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Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Berns

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SIX

Brain Circuits for Social Networking

How you suffered for your sanity …

But still your love was true.

—“Vincent,” Don McLean

Girls could not resist his stare:

Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.

—“Pablo Picasso,” The Modern Lovers

HOWARD ARMSTRONG was an iconoclast because he invented things, such as FM radio, that others thought could not be done, but when he killed himself, he died an unsuccessful iconoclast. His failure was not in perception or a lack of courage to stand up for what he believed. His failure was one of social intelligence: he couldn’t sell his idea. To be clear, social intelligence is not strictly necessary to be an iconoclast, but it is necessary to be a successful one. The issue comes down to the iconoclast’s ...

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