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I fucking hate the use of the word "hard-wired" to describe anything remotely having to do with personality. As in, "X group of people are hard-wired to be Y way". If you are using that phrase when talking to me, I am likely to take everything else you say about people with a grain of salt, unless you are a fucking neurologist. And I don't know any neurologists. (Yet, anyways, hi zenthia!)


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2003 10:19 am (UTC)
Evolutionary Psych has always struck me as a bunch of BS.
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Nov. 14th, 2003 11:33 am (UTC)
It's less people who study trends in neurology that I am worried about, and more people who use only anecdotal evidence or just make statements off the cuff. Or have read one article and take it as gospel, you know what I mean?
Nov. 14th, 2003 10:40 am (UTC)

While you may not know any neurologists our good friend the tomorrow_devil is thinking about doing a study on THEM.

This amuses me to no end, of course.

Nov. 14th, 2003 11:11 am (UTC)
I could totally introduce you to some neurologists.
Nov. 14th, 2003 11:31 am (UTC)
In a shady bar? For some illicit neurologist transactions?
Nov. 14th, 2003 11:49 am (UTC)
In a shady bar over beer or in the cafeteria of a nursing home over juice? And is either situation less or more cool for illicit neurologist dealings?

(no subject) - larksdream - Nov. 14th, 2003 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2003 11:27 am (UTC)
I think that you're hard-wired to be annoyed by stupidity.

Oh, no ... wait.

That's just a completely understandable reaction.
Nov. 14th, 2003 11:56 am (UTC)
I'm hard-wired to sneeze when I see bright sunlight. Everything else is open for debate. ;)
Nov. 14th, 2003 12:47 pm (UTC)
I have that sneeze problem too. It also occurs with really rich chocolate.
Nov. 14th, 2003 03:39 pm (UTC)
It's an actual scientific phenomenon! Called "photic sneezing." I read about it...er, somewhere.
Nov. 14th, 2003 02:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Even worse, to me, is someone excusing themselves by saying, "I can't help it. I'm hardwired that way." As a cute apologetic "oops I goofed" I'll let it go, but some people use it as the equivalent of, "Sure, I know Lesser Beings can and do change all the time, but *my* personality is Eternal and Immutable, so don't even expect me to remember to [ask about your day, not slam doors in your face, refrain from pissing in the bushes, whatever]."
Nov. 17th, 2003 06:09 am (UTC)
I saw it in a "Women are hard wired to be fluffly and emotional" kind of context, but you have a seperate and excellent point here too.

And then there's the milder version where someone is like, "Wah, I am hardwired to do this particular self-destructive thing that makes me unhappy" where it hurts nobody but them, but the excuse not to change is simply lame.

But then, I guess if I expressed that too strongly, I could turn it on myself, because I think over time I have proven to be clinically, brain chemically depressive, so...
Nov. 17th, 2003 03:13 pm (UTC)
I think over time I have proven to be clinically, brain chemically depressive, so...

I don't think anyone can argue that the physical aspect is very real; you surely can't just "snap out of it" whenever you want to. But there are also people who have overcome some pretty extreme biology-based problems (Winston Churchill & his depression, various artists & their psychoses, Stephen Hawking, etc.). Maybe the trick is to have high standards and expect people to exert themselves to overcome their problems, while at the same time having understanding and compassion for the person no matter what the results of their efforts are.
Nov. 14th, 2003 03:56 pm (UTC)
There are way too many parenthesis in this text.
Like anything to do with anything, you can get in trouble when you use metaphors! Nothing in your brain is hard wired 'cause... well, your brain is pretty squishy. Not only is it squishy, but on a more serious note, recent research has shown that your brain actually rewires itself on a continuous basis. Your little dendrites (the receiving parts of the neurons) and your axons (the output portions) are continuously losing connections and making new ones.

However, and I bet I've used this phrase in explaining the brain at some point to someone (because it is occasionally easier to use metaphors with questionable validity when you're trying to explain a tough concept) there are "pattern recognizers" and important crap in your brain that could be called "hard wired". But maybe you're best off calling it the "OS" instead. Baby's have a series of neuronal connections (that are way too complex for us to tease out yet, but through studies we hypothesize their existence) that recognize faces, phonemes, shadows, distance... The visual stimuli you *THINK* you see, isn't really what exists in the real world. There are a bunch of nifty optical illusions (and castironskillet has posted some links to them) that prove to you your brain is "wired" do do some funky stuff with the somewhat paltry input it receives from your "meat-based" camera. (Haha, I can't stop referring to "meat" since Matrix III. My apologies.)

And while I'm not a neurologist yet.... I do love it intensely. Neurology & Neurosurgery are high on my list of residencies to consider! I majored in Psych with an emphasis on physiology/neurology and I'm in a neuro elective this period in med school! If you have any specific neuro-arguments you want me to address, lay 'em on me!
Nov. 17th, 2003 06:11 am (UTC)
See, all this? is why I want to learn neurology. I detest being ignorant about what is going on in my own mind.
Nov. 17th, 2003 12:51 pm (UTC)
Feel free to learn! I'll bring some of my books home this summer and force them on you. And you know... there are many many masters, PhD's and MDs in Neuro just calling your name..... Kiiiiiiim..... Joooooinnnn uuuusssssss.....
Nov. 18th, 2003 05:57 am (UTC)
You won't have to force them on me! Have you seen my amazon wish list lately? Fully half are brain books! Maybe you could tell me which ones are more creditable. :)

Sadly, I need more undergraduate work. And right now, saving up for a down payment on a house seems to be winning out over that. :(
(no subject) - zenthia - Nov. 18th, 2003 12:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 14th, 2003 05:03 pm (UTC)
Do you also hate "hard-coded"? I tend to use that frequently.... but then, it is my job to code.
"hard-wired" is a BS copout for people who dont want to take responsibility for their actions.
They obviously understand nothing of a)personal accountability and 2) the fluid (albeit not liquid)
nature of neurology. They should really read this...especially the part about
They also know a squid’s brain, like a human brain, is “plastic,” meaning it’s not hard-wired like a computer.
Rather, the connections in the brain are changing constantly as messages are carried by molecules and stored.
Nov. 17th, 2003 06:15 am (UTC)
Hey! I've been to Falmouth/Woods Hole, MA! It's really pretty!

Um, anyways... yeah. Basically what most people probably guessed is that I heard it in relation to gender: i.e., read an article where someone was like, "women are hard-wired to like security and wishy-washy emotions" and "men are hard-wired to be adventurous Hemingway-an macho types" and it set my head aflame.

But I didn't think about as an excuse, and now that people point it out, I've heard that a few times too, and it's just as retarded, iMHO.
Nov. 14th, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
What if they're fucking a neurologist?

Sorry, misread the sentence that way at first, and it amused me.
Nov. 14th, 2003 08:02 pm (UTC)
Also, "hard-wired" (in this context) is the new "the devil made me do it." It is of similar inherent value.
Nov. 15th, 2003 07:51 pm (UTC)
Re: ...
However, it is entirely acceptable to say "I can't help it, it's in my nature" if you say it like The Crying Game.
Nov. 15th, 2003 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: ...
Yeah, that's not all you do like the Crying Game, is it?

Because I heard that you run from armed terrorists in a similarly panicky manner.
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Nov. 17th, 2003 06:16 am (UTC)
Did they teach you all those in grad school? Because I don't remember a whole lot of them in undergrad. ;)
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Nov. 19th, 2003 02:32 am (UTC)
onctology - The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being a tumor on society
Nov. 17th, 2003 05:17 am (UTC)
"Hard Wired"
In the mostly electronic world I live in "Hard Wired" just means a totally stubborn person whose mind cannot be changed by any form of argument or facts. In their world it "is what it is" and there will be no argument. I'm sure we all know people like that. We have a few in my office.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


keep it dark

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