The Bomb in the Brain

This 6-part video series, which features youtuber and philosopher Stefan Molyneux, explores the causes of violence, and the effects of childhood trauma on brain development. It is an important and interesting subject, particularly if you are interested in psychology, the causes of violence or child development.

(If you only have time to watch one video, then watch the last one.)

Best quotes

[Video 1]

4:59 “During the first 4 years of life, 90% of a child’s brain damage develops through the experiences of that child.”

9:32 “A strong graded relationship exists between the breadths of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.”

17:37 “Child abuse and neglect by relationship to victim: other: 5.9%, unknown/missing: 3.9%, professionals: 1.1%, unmarried partner of parent: 4.1%, other relative: 6.5%, parent: 78.5%.”

[Video 3]

2:04 “The mind and emotional content of the brain are created in the first few years of life through the attachment bond between infant and mother.”

2:42 “Insecurely attached children display 9 times as much aggression as their securely attached peers.”

5:22 “The role of the amygdala is to remember a threat, generalize it to other possible threats, and carry it into the future.”

10:48 “Bessel van der Kolk, the most famous expert on dissociated mind states, concludes: “People with childhood histories of trauma, abuse and neglect make up almost the entire criminal justice population in the U.S. [with abusive childhoods causing] dissociative states.”

23:46 “From Scientific American: A difficult childhood reduces life expectancy by 20 years among adults.”

24:03 “They found that 63% of mothers had spanked their children child at least once during the previous week. Among those that spanked, they hit their children a little over 3 times per week, on average.”

24:15 “The researchers found that the children who were spanked the most as 3 to 5 year olds exhibited higher levels of anti-social when observed 2 and 4 years later.”

26:36 “A 2006 study, based on a national survey on mental health, found that physical punishment in childhood is associated with an increased rate of major depression and alcohol abuse or dependence later in life. Physical punishment was defined in the study as minor assault such as being slapped, spanked, pushed, or shoved.”

[Video 4]

8:02 “New research suggest that such different reactions—and perhaps all political beliefs—might have a basis in biology.”

12:11 “‘The experience of will’, as the researchers puts it, ‘is the way our minds portray their operations to us, not their actual operation.’ “

13:31 “Our experience of will, then, is not only an internal illusion; it is an internal illusion that is susceptible to external situational manipulation.“

16:54 “Consciously processed information can override these emotional and experience-driven biases if we devote enough time and attention to the decision.”

20:54 “The ideological brain is an injured brain; it is a damaged brain and it is rehabilitation to make it better—it is not just an argument with reason and evidence.”

27:35 “The degree to which people cannot reason or reject reason and evidence, because of anxiety and emotional self management, is the degree to which they have been traumatised.”

28:56 “Ideology is not just like a drug—it is a drug. Peoples beliefs or their ideology is a form of self-management, or of magical thinking—religious in essence—that is designed to justify their pre-existing internal states.”

30:17 “There is no way to improve rationality without improving people’s childhoods.”

31:42 “Because reason and evidence is an effect of trauma, brain damage, and the resulting justifications after the fact to explain the behaviours that come out of trauma and brain damage, reason and evidence is the wagging tail on the dog; and, attempting to change people’s minds by appealing to reason and evidence is really attempting to wag the dog. It is managing an effect—not a cause.”

32:09 “This is why the only way for the world to become more rational, more humane, more empathetic, more peaceful, more caring, more loving and happier, is to as an adult examine yourself, examine yourself, examine your own impulses, and your own thoughts.”

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