Hi, I’m David Brooks, and I’m even more impressed with that fact given what I’ve recently figured out. Lately, I’ve been diving down to the depths of the iceberg of your mind in order to bring some impressively original thoughts to you people ignorantly lazing about the shallows. My first important idea is really an exercise in awareness: look over at that icy bit above the water—it’s called a ‘tip’, and that means there’s more, but you can’t see it. I’ll give you a second to process that idea.
Ok, ready to really try to think? You see, it occurred to me, as I was down there reading this one article, that fertile women really like hunky, dangerous men, but the rest of the time they prefer weak losers, otherwise called sensitive men. Being neither, I still can’t figure out why I had to achieve some major success before I scored. Anyway, it’s also the case that men cannot seem to concentrate on anything when they’re looking at porn, and I can really relate to this point—my ex-wife walked in on me once while looking at “Barely 18 Shiksa,” and after the third scream, I became aware of her and the end of my marriage. Once she started crying, the whole evening was totally ruined. I still love that site, though, so I think the takeaway is that there’s always a silver lining.
But I digress. You see, the important point here is that the mind is really made up of two regions. That nobody’s figured this out assures me of my ever-increasing intellectual prowess. So, to really simplify things, I’ll coin the terms ‘System 1’ and ‘System 2’. ‘System 1’ is a biologically driven region that is entirely the result of evolution. It’s purely, I don’t know, what’s a good word here…thoughtless? No, no. Idiotic? That’s not quite it. Idiot? Too long. Let’s just call it Id for short. This newly discovered and incontestably natural part of our brains is totally reducible to our animal selves. It’s not affected by society or upbringing at all, and it’s the stuff that makes women sleep with attractive drug addicts while men lose their marriages to really awesome, just plain epic porn sites.
On the other hand, ‘System 2’ is totally and completely rational, and because I’m one of the most rational people I know and have an extremely healthy sense of self, I’ll just call it the Ego. Our egos, when developed, allow us (and I use ‘us’ loosely here because, let’s face it, there aren’t too many people as developed as I am) to be more than just animals—they allow us to create rules for ourselves and follow them, even if what we really want to do is go back to that site again and see if there’s new content. Hold up a second—I need to look something up.
Ok, I’m back. You see, the problem is that our science-mad culture has us all going around thinking that we’re a bunch of biologically predetermined Id’s, which explains why everyone who took my course at Yale was so stupid. Never mind that nearly half the country believes in creationism—we’ve got a serious problem here. Nobody seems to realize that they can almost be like me—people who are so rational that their animal sides are totally controlled. People like this are awesome, and when you get to our level, you too can become one of us and have what I like to call Superegos. You see, our Superegos are able to create incredibly robust moral ecologies, unlike the common people around us who are pure idiots (and I mean that in a technical sense: see my previous definition of ‘Id’). It’s one of the reasons that I decided to put a mote around my mansion—it’s not that I think you want to hurt me. I don’t even think you people have ever thought about anything at all. I’ve been watching The Walking Dead a lot lately, and I’m convinced that it’s not a metaphor anymore—I think it’s just the way things are in this morally declining country being taken over by totally stoned single mothers and European types. So if you want to leave the surface and meet me in the depths, you’re going to have to grow up, children.
To be honest, I don’t have a lot of hope for this. The culture of the whole country’s against people like me, and I fear that we are in another era of unthinking frenzy, just like the Nazis, who were really, really bad people. But maybe you can shed those diapers, and if you are really ready to submerge yourself and understand why they call icebergs ‘icebergs’ (hint—it’s a German word, probably invented after the first round of Nazis), you can find out more here.