> Pearce also talks about how the people from less-developed cultures often show superior acuity, once given the opportunity to learn. But anyone can be reached. I think a key point is that we need to talk to the cerebral cortex of the person, rather than address their reptilian or lizard brain. We see too much us-against-them mentality in the News today, and this originates in the hindbrain, but that portion of the brain is less capable of making subtle distinctions, as its function is simplistic, instinctual, and automatic. But if the neocortex is actively engaged, it will spring to life more and more readily.
That reminds me of my first work experience outside university. It was at a high tech software company during the dot com bubble, when German workers (programming slaves) got rare:
My first real "technical" conversation was after one year (!) with one of our new "greencard" Indians. I didn't even need to formulate a complete sentence and immediately got a good reply - the colleague even was happy to help me out! Work started to get fun and productive when the Indians and Romanians came in.
Before there were only mustached Siemens Bavarians you couldn't ask any serious quesion: One was afraid to say something stupid, the other loved to keep his expertise secret, the other was scared of mathematicians, the next felt insulted when I told that I learned C++ from a book in 2 weeks (well, if you know categories and functors C++ is fun...), etc. Sigh.