Members: Josh Holloway & Intelligence Teach Us About Choices

Gabriel-Vaughn-and-Riley-Neal-of-Intelligence-Making Choices

We have a core group of about 8 TV series that we follow regularly. Three of those shows, Person of Interest , Almost Human  and Intelligence , each raise some very challenging moral questions focused around technology and it’s double-edged role as a both good and evil. The newspaper is full of stories that present moral dilemmas—the NSA  and the constitutionality of electronic surveillance, Social Media and privacy concerns, the War in Afghanistan and the use of attack drones, to name a few. So it should come as no surprise that we find the topics of these shows intriguing.

Our Need to Belong

The character of Gabriel Vaughn is unique. Due to some type of physical anomaly, doctors were able to implant a super-computer microchip in his brain. Some of the drama of the series revolves around the question of whether he’s human or robot. In the most recent series he is worried about being programmed and controlled by others. His mom’s answer is quite telling, “It seems to me there are lots of humans walking around controlled by others. It all comes down to the choices you make.”

We all have this innate need to belong—in a family, in a group, in relationship with others. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lists social needs—belongingness, affection and love—from group, family, friends, romantic, as third in his list of a five-stage model. We join groups
because we share a common set of values and beliefs. When we share the same values and beliefs in a group, trust is built.

For Gabriel, his social needs are centered around CyberCom, a group created to protect him and assist him with his mission to catch the bad guys. Lillian Strand is his boss and his benefactor, Dr Shenendoah Cassidy is the doctor who implanted the chip and he and his son, Nelson Cassidy, maintain Gabriel’s physical, mental and technical health. In the very latest episode, we even met Gabriel mother, a former combat medic, who saves his life. However, his strongest connection is with Agent Riley Neal, who has been assigned as his protector. She continually challenges him to embrace his new identity as well as keep the balance between the facts and his feelings.

Strong Relationships Are Built on Trust

If you think about it, trust is the foundation for the improvement of our lives, our families, our companies and our society. We count on the leaders
of our community, and the organizations we belong to, to look out for our best interests. And the way we identify leaders we trust is by looking for groups who share our values, our goals and our vision for something better.

Important note: Trust doesn’t reside in our brains, it lives in our heart. Trust is a feeling.

Your organization should not just be enrolling peeps who need what you have. Your goal should be building your membership with people who believe what you believe. Loyalty, trust and a sense of value exist in the heart of the MEMBER, not the organization!

Members/Clients/Employees Make Decisions With Their Hearts

In a recent episode, hackers are able to invade Gabriel’s chip and erase memories of the past, including memories of his relationships with his immediate circle. The hackers are trying to convince Gabriel that CyberCom is the enemy and his mission is to destroy the very group that was set up to protect him.

The breakthrough comes in a scene where Riley and Gabriel confront each other and he trains his gun on her, to shoot her. Riley begins to challenge Gabriel to look past what he ‘knows’:

Riley: “You have to ignore the data, Gabriel.”

Gabriel: “And how do I do that?”

Riley: “Feel. You know me Gabriel. Tell me what you feel, not what you think. You may not have memory, but you have sense memory.”

Gabriel: “What’s the difference?”

Riley: “It’s the recall of an emotion.”

Gabriel: “I can’t remember any emotions.”

Riley: “Nobody can remember emotions. You feel them. Just like you felt it was wrong to put a chip in those kids. You didn’t remember, you already knew. Not because of a chip but because that…is the kind of man you are. Listen to your inner voice. It’s talking to you right now.”

Gabriel: “And how do you know that?”

Riley: “I just know.”

And at that point Gabriel lowers his gun and gives Riley back hers. Trust restored.

Did you know that most of our decisions are made at this gut level Riley was talking about? Our brain can be divided into two distinct regions, when it comes to decision-making—the neo cortex and the limbic brain. The neo cortex is our region for rational, factual thinking. It’s where we organize information according to WHATs. However, it’s in the limbic region of our brain that we house our feelings and emotions, like trust and loyalty. Despite the fact that our limbic brain has no capacity for language, it is WHERE WE MAKE OUR DECISIONS, WHERE MAKE CHOICES ABOUT WHO AND WHAT TO TRUST.

Dr Cassidy sums it up nicely at the end of the episode:

“You proved something last night that philosophers have wondered about across time immemorial. The mind is a collection of perceptions, calculation, memories, instinct. But ultimately the most important decisions—they aren’t made in our minds, are they? No siree. Where we find our most profound intelligence is, after all, in the heart.”

Well said 🙂