Revenge of the Right Brain

Daniel H. Pink, Revenge of the Right Brain: Logical and precise, left-brain thinking gave us the Information Age. Now Comes the Conceptual Age - ruled by artistry, empathy, and emotion, Wired, Issue 13.02 (2005)
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Mr. Pink posits that our economy has shifted from the Information Age, which was based largely on left-brain logic skills, to the Conceptual Age, which requires more right-brain inventive and empathic skills. He explains that “[w]e've progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we're progressing yet again - to a society of creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. He attributes this shift to Asia, automation, and abundance.

Mr. Pink explains that work which requires routine left-brain information skills such as research, computer coding, accounting, and financial analysis are now outsourced to Asia, or can be automated through computer digitization.  As such, there is an abundance of work product available that reduces the costs of such work.  He uses lawyers as an example.  “Dozens of inexpensive information and advice services are reshaping law practice. At, you can get an uncontested divorce for $249, less than a 10th of the cost of a divorce lawyer. Meanwhile, the Web is cracking the information monopoly that has long been the source of many lawyers' high incomes and professional mystique. Go to and you can download - for the price of two movie tickets - fill-in-the-blank wills, contracts, and articles of incorporation that used to reside exclusively on lawyers' hard drives. Instead of hiring a lawyer for 10 hours to craft a contract, consumers can fill out the form themselves and hire a lawyer for one hour to look it over. Consequently, legal abilities that can't be digitized - convincing a jury or understanding the subtleties of a negotiation - become more valuable.”

Mr. Pink further suggests that more and more, people are searching for deeper meaning and purpose in their lives.  We now need to enhance our “aptitudes that are "high concept" and "high touch." High concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to come up with inventions the world didn't know it was missing. High touch involves the capacity to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one's self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning.”