"Don't Think, Shop" Day
Monday, February 21, 2011 at 09:04AM
Richard Levins

                                 “DON’T THINK, SHOP”   DAY


It’s good to save energy by making cars more fuel efficient, stopping  coal mining and such. But there are also things that you can do personally, individually, without having to convince anyone of anything. Physiologists have long known that ounce for ounce, or more scientifically gram for gram, the human brain is the most energy using organ of the body and thinking is the most energetically expensive sustained activity. (There are of course other activities that reach brief peak energy consumption that is higher, but cannot be kept up all day). Consider how much energy might be saved if 6 billion people stopped thinking for even one day.

Therefore a private/public partnership of the US Congress, Fox News, BP, and the Department of Education of Kansas have joined together  to proclaim July 6 ( George W. Bush’s birthday) National “Don’t think, shop” Day. During that time, people are urged to gather in the malls and fulfill the American Dream (dreaming consumes less energy than thinking. And complex ideas, that involve more regions of the brain, are more energy expensive than rote and dogmatic thought or simple cravings).

The Ancients knew this. Julius Caesar warned of Cassius “He thinks too much, such men are dangerous” not because of the content of his thoughts, which Caesar could not know, but simply the fact of thinking instead of chattering with friends. The Dalai Lama knows this, and responded to a call from the Lancet with, “Of course we knew it all along. Meditate.”

          The Center for Intelligent Design endorses the Day, pointing out that thought is non-adaptive and can get you into trouble, and therefore refutes the idea of evolution by natural selection.

The Nabi Institute will give annual bipartisan awards on July6 to those of our political leaders who think least, most linearly and conventionally. It will also sponsor field testing of new medications for suppressing thought.


Article originally appeared on Richard Levins - Human Ecology (http://www.richardlevins.com/).
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