Opinion | Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not.

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

For many years, our society’s dominant metaphor for the thoughts has been a pc. A machine that operates the very same manner whether or not it’s in a darkish room or subsequent to a sunny window, whether or not it’s been working for 30 seconds or three hours, whether or not it’s close to different computer systems or fully alone.

But that’s incorrect. Annie Murphy Paul’s “The Extended Mind” argues, convincingly, that the human thoughts is contextual. It works otherwise in numerous environments, with completely different instruments, amid completely different bodily states, amongst different minds.

Here’s the issue: Our colleges, our workplaces, our society are constructed atop that unhealthy metaphor. Activities and habits that we’ve been taught to affiliate with creativity and effectivity typically stunt our pondering, and a lot that we’ve been taught to dismiss — actions that appear like leisure, play or relaxation — are essential to pondering (and residing!) nicely.

Paul’s ebook, learn appropriately, is a radical critique of not simply how we take into consideration pondering, however how we’ve constructed a lot of our society. In this dialog, we talk about how the physique can decide up on patterns earlier than the aware thoughts is aware of what it’s seen, why forcing children (and adults) to “sit still” makes it tougher for them to suppose clearly, the connection between bodily motion and creativity, why effectivity is usually the enemy of productiveness, the restorative energy of publicity to the pure world, the dystopian implications of huge cognitive inequality, why open-plan places of work have been a horrible thought and way more.

You can hearken to our entire dialog by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

(A full transcript of the episode might be accessible noon on the Times web site.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Stephanie Anestis

“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; authentic music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld; viewers technique by Shannon Busta. Special due to Kristin Lin.