上级分类: 人类

Friending Fear

How to view fear?

YAML 问题

Fear can be a trigger for exploration and lead to insightful or inspiring projects.

But fear can also prevent any action.

I wonder, how to view fear? What does fear mean (if it does)? Where does it come from? Why?

My example. I walk through the woods. Suddenly I hear the branches cracking. Now, I want to run and hide. But why?

Is my body really feeling the fear? For a reason? Or is the mind remembering some trigger similar to this sound and situation that brings fear? If so, fear is imagination.

Can fear be healthy? And when?

Or is fear useless and is just a trick of the mind that is better to be un-learned?

This question is important not only on personal scale. Lets say I follow the fear in my example walking through the woods. So I run away home and hide, and avoid the forest from then on. But what if I turn fear into curiosity and stay in the woods? Then, I see a rare bird making a nest from branches (that sound I got scared of!)

Now apply that exercise to the humanity scale.


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嗯,我还想在什么情况下将恐惧转化为好奇心是有意义的,因为这会导致探索。因此,从人类的角度来看,如此简单的锻炼很重要,因为会有更多的人感到好奇。所有的好奇心值得追随吗?这是另一个子问题。

Hmm [Mindey], I was also thinking in what cases it makes sense to flip Fear into Curiosity, because that leads to Exploration. So, on a humanity scale, such a simple exercise matters because more people would be curious.

Is all curiosity worth following? That's another sub-question.


你好,黑暗,我的老朋友〜

Hello darkness my old friend~


我们的某些神经回路是内置的,就像有些人看到美味的食物时不由自主地流涎,甚至在图片中一样,或者就像大多数人错误地感知像凹面一样凸出,或者就像是异性一样的形状会引起人们的性刺激。同样,恐惧感可能是一个人特定的神经回路的潜意识结果。翻转这种硬连线的恐惧症可能就像改变一个人的性取向一样困难,或者像忘记将美味的食物图片与实际食用的食物联系起来一样简单。例如,当人们看到食物图片时,我没有意识到他们会垂涎三尺!显然,他们将食物图片看成是真实的事物,并立即想象如果用舌头触摸食物会发生什么,而我倾向于将食物图片视为对象,即,将它们视为食物是要判断和排序而不是品尝的对象。 //我的例子我穿过树林。突然我听到树枝开了。现在,我想躲起来。但为什么?对黑暗的恐惧是很理性的:思考所有可能在黑暗中潜伏的可能性!我们古老的大脑知道那里可能有捕食者,而黑暗会阻止人体的各种自然和自动解释和防御系统(例如,基于视觉的威胁识别)正常工作:您需要将风险评估委托给前额叶皮质以缓解恐惧:)收集更多信息并提高您的理性,包括您知道的更多环境和语境因素。例如,也许外面很冷,大多数掠食者都在冬天冬眠中入睡,不敢攻击你,或者也许你走的路是人们经常拜访的,而你知道在这个地区,人们足够的富裕,在寒冷的环境中等待伤害某人是任何人可能最后想到的事情,依此类推。

Some of our neural circuits are just built-in, just as some people involuntarily salivate when they see tasty food, even in pictures, or just like most people incorrectly perceive convex as concave surfaces, or just like shapes resembling people of opposite sex can make people sexually arouse.

Similarly, the sense of fear may be a subconscious result of one's particular neural circuitry. Flipping such hard-wired phobias may be as hard as changing one's sexual orientation, or as simple as forgetting to associate tasty food pictures with actual eating of food.

For example, I didn't realize that people salivate when they see pictures of food! Apparently, they look at the pictures of food as if they are the real thing, and immediately imagine what would happen if they touched it with their tongues, while I tend to look at food pictures as objects, i.e., looking at them as if it is an object to be judged and sorted rather than tasted.

// My example. I walk through the woods. Suddenly I hear the branches cracking. Now, I want to run and hide. But why?

The fear of darkness is quite rational: think of all the possibilities what may lurk in the darkness! Our ancient brain knows that there could be predators, and out there, and darkness prevents all kind of body's natural and automatic interpretation and defense systems (e.g., vision-based threat identification) to work properly: you need to delegate risk estimation to your prefrontal cortex to tame the fear :)

Collect more information and sharpen your rationality including more of the circumstantial and contextual factors you know. For example, perhaps it is so cold outside, that most predators are sleeping the winter hibernation and would not dare to attack you, or perhaps you're walking a path that's often visited by people, and you know that in this region, people are sufficiently well-off, that waiting in a frigid environment to harm someone is the last thing that could possibly be on anyone's mind, and so on.


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