Left Brain/Right Brain TED Talk–Resolving Opposites

My friend Susan posted a TED talk on facebook recently (see below) that has helped me think about one of the more perplexing themes of my memoir: how opposites attract, fight,resolve, and need each other.

Here’s a set of my opposites:





Does this video help explain or resolve any opposites for you? Love to hear your thoughts.

I also loved the part about the role of the neocortex in creating distance, which can result in both manipulation and empathy, Machiavellian or Erasmian, abilities–another set of opposites.

I’ll leave you with this Albert Einstein quote at the end: 

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Shirley Showalter


  1. brendabpeterson on November 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm


    Thanks for directing your readers to this TED talk. It’s fabulous! I have long been interested in right brain/left brain studies. Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind,” indicates the the right brainers will rule the world. I think perhaps it more serious, right brainers may SAVE the world. Looks like this psychiatrist may agree with my humble assessment.

    Speaking of humility (:-)), do you allocate humility and pride to one and the other brain hemispheres? I can’t decide which would be which? I wasn’t reared to appreciate humility and would admit that I’m rather short on it, but have a hard time placing it on the divide of hemispheres. Or did you just mean to say your list was subjects that you are struggling with the polarities of?

    • shirleyhs on November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

      Glad you enjoyed this video, Brenda. I too read Daniel Pink’s book and found encouragement in it for those of us who identify many of our gifts as right-brained.

      I didn’t think of my list of opposites as residing in particular sides of the brain, necessarily, but rather as simply being pairs of dichotomies that influenced me.And that also seek resolution, just as the two hemispheres of the brain do.

      Thanks for your question, however. I will think about it longer.

  2. brendabpeterson on November 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Actually, that is exactly how I thought of them also. Great right brainers on the same track. 🙂

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