- Generating Power from Electricity in the Air
- Young Mars Crater Contains Water Ice, Photo Shows
- Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he’s from the future
- A Quadrillion, To Scale
- Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
- New solar system looks much like home
- Can you identify what this image portrays?
- Self-cleaning technology from Mars can keep terrestrial solar panels dust free
- Mind-Controlling Parasites Date Back Millions of Years
I finished How We Decide (by Jonah Lehrer) three weeks ago, and I’ve been remiss in recommending it. The book is about how the human brain works (or doesn’t) and how to take advantage of it. The book is so good that I’m planning to get a copy when I buy my iPad. (I originally checked it out from the library.)
One of Lehrer’s conclusions is that your brain can be thought of as two computers. There’s the one that we’re aware of, that’s maybe as powerful as an old calculator. Its advantage is that it can be directed consciously, so is useful for novel situations and simple decisions (or math). The other one is usually referred to as the emotional brain. It’s like a massively parallel computer that outputs a heuristic: an output that’s good registers as a happy emotion, while an output that’s bad registers as fear or anxiety. It’s good for really complicated decisions (if you spend the time giving it input), but can be overwhelmed by novelty.
Obviously, there’s more to it than that, or Lehrer would not have been able to write a book about it. Read it.