It may surprise you -- or maybe not, depending how long you stand in front of your closet deciding what you're going to wear that day -- that you have two people inside of you. One is logical, mathematical, focused. The other is poetic, attentive, intuitive. These are personalities represented by the left hemisphere of your brain and the right hemisphere, respectively. While they were once believed to work in harmony with one another, dividing up tasks like language (left) and music (right), instead neuroimaging has allowed us to see that one hemisphere can dominate and essentially shut out the other. And in our contemporary Western culture, that hemisphere is predominantly the left.
Iain McGilchrist is a worried about this left hemisphere preference, and he sees the effects in our society's materialism, our disregard for the environment, our art world's tendency towards the shocking and the abstract, our predatory capitalist system, and the rise of super rationality in religion (the new atheist movement), science, and discourse. Not that he's arguing against logic or competition or abstraction -- but without the balance of the contributions of the right hemisphere, with its appreciation for nature and beauty, for its sense of community and empathy, and its wide-angle view, the effects can be disastrous. Now, that might sound like hippy dippy bullshit to you, but that's probably just your left brain talking.
In The Master and His Emissary, McGilchrist uses the Nietzsche parable of the same name to illustrate his position. The Master, a wise man who is beloved by his subjects and rules with wisdom and caring, uses an emissary to conduct his business. The emissary begins to believe he is doing all of the important work, and usurps the throne. Only he is so concerned with material goods and ruling with an iron fist, things deteriorate. McGilchrist believes that we are seeing an unprecedented overthrowing of the Master (right brain) by the Emissary (left), and in his book he examines why this matters, how it influences philosophy, art, mental illness, and business, and how this balance of power has changed and shifted through the ages. http://www.bookslut.com/features/2010_02_015677.php