way quite literally – great engineers but crap philosophers …Questioning our assumptions is what provokes revolutions, be they tiny or vast, technological or social. Studying the brain has shown me that creativity is in fact not “creative” at all, and that, at heart, “genius” emerges from simply questioning the right assumption in a powerful, novel way (p. 198).
The basis of complex systems is actually quite simple…what makes a system unpredictable and thus nonlinear … is that the components making up the system are interconnected in a linear fashion to make the world of linear causality (p. 210). The more foundational the assumption, the more strongly connected it is (p. 211). However, one key insight or realization sets off a chain reaction of other insights and realizations, creating a “house of cards” effect of no-longer-useful assumptions collapsing (p. 213).
8. Seeing the invisible
Revolutionary questions and the revolutions they start come from demolishing old assumptions to institute new, wiser ones… the assumptions that shape our perceptions are often like the air that sustains us … invisible, which makes it hard to know where to ask and target our Why questions (p. 217). Another key for seeing differently is not to move through the world comfortably (p. 240).
The point of attention is not looking toward, or in directing your gaze to the rational … the things that make most sense statistically and historically. Rather, the power of attention is in looking away from the “obvious,” toward the less obvious. The power of attention is in beginning deviation, and steadfastly challenging your brain to engage the frontal-cortex-driven inhibition of stopping when needed (p. 265).
Understanding how perception actually works opens up a whole new frame for looking at creativity and creation. By learning “why” our brain evolved to perceive the way it does, we are able to engage ourselves with steps that can change the way we see (p. 268).
A creative person is creative because they are able to see a connection between disparate things that we were not able to see (p. 215). Uncreative individuals are those who are unable to bring two disparate ideas together, and unable to fully engage in the mysterious serendipitous process of creativity (p. 218).
What was blocking our creativity was not a genetic predisposition to linking disparate ideas, but rather our species’ genetic predisposition to be blind to the causes of our own perceptual behaviours. This is one of the most important obstacles to seeing differently and deviating from uninspired, conventional perceptions: our assumptions are as blind to us as we are to them (p. 222).
In addition to humility, creativity requires courage because you are stepping into a space that your brain evolved to avoid (p. 258).
A diverse ensemble – the full orchestra – is essential in a world like ours that is always changing! Indeed, it is common knowledge that diversity is essential for systems to evolve (p. 246)
Diverse populations are more likely to find the optimal solution than a less diverse population. They are more likely to exhibit more “contextual behavior” (i.e., conditional behavior) when they evolved in uncertain environments (where there was a one-to-many relationship between stimulus and reward) relative to unambiguous environments (where there was a one-to-one relationship between a stimulus and reward). Their neural processes were also more complex. For instance, they evolved multiple receptor types in their artificial “retinae” which is a prerequisite for color vision, when the light stimuli were ambiguous. These findings are consistent with the view that contextual behavior and processing are born from uncertainty (p. 247).
Openness to possibility: to encourage the diversity of experience that is the engine of change, from social change to evolution itself (p. 272).
If you want to go from A to B, you have to go first from A to not-A. To be in not-A is to be in uncertainty, to experience the stimulus without the requisite meaning of the past. It is like stopping (p. 260).
Through meditation you can dim the intensity of the influence of your current assumptions have on your perceptions… Just stopping engages a different chemical in your brain than the distress-induced cortisol. It releases oxytocin, which is quantifiably associated with more empathic and generous behavior. Through generosity and empathy, we listen much more creatively…. “Free will” lives, not in going to A, but in choosing to go to not-A. “Free will” lives in changing the past meanings of information in order to change future responses. “Free will” requires awareness, humility, and courage within the context of uncertainty (p. 261).
Unlike most animals, we can change our future past by looking away from the obvious … by going from A to not-A. What we look at reveals us, but what we choose to not look at creates us (p. 266). Move your attention to “not-A”, the place that our brain have evolved to avoid namely, uncertainty (p. 267).
What makes the human brain beautiful is that it is delusional. (p. 13). Delusion plays a pivotal role at every operative level of perception (p. 144). Delusion is an important tool for creating new and powerful perceptions because it allows us to change our brains – and thus future perceptions – from the inside (p. 149).
In academic science-speak, adolescent have a harder time mastering “emotional regulation”… it is critical for young people … to learn how to develop “regulatory skills”… to choose positive delusions, as positive people are found lucky in life (as Dr Richard Wiseman, who pioneered the systematic study of chance and luck in life, says) because they are open to experience, taking a relaxed approach to life, and looking at mistakes as learning opportunities (p. 141).
Stopping our reflexive meanings is so important because it is the first step into uncertainty from which we can create new, unforeseen meanings, and in doing so re-create the meaning of past experiences through the tool of delusion, which alters your future past, thus in turn altering your future perceptions (p. 260).
13. Ecology of innovation
The process of innovation that unites creativity and efficiency rather than pursues them independently. Together, creativity and efficiency define innovation (p. 275).
Even at the level of brain, we see evidence of maximizing efficiency through competition… As a business model, competition means that a company will have a culture of termination, in which people are fired for not producing certain results according to a given timeline. While such an approach can spur extreme effort under pressure, it is exactly the wrong way to promote creativity… not just because exploration is not prioritized, but also because employees’ stress levels will narrow their spaces of possibility (p. 278).
To create a successful ecology of innovation we must look to our own biology and tap into our very own neural nature that balances efficiency and creativity. This is why neither always being creative nor always being efficient is the end-all route to success. The two qualities must exist in dynamic equilibrium… The process of development is the process of adding dimensionality, called complexification. It is very intuitive: start simple (few dimensions), add complexity (more dimensions), and then refine (lose dimensions) through trial and error … and repeat. Development is the process of innovation incarnate (p. 280).
Thinking back to modeling assumptions as a network, we have shown that the more complex the network, the more likely the “best” solution will exist in your search space of possibility, simply because the large number of interconnections increases the number of potential solutions…This is in contrast to very simple systems that have only a few possible solutions (p. 281).
The problem is that complex networks don’t adapt well (i.e. low evolvability)… A conundrum appears: complex systems can help us adapt, but are not very adaptable themselves (p. 282).
Adding what we call “noise” (i.e., a random element) to a system can increase the adaptability of that system (p. 283).
If our species’ existence is itself an ecology of innovation, the balance between wakefulness creates connections and sleep consolidates them (p. 285). One must lead with creativity and follow with efficiency … and repeat … If you start with efficiency, however, you confine your space of possibility before you have had the optimal amount of time to rearrange it repeatedly to reveal the best available ideas (p. 288).
Alternating cycles of creativity and efficiency are what the most successful living systems did…the key for making this work is figuring out when to analyse feedback from the ecology… As such, a collateral necessity of this process, according to this way of framing things, is “failure.” The success of certain startups that have embraced this approach has led to all the recent hype around catchphrases like fail forward and fail better (p. 289).
The human brain does not strive for perfection. We are wired to find beauty in the imperfect. Our brain is not only drawn to certainty, it is also drawn to the “noise” – the imperfections that create difference – and of course you will remember that our five senses need contrast in order to make sense of meaningless information; otherwise it stays meaningless…In short, your brain evolved to find what is naturally beautiful, and what is natural is imperfect. This is why the process to innovate does not need to be perfect, and neither does the result. It is how you are imperfect … how you are deviant … that matters (p. 290).
This spiral process of moving between creativity and efficiency is inherently imperfect because the “spaces between” are by definition zones of transition, which in biology go by the term ecotome – areas of transition from one kind of space to another, whether between a forest and neighbouring meadow, the sea and the beach, or Neanderthals and humans … Ecotomes produce most biological innovation …The key nuance is that innovation moves within the “space between”. It is movement that is innovation: to be innovative is not to live at edge of chaos, but to be at the chaos on “average” … The greatest innovators are rarely individuals, but rather groups that embody this tension between creativity and efficiency. In particular, one potentially powerful pairing inside an ecology of innovation is the novice and the expert (p. 291).
We all must engineer our own ecology of innovation, at home and at work, both in the spaces we create and through the people with whom we populate them. Because your brain is defined by your ecology, the “personality” of the space you inhabit will necessarily shape itself accordingly (p. 299).
14. Ignorance as achievement
Ignorance is more than a bliss – it can be an achievement. Experts are often poor at asking good questions, because they know the questions they are not supposed to ask. Yet almost any interesting discovery comes from not asking the “right” question … from asking a question that seems “foolish”. This is why experts can be relatively uncreative, but are instead efficient … Naïve people, in contrast, can toss out disarmingly good questions because they don’t know what they are not supposed to ask. The flip side is they also don’t know what constitutes a good question…Creator types don’t always know where they are going to go or what it will mean (if they are truly creators, that is, which means they are deviant)…Experts are more prone to tunnel vision until a novice comes along and asks a question that suddenly turns the tunnel into a wide-open field (p. 293).
Detecting differences (or contrast) is so integral to the functioning of our brains that when our senses are deprived of different relationships they can shut down. In other words, we need deviation (p. 100).
Our number-one aim is to stay alive. [It is because the fundamental, biologically inspired point is this: adapt or die (p. 288)]. But to stay alive for extended periods of time requires more than responding in the moment. It requires adaptation, since the most successful systems in nature are also the most adaptable. What is more, we want to thrive in every sense. To achieve this requires taking risks in perceptions, which requires us to be deviant. To deviate well is hard. It takes commitment, since we are not just up against ourselves (p. 253). Intentional action: ultimately, to act with awareness … to engage consciously, from the perspective of “why”. That is, to deviate with intention – not just for the sake of deviance (p. 272).
A beginning: why deviate?
I wanted to foster courageous doubt at the deepest level … the level of your perceived reality. By communally joining reader and author in the same process of creating a new perceptual past, I aimed to create new perceptions in the future (p. 301).
The embodiment of perception inside our brains in the experience of objects out there is the reason we feel we are seeing reality (p. 302).
By choosing to re-mean the meaning of a past experience, you alter the statistics of your past meanings, which then alters future reflexive responses. You change what you are capable of (p. 308).
Deviate is exceptional in showing that creativity and change doesn't happen by constructing ideals and then trying to make them happen. Higher ground is discovered when an action is taken in the midst of uncertainty. For instance, Lotto describes that to save Nigeria from a breakout of Ebola virus, an action was taken by a doctor who chose to "deviate" from strict expectations put on her and saved the nation from a disastrous epidemic. She has now died from the disease. I believe she deviated out of a perception of love and compassion for humanity and not a regard for the certainty of her individual security.
Transformation happens in reshaping the neural networks in the brain when we are willing to not automatically live life from the habit of a remembered “me” that is programmed from the past. We are all alike in that the human brain is programmed to seek security. Lotto explains the brain never perceives reality it perceives what was most useful for security in past perceptions. So in order to create in our lives we must be willing to let go of assumptions that are restricting our views.
Knowing this how could we educate kids differently? I believe all kids are creative geniuses. How could we give them context on how difficult it is to live in uncertainty and allow for their space of possibility to grow? Educators and parents alike would first have to be willing to live in uncertainty and challenge their own fixed assumptions. Especially why they fear uncertainty when their perceived identity comes into question.
In Deviate, Beau Lotto says. "Questioning our assumptions is what provokes revolutions, be they tiny or vast, technological or social".