Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better
"Tip-of-the-tongue syndrome," transactive memory and how the internet is making us smarter than we think – superb read:
From the Amazon blurb: The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.”
This looks awesome. #wishlisted
From the Amazon blurb:
"On the eve of his 40th birthday, Gary Marcus, a renowned scientist with no discernible musical talent, learns to play the guitar and investigates how anyone—of any age —can become musical. Do you have to be born musical to become musical? Do you have to start at the age of six?
Using the tools of his day job as a cognitive psychologist, Gary Marcus becomes his own guinea pig as he takes up the guitar. In a powerful and incisive look at how both children and adults become musical, Guitar Zero traces Marcus’s journey, what he learned, and how anyone else can learn, too. A groundbreaking peek into the origins of music in the human brain, this musical journey is also an empowering tale of the mind’s enduring plasticity.”
I found Eagleman’s book INCOGNITO fascinating. How much of our brain activity is really behind-the-scenes, versus how much we think we’re in control of everything. I also found it informative on the background biology of the brain. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
How the extraordinary multisensory phenomenon of synesthesia has changed our traditional view of the brain.
Another one for the summer reading pile, which is building faster than I can read them. Mark me curious.
The Amazon blurb:
What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world’s most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.
Daniel Kahneman on the “focusing illusion” • Jonah Lehrer on controlling attention • Richard Dawkins on experimentation • Aubrey De Grey on conquering our fear of the unknown • Martin Seligman on the ingredients of well-being • Nicholas Carr on managing “cognitive load” • Steven Pinker on win-win negotiating • Daniel C. Dennett on benefiting from cycles • Jaron Lanier on resisting delusion • Frank Wilczek on the brain’s hidden layers • Clay Shirky on the “80/20 rule” • Daniel Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world • V. S. Ramachandran on paradigm shifts • Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence • John McWhorter on path dependence • Lisa Randall on effective theorizing • Brian Eno on “ecological vision” • Richard Thaler on rooting out false concepts • J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life • Helen Fisher on temperament • Sam Harris on the flow of thought • Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty
I know that a million people have read this already, but I just got to it, and it’s a really terrific read. It’s got mythology, relationships between generations, love, heartbreak, music, a combination of old-fashioned story telling and real present-day dialogue, a dynamite character in the old doctor, and tigers. Several of them.
Old-school British nose-to-tail cooking, in the mold of Fergus Henderson. I’d really like to eat at her place The Breslin in NY, just for the stuffed trotter. Looks like a great book. #wishlisted
A friend and colleague mentioned this book to me a week ago, and it sounds fascinating. As teachers, we consistently encourage kids to participate. What we really want to do is to encourage them to be engaged, but the line between the two is often blurred. In fact, we sometimes equate “vocal participation” with “engagement,” when they can be quite different things.
When a child is quiet in class, is she listening, attentive, spaced-out, asleep? Is he uncomfortable, bored, shy, or just taking it all in? Those are important questions to ask. I’m very curious about this book.
The real story of Captain Robert Scott’s legendary Antarctic quest, told by the man whom the Guinness Book of World Records has proclaimed “the world’s greatest living explorer,” Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Almost exactly 100 years ago, two different groups of European explorers reached the South Pole. Roald Amundsen and his team were first, arriving in December of 1911. Robert Falcon Scott and his team got to the pole 33 days later, on January 17, 1912. Scott’s team did not make it back from the pole. They perished in a blizzard some time in late March of 1912. This book is about that expedition.
Fiennes questions some long-held assumptions about Scott’s leadership — many assumed he was incompetent, and there’s some evidence of disgruntled former expedition members swaying public opinion in that direction. The story is tragic, of course, but riveting. It’s remarkable what these men accomplished, in spite of staggering environmental conditions. A terrific read.
Found via brainpickings. I have a few friends that could use this. If I only knew about this book back in December…
"Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal’s fictional American chronicle, which includes Burr, 1876, Washington, D.C., Empire, and Hollywood. It opens early on a frozen winter morning in 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked by two bodyguards. The future president is in disguise, for there is talk of a plot to murder him. During the next four years there will be numerous plots to murder this man who has sworn to unite a disintegrating nation. Isolated in a ramshackle White House in the center of a proslavery city, Lincoln presides over a fragmenting government as Lee’s armies beat at the gates. In this profoundly moving novel, a work of epic proportions and intense human sympathy, Lincoln is observed by his loved ones and his rivals. The cast of characters is almost Dickensian: politicians, generals, White House aides, newspapermen, Northern and Southern conspirators, amiably evil bankers, and a wife slowly going mad. Vidal’s portrait of the president is at once intimate
and monumental, stark and complex, drawn with the wit, grace, and authority of one of the great historical novelists.
With a new Introduction by the author.” — Amazon
Although the current Spielberg-directed “Lincoln” is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Book “Team of Rivals,” I thoroughly enjoyed reading through Vidal’s historical novel this past summer. It’s strange to read a novel where you know for sure how it’s all going to end, especially as you get closer and closer to the back cover, and closer to April 14. I’m looking forward to seeing Daniel-Day Lewis in the new movie next fall, as photos online show it seems he’s already inhabiting the character.
This is one of my favorite cookbooks from the last year (although actually published at the end of 2010). Aki and Alex bring a unique and innovative approach to cooking, working to rethink flavor combinations and technique in order to create some terrific dishes. Their book adds to the many recipes that they share from their blog, also called “Ideas in Food.”
Dishes like root beer braised short ribs, cold-smoked fried chicken, pressure cooker “micro stocks,” and brown butter ice cream are all really accessible. I’ve mostly used the section of the book for home cooks, but you can also learn a lot from the section for professionals, even if you’re not cooking with liquid nitrogen and using a vacuum sealer to cook dishes sous vide.
Found via brainpickings: