> Yes, his Phantoms in the Brain is an interesting read. Very breezy style
too. Actually, I'm typing from his lab right now. I work here. He's currently
interested in synesthesia and the relationship between thought and language.
Lucky you! What do I have to do to get a job there?
Since I'm unemployed...
guess I'll just sit here in the lingering warmth of Autumn's glowing
and think about:
Phantoms in the Brain : Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
What would you say about a woman who, despite stroke-induced paralysis
crippling the entire left side of her body, insists that she is whole and
strong--who even sees her left hand reach out to grasp objects? Freud called
it "denial"; neurologists call it "anosognosia." However it may be labeled,
this phenomenon and others like it allow us peeks into other mental worlds and
afford us considerable insight into our own.
The writings of Oliver Sacks and others have shown us that we can learn much
about ourselves by looking closely at the deficits shown by people with
neurological problems. V.S. Ramachandran has seen countless patients suffering
from anosognosia, phantom limb pain, blindsight, and other disorders, and he
brings a remarkable mixture of clinical intuition and research savvy to bear
on their problems. He is one of the few scientists who are able and willing to
explore the personal, subjective ramifications of his work; he rehumanizes an
often too-sterile field and captures the spirit of wonder so essential for
true discovery. Phantoms in the Brain is equal parts medical mystery,
scientific adventure, and philosophical speculation; Ramachandran's writing is
smart, caring, and very, very funny.
Whether you're curious about the workings of the brain, interested in
alternatives to expensive, high-tech science (much of Ramachandran's research
is done with materials found around the home), or simply want a fresh
perspective on the nature of human consciousness, you'll find satisfaction
with Phantoms in the Brain. --Rob Lightner
--- --- --- --- ---
Useless hypotheses, etc.:
consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment
We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.
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