Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, A Review

Responding to the assertion that computers lack intuition, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett once (counter-intuitively) argued that computers must have intuition. Ask a computer to calculate the square root of 54357.029. How did the computer get the answer? Lacking awareness, the computer doesn’t know. The answer wasn’t the result of deep thinking or concentration. It was intuition.Continue reading

Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To, A Review

Your brain is the most remarkable thing about you because it makes you you.  So, when Dean Burnett, Ph.D. chose to describe all that the brain does to make you amazing, he did it in a uniquely humane and entertaining way.  His popular science book Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To is well-researched, well-written, and highly recommended for anyone interested in learning about how the brain works, fails to work, and even works against you.Continue reading

Book Review: The Superhuman Mind

“It turns out that all brain have hidden superhuman abilities. We just have to use the right keys to unlock them. One such key is synesthesia.”

So, begins Dr. Berit Brogaard and Kristian Marlow’s plunge into the mysteries of human perception explored in the team’s non-fiction debut “The Superhuman Mind.”  As researchers, the two scientists encounter individuals with rather unusual talents for memory and sensory integration.  The book’s thesis is that people with extraordinary capabilities (think Vegas-toppling card counters or synesthetes who experience numbers as colors) are not born with this capacity; rather, every brain is capable of reorganizing to bypass slow thinking in favor of manipulating information to solve problems in new ways.Continue reading