Am I Really Ambi-Cognitive?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Megan McArdle just made me waste 30 seconds on a test that’s designed to show whether I’m left- or right-brained. The answer, supposedly, is that I use both sides equally, which strikes me as fairly unlikely. I’m also suspicious of the test. One question asks, “Put your hand on your head. Which hand did you use?” Well, I used my left hand, but that’s because my right hand was on the mouse. So does that count?

But forget the kvetching. Here’s one question that perplexed me: “Look at an object and close one eye. Which eye is still open?” I did that, and my right eye was open. But just as I clicked that answer, I realized something was wrong. I’m left eyed. When I look through a camera viewfinder, for example, I always use my left eye. Using my right eye would feel as awkward as using my left hand to write.

But, in fact, if I just close an eye to look at something in the distance, I do indeed close my left eye and use my right eye. I just tried this a few times, and it turns out there are two reasons for this. First, I have better control over my left eye muscles, so closing my left eye is a little easier than closing my right eye. Second, my right eye seems more comfortable to use, even though I’m wearing glasses that correct both eyes to 20/20.

And yet, I still use my left eye for a camera viewfinder (or a microscope or a telescope or anything similar), and I always have. That’s kind of weird. I wonder what accounts for it?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate