The Social Animal and Cities

New York Times columnist David Brooks notes in his new book, The Social Animal, that human beings can take in about 12 million pieces of information a minute yet we can only be conscious of about 40.  Thus he notes that so much of what we are reacting to is happening on a sub-conscious and emotional level.

Think about how we experience cities every day if  only .0000033% of the experience is happening on a conscious level.  Even if the conscious stuff is the more privileged in our experience, there is a dimension, a non-rational, emotional dimension, that is hugely important as well.  Perhaps it is the timing of Brooks’ book and mine, but I am seeing more evidence that there is an emerging consciousness about the importance of emotional connections in everything from cities to politics to health and wellness.  And that, I believe, is a very good thing.

Check out Brooks at TED: