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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

The Death of Chaos (saga of recluce Book 5)
L.E. Modesitt Jr.
The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues
Harry Harrison

A good reminder about how we think

A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves - Robert A. Burton

I love to read books about how the brain works and how scientists have figured out how the brain works.  I figure that if I can understand my own brain better, I can understand other people better and that should improve life in general.


This book calls into question a lot of the headlines that get published in the media about brain function.  How many of them are based on ill-conceived experiments?  How many of the stories suffer because neurologists aren't the best story tellers available?  They understand the scientific jargon, but have to translate it into narratives that the rest of us will understand.  Inevitably, they use the pop-psychology terminology of the moment, which may actually hinder our understanding in the long run.


We also have to address the question, "Is the brain actually capable of evaluating itself objectively?"  Can a scientist be objective about this? 


All good questions and the author is honest enough to admit that it may be a long time until we are good enough scientists to answer them.