it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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of course i've had it in the ear before

Book report #26: Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. and Sharon Begley, The Mind And The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force

Ignore the kind of self-helpy title: this is a fabulous and rather dense tome that manages to synthesize the state of the art in neuropsychology (Schwartz is one of the pioneers of cognitive therapy for the successful treatment of patients with OCD), neurobiology, quantum physics, Buddhist philosophy, and the question of free will into a sensible whole.

Basically, this manages to get consciousness, mindfullness, volition, neuroplasticity, and the observer effect into one great big web that makes a great deal of sense.

A lot of this is stuff I was chasing in Undertow, and I wish I had read this book before writing it. And also, before the last argument I had with Peter about the nature of consciousness, because I could have just handed him the damned book and he wouldn't have been interrupting me every ten seconds.

Also, one of the best layman's explanations of quantum mechanics I've ever read.

For full effect, I recommend reading this book in conjunction with some Ramachandran, Zen in the Art of Archery, and Peter Watts' Blindsight. (Peter is still wrong. Brilliant, but wrong. And this book is part of why, and Schwartz has the PET scans to prove it.)

Further to the discussion, watch some interviews with serial killer Ed Kemper and maybe some of Dr. John Nash's autobiographical writings. And then get back to me on how comfortable you are with the inside of your own head anymore....
Tags: 100 book reports, east african plains ape

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