Four Seconds

Artist: Barbara Yelin

Barbara Yelin © Barbara Yelin / LE MONDE diplomatique
Is anybody shouting? Do you hear it?
Just the wind.
And are you sure this path leads to the road?
And now? The path splits. Right or left?
How shall we decide without a map?
You too could have taken it from the glove
Let’s go right.
What? Hey, wait a minute!
What makes you so sure?
Gut feeling.
Ah. And can that be trusted?
Well, what else can we do without a map?
Weigh up possibilities? Think about it??
No use.
You have no influence on your decisions anyhow.
It all happens unconsciously.
Scientists claim to have found:
Four seconds…
… before we think we decide
… brain waves have already decided for us.
Good grief.
We have to climb up THERE again?!
And what do we need conscious thinking for?
Good question.
What we perceive as a decision…
… is just retroactive make-belief.
Do you see the street anywhere?
We should have taken the other path.
Wait and see.
So that means there is no free decision?
Illusion. Humans have always thought
themselves smarter than they are.
But then we would never learn, would we?
No improvement?
There is somebody over there!
We are right.
The street must be over there!

Barbara Yelin
Barbara Yelin was born 1977 in Munich and studied illustration at the HAW in Hamburg. In 2014 her comic Irmina was published by Reprodukt and later the books: Vor allem eins: Dir selbst sei treu. Die Schauspielerin Channa Maron with David Polonsky and the Der Sommer ihres Lebens with Thomas von Steinaecker. She works for the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Tagesspiegel. In 2016 she received the Max and Moritz Prize for Best German-Language Comic Artist. Barbara Yelin lives in Munich.