Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.
The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.
This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.
Dutton argues that there are indeed "functional psychopaths" among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more "psychopathic" people are, the more likely they are to succeed. Dutton deconstructs this often misunderstood diagnosis through bold on-the-ground reporting and original scientific research as he mingles with the criminally insane in a high-security ward, shares a drink with one of the world's most successful con artists, and undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to discover firsthand exactly how it feels to see through the eyes of a psychopath.
As Dutton develops his theory that we all possess psychopathic tendencies, he puts forward the argument that society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever: after all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, confident, charming, ruthless, and focused—qualities that are tailor-made for success in the twenty-first century. Provocative at every turn, The Wisdom of Psychopaths is a riveting adventure that reveals that it's our much-maligned dark side that often conceals the trump cards of success.
How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget—and so important to repeat new knowledge? Is it true that men and women have different brains?
In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule—what scientists know for sure about how our brains work—and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.
Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that most of us have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.
You will discover how:
Every brain is wired differently
Exercise improves cognition
We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
Memories are volatile
Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
Vision trumps all of the other senses
Stress changes the way we learn
In the end, you’ll understand how your brain really works—and how to get the most out of it.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or an elephant? Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach and rats love to be tickled. They’ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?
Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-uncharted territory: the animal mind. Morell uses her formidable gifts as a storyteller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. In this surprising and moving book, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond.
No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?
We can, says psychologist and journalist Maria Konnikova, and in Mastermind she shows us how. Beginning with the “brain attic”—Holmes’s metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge—Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights. Drawing on twenty-first-century neuroscience and psychology, Mastermind explores Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction. In doing so, it shows how each of us, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can employ these same methods to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers. For Holmes aficionados and casual readers alike, Konnikova reveals how the world’s most keen-eyed detective can serve as an unparalleled guide to upgrading the mind.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson's influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets—and it’s a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well” as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail—they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest.
Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.
All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.
In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian (who holds degrees in computer science, philosophy, and poetry, and works at the intersection of all three) and Tom Griffiths (a UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and psychology) show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.
*An NBC News Notable Science Book of 2015*
*Named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2015*
*A Book of the Month for Brain HQ/Posit Science*
*Selected by Forbes as a Must Read Brain Book of 2015*
*On Life Changes Network’s list of the Top 10 Books That Could Change Your Life of 2015*
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks, a tour of the latest neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ecstatic epilepsy, Cotard’s syndrome, out-of-body experiences, and other disorders—revealing the awesome power of the human sense of self from a master of science journalism.
Anil Ananthaswamy’s extensive in-depth interviews venture into the lives of individuals who offer perspectives that will change how you think about who you are. These individuals all lost some part of what we think of as our self, but they then offer remarkable, sometimes heart-wrenching insights into what remains. One man cut off his own leg. Another became one with the universe.
We are learning about the self at a level of detail that Descartes (“I think therefore I am”) could never have imagined. Recent research into Alzheimer’s illuminates how memory creates your narrative self by using the same part of your brain for your past as for your future. But wait, those afflicted with Cotard’s syndrome think they are already dead; in a way, they believe that “I think therefore I am not.” Who—or what—can say that? Neuroscience has identified specific regions of the brain that, when they misfire, can cause the self to move back and forth between the body and a doppelgänger, or to leave the body entirely. So where in the brain, or mind, or body, is the self actually located? As Ananthaswamy elegantly reports, neuroscientists themselves now see that the elusive sense of self is both everywhere and nowhere in the human brain.
From the Hardcover edition.
Each chapter focuses on a specific problem in machine learning, such as classification, prediction, optimization, and recommendation. Using the R programming language, you’ll learn how to analyze sample datasets and write simple machine learning algorithms. Machine Learning for Hackers is ideal for programmers from any background, including business, government, and academic research.Develop a naïve Bayesian classifier to determine if an email is spam, based only on its textUse linear regression to predict the number of page views for the top 1,000 websitesLearn optimization techniques by attempting to break a simple letter cipherCompare and contrast U.S. Senators statistically, based on their voting recordsBuild a “whom to follow” recommendation system from Twitter data
A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life?
The world's leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?
In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life--from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.
Called the “father of framing” by The New York Times, Lakoff explains how framing is about ideas—ideas that come before policy, ideas that make sense of facts, ideas that are proactive not reactive, positive not negative, ideas that need to be communicated out loud every day in public.
The ALL NEW Don’t Think of an Elephant! picks up where the original book left off—delving deeper into how framing works, how framing has evolved in the past decade, how to speak to people who harbor elements of both progressive and conservative worldviews, how to counter propaganda and slogans, and more.
In this updated and expanded edition, Lakoff, urges progressives to go beyond the typical laundry list of facts, policies, and programs and present a clear moral vision to the country—one that is traditionally American and can become a guidepost for developing compassionate, effective policy that upholds citizens’ well-being and freedom.
With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
At a chance meeting in 2005, Brower, a geneticist, posed an unusual idea to Varki that he believed could explain the origins of human uniqueness among the world's species: Why is there no humanlike elephant or humanlike dolphin, despite millions of years of evolutionary opportunity? Why is it that humans alone can understand the minds of others?
Haunted by their encounter, Varki tried years later to contact Brower only to discover that he had died unexpectedly. Inspired by an incomplete manuscript Brower left behind, DENIAL presents a radical new theory on the origins of our species. It was not, the authors argue, a biological leap that set humanity apart from other species, but a psychological one: namely, the uniquely human ability to deny reality in the face of inarguable evidence-including the willful ignorance of our own inevitable deaths.
The awareness of our own mortality could have caused anxieties that resulted in our avoiding the risks of competing to procreate-an evolutionary dead-end. Humans therefore needed to evolve a mechanism for overcoming this hurdle: the denial of reality.
As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds.
Presented in homage to Brower's original thinking, DENIAL offers a powerful warning about the dangers inherent in our remarkable ability to ignore reality-a gift that will either lead to our downfall, or continue to be our greatest asset.
This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life.
(A companion to the six-part PBS series. Color illustrations throughout.)
In A User’s Guide to the Brain, Ratey clearly and succinctly surveys what scientists now know about the brain and how we use it. He looks at the brain as a malleable organ capable of improvement and change, like any muscle, and examines the way specific motor functions might be applied to overcome neural disorders ranging from everyday shyness to autism. Drawing on examples from his practice and from everyday life, Ratey illustrates that the most important lesson we can learn about our brains is how to use them to their maximum potential.
The psychiatric establishment in the Western world has unanimously branded addiction a brain disease. And the idea that an addict has an incurable illness, as opposed to a contemptible moral weakness, has served an historically important role in changing how addiction is understood, researched, and treated throughout the world.
But as renowned developmental neuroscientist and recovered addict Marc Lewis argues in this illuminating, compelling, likely controversial book, addiction is not in fact a disease. Addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex, or cigarettes, is rather a developmental learning process resulting from the normal functioning of the human brain.
Through vividly rendered, compassionate stories of five addicts, interpreted in the light of state-of-the-art neuroscientific knowledge, Lewis shows how the compulsion to use arises in a brain that is highly efficient in pursuing singular goals. He reveals addiction as an unfortunate twist of fate for a brain doing what it's designed to do—seek pleasure and relief—in a world that's not cooperating. He shows that recovery from addiction is indeed possible,and that it is nothing like remission from a disease, because brain physiology doesn't need to change for addicts to get better.
The Biology of Desire is vital and enlightening reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction themselves, in their families, or as a medical or treatment professional. It illuminates a path to more effective treatment for addicts, and limns the essential requirements for individual recovery. Combining clearly rendered scientific explanation with insight, compassion, and even humor, Lewis boldly challenges us all to re-examine our approach to addiction, and whether the metaphors we've used to explain it have now become obstacles to healing.
We all have a rage circuit we can’t fully control once it is engaged as R. Douglas Fields, PhD, reveals in this essential book for our time. The daily headlines are filled with examples of otherwise rational people with no history of violence or mental illness suddenly snapping in a domestic dispute, an altercation with police, or road rage attack. We all wish to believe that we are in control of our actions, but the fact is, in certain circumstances we are not. The sad truth is that the right trigger in the right circumstance can unleash a fit of rage in almost anyone.
But there is a twist: Essentially the same pathway in the brain that can result in a violent outburst can also enable us to act heroically and altruistically before our conscious brain knows what we are doing. Think of the stranger who dives into a frigid winter lake to save a drowning child.
Dr. Fields is an internationally recognized neurobiologist and authority on the brain and the cellular mechanisms of memory. He has spent years trying to understand the biological basis of rage and anomalous violence, and he has concluded that our culture’s understanding of the problem is based on an erroneous assumption: that rage attacks are the product of morally or mentally defective individuals, rather than a capacity that we all possess.
Fields shows that violent behavior is the result of the clash between our evolutionary hardwiring and triggers in our contemporary world. Our personal space is more crowded than ever, we get less sleep, and we just aren't as fit as our ancestors. We need to understand how the hardwiring works and how to recognize the nine triggers. With a totally new perspective, engaging narrative, and practical advice, Why We Snap uncovers the biological roots of the rage response and how we can protect ourselves—and others.
From the Hardcover edition.
It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite.
The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don’t work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think).
In Story Genius Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Unequivocally: yes. In The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins, cetacean biologists Hal Whitehead, who has spent much of his life on the ocean trying to understand whales, and Luke Rendell, whose research focuses on the evolution of social learning, open an astounding porthole onto the fascinating culture beneath the waves. As Whitehead and Rendell show, cetacean culture and its transmission are shaped by a blend of adaptations, innate sociality, and the unique environment in which whales and dolphins live: a watery world in which a hundred-and-fifty-ton blue whale can move with utter grace, and where the vertical expanse is as vital, and almost as vast, as the horizontal.
Drawing on their own research as well as a scientific literature as immense as the sea—including evolutionary biology, animal behavior, ecology, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience—Whitehead and Rendell dive into realms both humbling and enlightening as they seek to define what cetacean culture is, why it exists, and what it means for the future of whales and dolphins. And, ultimately, what it means for our future, as well.
Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org—”The world’s smartest website” (The Guardian)—challenges some of the world’s greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating. In :Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a “Theory of Everything” Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth and much more.
Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, This Idea Must Die will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today . . . and tomorrow.
An unprecedented look at the quest to unravel the mysteries of the human brain, The Future of the Brain takes readers to the absolute frontiers of science. Original essays by leading researchers such as Christof Koch, George Church, Olaf Sporns, and May-Britt and Edvard Moser describe the spectacular technological advances that will enable us to map the more than eighty-five billion neurons in the brain, as well as the challenges that lie ahead in understanding the anticipated deluge of data and the prospects for building working simulations of the human brain. A must-read for anyone trying to understand ambitious new research programs such as the Obama administration's BRAIN Initiative and the European Union's Human Brain Project, The Future of the Brain sheds light on the breathtaking implications of brain science for medicine, psychiatry, and even human consciousness itself.
Contributors include: Misha Ahrens, Ned Block, Matteo Carandini, George Church, John Donoghue, Chris Eliasmith, Simon Fisher, Mike Hawrylycz, Sean Hill, Christof Koch, Leah Krubitzer, Michel Maharbiz, Kevin Mitchell, Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser, David Poeppel, Krishna Shenoy, Olaf Sporns, Anthony Zador.
See Additional Notes for instructions to download the highly interactive PC software. Used in thousands of schools and colleges worldwide the software is designed to work as an interactive textbook on your PC screen.
Comprising hundreds of menu selected colourful topics where the graphic images (from your eBook) are brought to life for every value change along with many additional learning software features.
A combined eBook and educational software package at a tiny fraction of the previously published price.
Chapters (958 topics): - Introduction, Electronics, Basic Electronics, DC Current Flow, Resistor Value Test, Simple DC Circuits, Types of Switching, Variable Voltages, Ohm's Law, DC Voltage, DC Current, Series/Parallel Resistors, AC Measurements, AC Voltage and Current, AC Theory, RCL Series Circuits, RCL Parallel Circuits, Capacitance, Capacitors, Inductance, Inductors, Impedance, Radio and Communication, Tuned Circuits, Attenuators, Passive Filters, Active Filters, Oscillators, Circuit Theorems, Complex Numbers, DC Power, AC Power, Silicon Controlled Rectifier, Power Supplies, Voltage Regulation, Magnetism, Electric Machines, Transformers, Three Phase Systems, Energy Transfer and Cost, Atomic Structures, Diode Theory, Diode Applications, Transistor Theory, Bipolar Transistor, Transistor Configurations, Active Transistor Circuits, Field Effect Transistors, Basic Operational Amplifier, Op-Amp Theory, Op-Amp Applications, Sum and Difference Amp, Analogue Multi-meter, Measurement, Component Testing, PIC Micro, PICa(R) Microcontroller, PICa(R) Architecture, PICa(R) Analogue to Digital, PICa(R) Byte Orientated Instructions, PICa(R) Bit Orientated Instructions, PICa(R) Literal and Control Instructions, Mechanics, Area, Surface Area and Symmetry, Volume, Compound Measures, Geometry, Motion, Machines, Optics, Computing, Hardware Devices, Data Structures, Data Files, Computer Systems, Data Handling, System Development, Computer Programming, Data Analysis, Binary Numbers, Binary Arithmetic, Digital, Logic Gates 1., Logic Gates 2., Logic Families, Flip Flops, Combinational Logic, Counters, Counting, Shift Registers, 555 Timer, Logic Interfacing, Boolean and DeMorgan's, Microprocessor, Micro-Computer, Data/Address Bus, Memory Addressing, Arithmetic and Logic Unit, Clock and Reset, Instructions and Control, Memory Cells, Microprocessor Memory, Addressing Modes, Instructions Set 1., Instructions Set 2., Instructions Set 3., Mathematics, Number Systems, Number Conversion, Number Types, Compound Measures, Roots, Angles and Parallels, Triangle Ratios, Triangle Angles, Percentages, Ratios, Fractions, Vectors, Circle Angles, Laws, Algebra 0., Algebra 1., Algebra 2., Mathematical Rules, Powers and Indices, Simplifying, Equations, Graphing, Slope and Translation, Curves and Angle Conversion, Personal Finance, Additional Notes.
In this revealing romp through the mysteries of human perception, University of California psychologist Lawrence D. Rosenblum explores the astonishing abilities of the five senses—skills of which most of us are unaware. Drawing on groundbreaking insights into the brain's plasticity and integrative powers, Rosenblum examines how our brains use the subtlest information to perceive the world. A blind person, for example, can "see" through bat-like echolocation, wine connoisseurs can actually taste the vintage of an obscure wine, and pheromones can signal a lover's compatibility. Bringing us into the world of a blind detective, a sound engineer, a former supermodel, and other unforgettable characters, Rosenblum not only illuminates the science behind our sensory abilities but also demonstrates how awareness of these abilities can enhance their power.
'Truly fascinating.' Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2
- Have you ever forgotten the name of someone you’ve met dozens of times?
- Or discovered that your memory of an important event was completely different from everyone else’s?
- Or vividly recalled being in a particular place at a particular time, only to discover later that you couldn’t possibly have been?
We rely on our memories every day of our lives. They make us who we are. And yet the truth is, they are far from being the accurate record of the past we like to think they are. In The Memory Illusion, forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr Julia Shaw draws on the latest research to show why our memories so often play tricks on us – and how, if we understand their fallibility, we can actually improve their accuracy. The result is an exploration of our minds that both fascinating and unnerving, and that will make you question how much you can ever truly know about yourself. Think you have a good memory? Think again.
‘A spryly paced, fun, sometimes frightening exploration of how we remember – and why everyone remembers things that never truly happened.’ Pacific Standard
Ethical naturalism is not just a revamped form of relativism. Indeed, Johnson attempts to overcome the absolutist-versus-relativist impasse that has been one of the most intractable problems in the history of philosophy. He does so through a careful and inclusive look at the many ways we reason about right and wrong. Much of our moral thought, he shows, is automatic and intuitive, gut feelings that we follow up and attempt to justify with rational analysis and argument. However, good moral deliberation is not limited merely to intuitive judgments supported after the fact by reasoning. Johnson points out a crucial third element: we imagine how our decisions will play out, how we or the world would change with each action we might take. Plumbing this imaginative dimension of moral reasoning, he provides a psychologically sophisticated view of moral problem solving, one perfectly suited for the embodied, culturally embedded, and ever-developing human creatures that we are.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
It's happened to all of us at some point. You walk into the kitchen, or flip open your laptop, or stride confidently up to a lectern, filled with purpose—and suddenly haven't the foggiest idea what you’re doing. Welcome to your idiot brain.
Yes, it is an absolute marvel in some respects—the seat of our consciousness, the pinnacle (so far) of evolutionary progress, and the engine of all human experience—but your brain is also messy, fallible, and about 50,000 years out-of-date. We cling to superstitions, remember faces but not names, miss things sitting right in front of us, and lie awake at night while our brains replay our greatest fears on an endless loop.
Yet all of this, believe it or not, is the sign of a well-meaning brain doing its best to keep you alive and healthy. In Idiot Brain, neuroscientist Dean Burnett celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia, and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us, while also exposing the many mistakes we've made in our quest to understand how our brains actually work. Expertly researched and entertainingly written, this book is for everyone who has wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life, and what on earth it is really up to.
Or did we? Portions of the human brain are also devoted to reading. Children learn to read at a very young age and can seamlessly absorb information even more quickly through reading than through hearing. We know that we didn’t evolve to read because reading is only a few thousand years old.
In "Harnessed," cognitive scientist Mark Changizi demonstrates that human speech has been very specifically “designed” to harness the sounds of nature, sounds we’ve evolved over millions of years to readily understand. Long before humans evolved, mammals have learned to interpret the sounds of nature to understand both threats and opportunities. Our speech—regardless of language—is very clearly based on the sounds of nature.
Even more fascinating, Changizi shows that music itself is based on natural sounds. Music—seemingly one of the most human of inventions—is literally built on sounds and patterns of sound that have existed since the beginning of time.
Smart Change explores the psychological mechanisms that form and maintain habits in individuals and groups and offers real, accessible and actionable advice for changing habits. In an engaging narrative, Markman covers a wide range of habits, from individual behaviors like eating better and exercising regularly to work-related behaviors such as learning effectively and influencing customers’ purchases. He proposes that there are five effective tools to help individuals change behavior and to help people influence the habits of the people around them:
1. Tame the “Go” system: Identify the triggers of habits, replace old behaviors with new ones and generate specific plans to deal with obstacles.
2. Harness the “Stop” system: Learn to deal with stress and other factors that hinder the development of new and positive habits.
3. Optimize your goals. Determine the course of behavior change and how to successfully incorporate those changes for the long term.
4. Manage your environment: Change your surroundings to dramatically reduce poor behavior and habits.
5. Engage your Neighbors: To affect other people’s behavior, understand the shared culture that creates a mutual dependency, and allows neighbors and colleagues to have a profound positive influence on the behavior of other members of their community.
The pervasiveness and range of capabilities of today’s mobile devices have enabled a wide spectrum of mobile applications that are transforming our daily lives, from smartphones equipped with GPS to integrated mobile sensors that acquire physiological data. Human Activity Recognition: Using Wearable Sensors and Smartphones focuses on the automatic identification of human activities from pervasive wearable sensors—a crucial component for health monitoring and also applicable to other areas, such as entertainment and tactical operations.
Developed from the authors’ nearly four years of rigorous research in the field, the book covers the theory, fundamentals, and applications of human activity recognition (HAR). The authors examine how machine learning and pattern recognition tools help determine a user’s activity during a certain period of time. They propose two systems for performing HAR: Centinela, an offline server-oriented HAR system, and Vigilante, a completely mobile real-time activity recognition system. The book also provides a practical guide to the development of activity recognition applications in the Android framework.
Or have you ever pondered what might make Mr. Right leave his beloved at the altar, why hypocrisy seems to be rampant, or even why, every once in awhile, even you are secretly tempted, to lie, cheat, or steal (or, conversely, help someone you never even met)?
This book answers these questions and more, and in doing so, turns the prevailing wisdom about who we are upside down. Our character, argue psychologists DeSteno and Valdesolo, isn’t a stable set of traits, but rather a shifting state that is subject to the constant push and pull of hidden mechanisms in our mind. And it's the battle between these dueling psychological forces that determine how we act at any given point in time.
Drawing on the surprising results of the clever experiments concocted in their own laboratory, DeSteno and Valdesolo shed new scientific light on so many of the puzzling behaviors that regularly grace the headlines. For example, you’ll learn:
• Why Tiger Woods just couldn’t resist the allure of his mistresses even though he had a picture-perfect family at home. And why no one, including those who knew him best, ever saw it coming.
• Why even the shrewdest of investors can be tempted to gamble their fortunes away (and why risky financial behavior is driven by the same mechanisms that compel us to root for the underdog in sports).
• Why Eliot Spitzer, who made a career of crusading against prostitution, turned out to be one of the most famous johns of all time.
• Why Mel Gibson, a noted philanthropist and devout Catholic, has been repeatedly caught spewing racist rants, even though close friends say he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.
• And why any of us is capable of doing the same, whether we believe it or not!
A surprising look at the hidden forces driving the saint and sinner lurking in us all, Out of Character reveals why human behavior is so much more unpredictable than we ever realized.
From the Hardcover edition.
In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" something comes from sources beyond our control and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this "feeling of knowing" seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.
Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain, will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - A 30-minute Summary
Inside this Instaread Summary:
• Overview of the entire book
• Introduction to the important people in the book
• Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book
• Key Takeaways of the book
• A Reader's Perspective
Preview of this summary: Introduction
In this book Daniel Kahneman hopes to identify and understand errors of judgment and choice. He wants to provide a richer and more accurate vocabulary to discuss these errors. He worked with his colleague, Amos Tversky, doing research on intuitive statistics. The two of them had already concluded in an earlier seminar that their own intuitions were lacking. Their subjective judgments were biased, they were too willing to believe research findings based on inadequate evidence, and they collected too few observations in their own research. The goal of their study was to find out whether other researchers had this problem as well.
Kahneman and Tversky found that participants in their studies ignored the relevant statistical facts and relied exclusively on resemblance. They used resemblance as a heuristic (rule of thumb) to simplify things when making a difficult judgment. Relying on this heuristic caused predictable biases (systematic errors) in their predictions. The research partners learned that people tend to determine the importance of issues by how easy they are retrieved from their memory. This is brought about in large part by the extent of coverage of the issues in the media.
Kahneman presents a view of how the mind works, drawing on recent developments in cognitive and social psychology. He explains the differences between fast (intuitive) thinking and slow (deliberate) thinking. People have a limitation in their minds: an excessive confidence in what they think they know...
Lakoff reveals radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. Moral worldviews, like most deep ways of understanding the world, are unconscious—part of our “hard-wired” brain circuitry. When confronted with facts that don’t fit our moral worldview, our brains work automatically and unconsciously to ignore or reject these facts, and it takes extraordinary openness and awareness of this phenomenon to pay critical attention to the vast number of facts we are presented with each day. For this new edition, Lakoff has added a new preface and afterword, extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the Affordable Care Act to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent financial crisis, and the effects of global warming. One might have hoped such massive changes would bring people together, but the reverse has actually happened; the divide between liberals and conservatives has become stronger and more virulent.
To have any hope of bringing mutual respect to the current social and political divide, we need to clearly understand the problem and make it part of our contemporary public discourse. Moral Politics offers a much-needed wake-up call to both the left and the right.
As the data deluge continues in today’s world, the need to master data mining, predictive analytics, and business analytics has never been greater. These techniques and tools provide unprecedented insights into data, enabling better decision making and forecasting, and ultimately the solution of increasingly complex problems.
Learn from the Creators of the RapidMiner Software
Written by leaders in the data mining community, including the developers of the RapidMiner software, RapidMiner: Data Mining Use Cases and Business Analytics Applications provides an in-depth introduction to the application of data mining and business analytics techniques and tools in scientific research, medicine, industry, commerce, and diverse other sectors. It presents the most powerful and flexible open source software solutions: RapidMiner and RapidAnalytics. The software and their extensions can be freely downloaded at www.RapidMiner.com.
Understand Each Stage of the Data Mining Process
The book and software tools cover all relevant steps of the data mining process, from data loading, transformation, integration, aggregation, and visualization to automated feature selection, automated parameter and process optimization, and integration with other tools, such as R packages or your IT infrastructure via web services. The book and software also extensively discuss the analysis of unstructured data, including text and image mining.
Easily Implement Analytics Approaches Using RapidMiner and RapidAnalytics
Each chapter describes an application, how to approach it with data mining methods, and how to implement it with RapidMiner and RapidAnalytics. These application-oriented chapters give you not only the necessary analytics to solve problems and tasks, but also reproducible, step-by-step descriptions of using RapidMiner and RapidAnalytics. The case studies serve as blueprints for your own data mining applications, enabling you to effectively solve similar problems.
Language is unique to humans, but it isn't the only thing that sets us apart from other species—our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units—words—automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft.
Written in Bickerton's lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first that thoroughly integrates the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.
Dr. Sam Parnia, Director of the AWARE Study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) and one of the world’s leading experts on the scientific study of death and near-death experiences (NDE), presents cutting-edge research from the front lines of critical care and resuscitation medicine while also shedding light on the ultimate mystery: What happens to human consciousness during and after death? Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of “afterlife” may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.
With physicians such as Dr. Parnia at the forefront, we are on the verge of discovering a new universal science of consciousness that reveals the nature of mind and a future where death is not the final defeat, but is, in fact, reversible.
This book is intended for readers who are familiar with the Arduino platform and want to learn more about creating wearable projects. No previous experience in wearables is expected, although a basic knowledge of Arduino programming will help.What You Will LearnDevelop a basic understanding of wearable computingLearn about Arduino and its compatible prototyping platforms suitable for creating wearablesUnderstand the design process surrounding the creation of wearable objectsGain insight into the materials suitable for developing wearable projectsDesign and create projects including interactive bike gloves, GPRS locator watch, and more using various kinds of electronic componentsDiscover programming for interactivityLearn how to connect and interface wearables' with Bluetooth and WiFiGet your hands dirty with your own personalized designsIn Detail
The demand for smart wearable technologies is becoming more popular day by day. The Arduino platform was developed keeping wearables, such as watches that track your location or shoes that count the miles you've run, in mind. It is basically an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board and a development environment in which you create the software for the board. If you're interested in designing and creating your own wearables, this is an excellent platform for you.
This book provides you with the skills and understanding to create your own wearable projects. The book covers different prototyping boards which are compatible with the Arduino platform and are suitable for creating wearable projects. Each chapter of the book covers a project in which knowledge and skills are introduced gradually, making the book suitable for all kinds of readers.
You begin your journey with understanding electronic components, including LEDs and sensors, to get yourself up to scratch and comfortable with different components. You will then gain hands-on experience by creating your very first wearable project, a pair of interactive bike gloves that help you cycle at night. This is followed by a project making your own funky LED glasses and a cool GPS watch. You'll also delve into other projects including creating your own keyless doorlock, wearable NFC tags, a fitness-tracking device, and a WiFi-enabled spark board. The final project is a compilation of the previous concepts used where you make your own smart watch with fitness tracking, internet-based notifications, GPS, and of course time telling.Style and approach
This is a project-based book that introduces each project to the reader step-by-step. Each project starts out by covering all the components individually, and then explains how to combine them into interactive objects. Each project contains an easy-to-follow guide to design and implement the electronics into wearable objects.
What should we be worried about? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the planet's most influential minds. He asked them to disclose something that, for scientific reasons, worries them—particularly scenarios that aren't on the popular radar yet. Encompassing neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, and more—here are 150 ideas that will revolutionize your understanding of the world.
Steven Pinker uncovers the real risk factors for war ● Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi peers into the coming virtual abyss ● Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek laments our squandered opportunities to prevent global catastrophe ● Seth Lloyd calculates the threat of a financial black hole ● Alison Gopnik on the loss of childhood ● Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why firefighters understand risk far better than economic "experts" ● Matt Ridley on the alarming re-emergence of superstition ● Daniel C. Dennett and george dyson ponder the impact of a major breakdown of the Internet ● Jennifer Jacquet fears human-induced damage to the planet due to "the Anthropocebo Effect" ● Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul ● Nicholas Carr on the "patience deficit" ● Tim O'Reilly foresees a coming new Dark Age ● Scott Atran on the homogenization of human experience ● Sherry Turkle explores what's lost when kids are constantly connected ● Kevin Kelly outlines the looming "underpopulation bomb" ● Helen Fisher on the fate of men ● Lawrence Krauss dreads what we don't know about the universe ● Susan Blackmore on the loss of manual skills ● Kate Jeffery on the death of death ● plus J. Craig Venter, Daniel Goleman, Virginia Heffernan, Sam Harris, Brian Eno, Martin Rees, and more
Edited by leading relational frame theory (RFT) scholars, Simon Dymond, PhD, and Bryan Roche, PhD, Advances in Relational Frame Theory presents advances in all aspects of RFT research over the last decade, and provides a greater understanding of the core principals of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The book also contains chapters written by Steven C. Hayes and Kelly Wilson, both research-active experts from the RFT community around the world.
Because ACT is focused largely on accepting one’s thoughts, it is important to understand where these thoughts come from. And while many books on RFT are abstract and require extensive knowledge of behavior analysis, this is the first book to comprehensively but accessibly introduce RFT to ACT mental health professionals.
Gaining a deeper knowledge of the relational concepts of RFT can help you understand why a person's behavior does not always match up with their self-professed values. Whether you are a mental health professional, or simply someone who is interested in the connection between language and experience, this book is an invaluable resource.
Christiansen and Chater argue that mainstream generative approaches to language do not provide compelling accounts of language evolution, acquisition, and processing. Their own account draws on important developments from across the language sciences, including statistical natural language processing, learnability theory, computational modeling, and psycholinguistic experiments with children and adults. Christiansen and Chater also consider some of the major implications of their theoretical approach for our understanding of how language works, offering alternative accounts of specific aspects of language, including the structure of the vocabulary, the importance of experience in language processing, and the nature of recursive linguistic structure.
More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to, or recovering from, addiction, whether it be alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and in equally outdated treatment.
Challenging both the idea of the addict's "broken brain" and the notion of a simple "addictive personality," The New York Times Bestseller, Unbroken Brain, offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addictions are learning disorders and shows how seeing the condition this way can untangle our current debates over treatment, prevention and policy. Like autistic traits, addictive behaviors fall on a spectrum -- and they can be a normal response to an extreme situation. By illustrating what addiction is, and is not, the book illustrates how timing, history, family, peers, culture and chemicals come together to create both illness and recovery- and why there is no "addictive personality" or single treatment that works for all.
Combining Maia Szalavitz's personal story with a distillation of more than 25 years of science and research,Unbroken Brain provides a paradigm-shifting approach to thinking about addiction.
Her writings on radical addiction therapies have been featured in The Washington Post, Vice Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, in addition to multiple other publications. She has been interviewed about her book on many radio shows including Fresh Air with Terry Gross and The Brian Lehrer show.
Ideal for enthusiasts, from students in robotics clubs to professional robotics scientists and engineers, each recipe describes a complete solution using ROS open source libraries and tools. You’ll learn how to complete tasks described in the recipes, as well as how to configure and recombine components for other tasks. If you’re familiar with Python, you’re ready to go.Learn fundamentals, including key ROS concepts, tools, and patternsProgram robots that perform an increasingly complex set of behaviors, using the powerful packages in ROSSee how to easily add perception and navigation abilities to your robotsIntegrate your own sensors, actuators, software libraries, and even a whole robot into the ROS ecosystemLearn tips and tricks for using ROS tools and community resources, debugging robot behavior, and using C++ in ROS
This book covers practical approach on software tools for ethical hacking. Some of the software tools covered are SQL Injection, Password Cracking, port scanning, packet sniffing and etc. Performing ethical hacking requires certain steps and procedures to be followed properly. A good ethical hacker will find information, identify weakness and finally perform some attacks on the target machine. Then the most crucial part would be to produce a good security audit report for the clients to understand their computer network conditions.
This book also explains and demonstrates step by step most of the software security tools for any beginners in the computer security field. Some of the software tools have been selected and utilized in computer security trainings and workshops.
The concept of a mind code comes from deciphering and understanding the key to the natural language code. Thus we have the key for understanding the how and why of human thought. We hold the key that can enhance our harmonious interaction with nature and the practical application of cooperative behavior across humanity.
Some uncomfortable ideas entertained in this book:
- Political correctness can be harmful
- Identity politics is a dangerous game
- Morality is functionally democratic
- Victims often do share some of the responsibility
- God is a far more horrifying character than Satan
- There is no such thing as freewill
- Americans are manipulated into being pro-war
- Non-whites can be racist, and women can be sexist
- Some people do "choose to be gay"
- Sometimes the bad guys win
- Obese people are not perfect the way they are
- It's okay to find inappropriate jokes funny
Facts don't care about feelings. Science isn't concerned about sensibilities. And reality couldn't care less about rage.
Uncomfortable ideas. Prepare for a bumpy ride.
In Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life, social psychologist Douglas Kenrick exposes the selfish animalistic underside of human nature, and shows how it is intimately connected to our greatest and most selfless achievements. Masterfully integrating cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and complexity theory, this intriguing book paints a comprehensive picture of the principles that govern our lives. As Kenrick divulges, beneath our civilized veneer, human beings are a lot like howling hyenas and barking baboons, with heads full of homicidal tendencies and sexual fantasies. But, in his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviors—such as inclinations to one-night stands, racial prejudices, and conspicuous consumption—ultimately manifest what he calls “Deep Rationality.”
Although our heads are full of simple selfish biases that evolved to help our ancestors survive, modern human beings are anything but simple and selfish cavemen. Kenrick argues that simple and selfish mental mechanisms we inherited from our ancestors ultimately give rise to the multifaceted social lives that we humans lead today, and to the most positive features of humanity, including generosity, artistic creativity, love, and familial bonds. And out of those simple mechanisms emerge all the complexities of society, including international conflicts and global economic markets. By exploring the nuance of social psychology and the surprising results of his own research, Kenrick offers a detailed picture of what makes us caring, creative, and complex—that is, fully human.
Illuminated with stories from Kenrick’s own colorful experiences -- from his criminally inclined shantytown Irish relatives, his own multiple high school expulsions, broken marriages, and homicidal fantasies, to his eventual success as an evolutionary psychologist and loving father of two boys separated by 26 years -- this book is an exploration of our mental biases and failures, and our mind’s great successes. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life uncovers the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.
Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action.
Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work -- to uncover the roots of consciousness.