Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Right and Left

How I wish that I had heard of this sooner! I definitely would have figured out a way to go. Perhaps this will be of interest to Bay Area residents: The NU Alumni Association presents a conversation with Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation and a new book called A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. I skimmed Free Agent Nation when it came out. I was living in Seattle at the time and was consulting, living between here and there, and trying not to get taken under by the tide of dotcom busts. Free-agency sounded like a fate worse than death to me at the time, but after 7+ years of being tied to jobs simply because I can't live without health benefits, I'm less fearful. At this point, I have nothing but contempt for employer-sponsored health care. I think I'd be a much more effective person if I didn't have to stay in jobs simply to maintain a sense of security about taking care of my health.

That's not the point of this particular book. In any case, I'm not convinced that being "right-brained" is necessarily the wave of the future. I'm still not clear on what that really means, honestly. I learned that both hemispheres are necessary and fundamental to cognition and communication. But using the socially accepted definition of right-brained, it does make sense that understanding the need for individuals in an affluent, increasingly fragmented society to creating meaning through work (which is to say we're nearly all a the top of Mazlow's hierarchy, I suppose), and enabling them to do so, will be an important skillset to have in the coming decades.

Until it all falls apart, of course.

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