I am my brain and we largely are our language
"Each of us is his own brain” or “We are our brains”
is a fascinating book, explaining how our individual brain is ticking. Of course many of the topics may seem familiar to us, but Swaab also documents strange andunknown peculiarities, which are deluding human life.Swaab's book however concentrates on the individual brain. Only a few chapters are dealing withcooperating and sharing information in a couple or a group of individuals such as the relation of amother and her unborn, respectively newborn child, the experience of first love and the linguistic(Broca) center in the brain.In fact the original Dutch title “
Wij zijn ons brein
” uses a singular for the word “
”, which in thetranslation has been altered to “
”. In Dutch the book's title therefore may be considered asconfusing, suggesting that we are applying a
common or shared
brain, which definitely has not beendescribed in Swaab's work.Unlike a modern computer the brain is encapsulated and its contents cannot completely bedownloaded or transferred to others. A transfer of information will only partially be allowed in acumbersome way. The standard method for inter-human information transfer is spoken or writtenlanguage or the signs, caresses and artworks with which we communicate without words.The more precise title for Swaab's work might be “
Each of us is his own brain
”, in which merely asmall percentage of the contents are concentrating on inter-human relations. In the end however even these inter-human relations are based on individually encapsulated brains, communicatingwith the use of very limited coding, which evidently will produce a great number of communicatingerrors and problems.
I am my brain and we (largely) are our language
Referring to the plural pronoun “we” the titleWe Are Our BrainsI suggest to describe the issuemore precisely as “I am my brain and we (largely) are our language”, in which the adverb “largely”refers to the nonverbal ways of communication between persons.In his book Swaab also refers to the emperor Frederick II's experiment in which he had dozens of newborn babies raised without any linguistic communication. The experiment had been intended toreveal God's language, but failed dramatically. None of the children learned any kind of languageand they died at an early age. For this reason good communication between people is required toraise healthy children and “Each of us is his own brain” is not sufficient for children to survive.The most important communication tool we have to transfer information between brains is languageand that aspect is to be covered by the second part “we (largely) are our language” of the title.
I am my brain and we are our communications
In order to include other communication methods we might even alter the title to “I am my brainand we are our communications”, in which communications include language and all other nonverbal means of communication.