Lost in a Challenge

"We're social animals, not rational animals. We emerge out of relationships, and we are deeply interpenetrated, one with another. And so when we see another person, we reenact in our own minds what we see in their minds. When we watch a car chase in a movie, it's almost as if we are subtly having a car chase. When we watch pornography, it's a little like having sex, though probably not as good. And we see this when lovers walk down the street, when a crowd in Egypt or Tunisia gets caught up in an emotional contagion, the deep interpenetration. And this revolution in who we are gives us a different way of seeing, I think, politics, a different way, most importantly, of seeing human capital...

...face-to-face groups are much smarter than groups that communicate electronically, because ninety  percent of our communication is non-verbal. And the effectiveness of a group is not determined by the IQ of the group; it's determined by how well they communicate, how often they take turns in conversation...

...The conscious mind hungers for success and prestige. The unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence, when the skull line disappears and we are lost in a challenge or a task -- when a craftsman feels lost in his craft, when a naturalist feels at one with nature, when a believer feels at one with God's love. That is what the unconscious mind hungers for. And many of us feel it in lovewhen lovers feel fused."

~ David Brooks, from "The Social Animal," TED Talks, March 2011

See also: Brooks, D. (2011). The social animal: The hidden sources of love, character, and achievement. New York: Random House.