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The American Brain

The American Brain

By View All Posts Tim Urban

_________Chapter 6: The American BrainIn Chapter 5 we became acquainted with some new toys: the Idea Spectrum, the Thought Pile, and the Speech Curve. With the First Amendment barring restrictions on expression, attention seekers can take advantage of all parts of the Thought Pile. But a democracy works the opposite direction—bottom-up—as the leaders are forced to be wherever the Thought Pile wants them to be. Even though plenty of individual citizens will disagree with them, the ideas at the top of the Thought Pile are what the big communal brain “thinks” at any given point in time. Given all of the obvious benefits of free speech, when a culture or a movement or an individual citizen seems threatened by free speech, the first question you should ask is: “Why?