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Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Tiffany Shlain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

While many wonder what the pervasive use of technology is doing to our overloaded mental circuits, 'Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks' ponders that question in another way: can cutting-edge neurological research teach us anything about how we shape the electronic global “brain” of the Internet? Can we share lessons between neurons and networks in the way we nurture and develop both? This ebook was created in conjunction with a 10-minute film by author Tiffany Shlain, also titled 'Brain Power,' which uses an innovative, participatory filmmaking process called Cloud Filmmaking. The TED Book expands on the ideas in the film by sharing deeper research, videos, graphics, and links that explore the increasingly intertwined worlds of advanced neuroscience research and technology. This release marks the first time a film and TED Book have been released together.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1144 KB
  • Print Length: 51 pages
  • Publisher: TED Conferences (November 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A30S24S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Pay attention to what we're paying attention to" November 10, 2012
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"Brain Power" is the first TED book that I've read, and it was a marvelous experience. The book examines the parallels between the human brain and the Internet, focusing on how each develops. Ultimately, the author proposes ways to best nurture a child's developing brain during the formative first five years.

"Brain Power" is not a technical book loaded with complicated neurological terms that only a PhD could understand. (Okay, there is one really big word, "magnetoencephalography.") The book is obviously written for laymen like myself. To make the book even more enjoyable, the author has made a ten-minute video that complements the book perfectly. The video is online, and the book includes a link to it. The author recommends viewing the video first, then reading the book. I second that recommendation. Watching the mesmerizing video, with its upbeat soundtrack music by Polyphonic and Mobi, pumped me up to read the book, which gives more background information.

To me, the most fascinating part of the book and the video was a concept called "neuroplasticity," an observed phenomenon where our brains change throughout our life because our behavior, experiences, and environment can alter the neural pathways and synapses. The author did a nice job of comparing that biological process to the development of the Internet.

Viewing the video and reading the book took only about an hour, but there's enough food for thought to keep someone thinking for days afterward. My compliments to author Tiffany Shlain for giving us such a readable account of how the brain develops and a fascinating analogy comparing the brain's development to that of the Internet.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most important must read! November 30, 2012
Brain Power, book and video are among the most important reads of this decade. Explored is a paralleled comparison of a developing child's brain to the young but rapidly developing internet. Though this multimedia discussion we learn fascinating and thought provoking facts about both and significant implications for our collective future.You will not be able to look away from the film nor be able to put down the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use the Web mindfully December 18, 2012
"Brain Power" accompanies Tiffany Shlain's film with the same title that can be downloaded from YouTube.[...]

The book adds depth and detail to the content of the film. Whilst "Brain Power" can be read fairly quickly and, as Tiffany Shlain writes, should be read and experienced in one go like a Ted Talk, it covers a lot of scientific and intellectual ground. The book begins with the development of the brain of a young child and how is influenced by the use of the Internet. It then uses the development of the child's brain as an analogy for the developing internet that like the brain in early stages of its development generates an increasing amount of connections, some useful, some less useful, some harmful. Like the human brain it will need some "pruning" as it develops.

On a different level the book and in a different way the film continue a theme that leads through the films Shlain has produced over the past years, i.e. the question of who we are and who are we becoming in a world that is increasingly interconnected by the web and related technologies. Whilst there is plenty of popular literature out there that argues the Internet is shaping (in a positive or negative way) children's brains Shlain suggests that there is a reflexive relationship between technology and us who interact with, and through, it. The technology allows us to create ever more connections with other people, offering myriad opportunities but also challenges and maybe dangers.

Like a child's brain that grows through interacting with the world, the Internet develops in response to the ways in which we shape it in and through our interaction with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great single by TED December 23, 2012
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Im giving this book 4 stars only because I want it to be longer!
Tiffany has experience in the film making business (moxie institute), Internet (Webby awards founder), online collaboration (i.e collaborative films.) and an overall great background that qualifies her to write this single.

Reading this single is worth your $2.99 and 1.5 reading hours. In it you will learn to see the Internet with new eyes, you will understand her analogy on a deeper level than the one exposed on the film, and finally it will propel you to be a more active and conscious online citizen.

Thumbs up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal story with insights for all of us December 23, 2012
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A good short read - nice concept to have books in TED-talk style.

This book provides some great insights in to what is happening in our technology abundant world today, what this is doing to us and what we can do ourselves to cater for our future (and especially those of our children).

Gives you stuff to think about, wanting to learn more and apply what you learn to your own life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing December 9, 2012
This book was a joy to read. In it, Shlain makes the parallels between a young child's brain and our young, global Internet brain -- both highly creative, experimental, fresh, and innovative. She pushes us to think about how we shape both of these young, rapidly growing networks to chart a better future. I can't think of a more pressing question and a more relevant set of questions to think through. And the way she does it - is completely delightful and engaging.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
This is the only time in history that this book could have been written. Tiffany weaves together a compelling narrative of the development of the connectedness of the child's brain... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tom Schreiber
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book
Ubuntu- We are who we are because of who we all are. That was the best part of the book to me- Nice graphics and a small price made it a 3 star for me.
Published 16 months ago by Rightwingnutjob
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a Synapse away from Cyberspace
I devoured "Sex Time and Power" by Leonard Shlain and he left a worthy successor. Tiffany Shlain's writing is incisive as well as insightful... something like her films. Read more
Published 18 months ago by M.J.
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapppointed
I started reading this book with lots of excitement. As suggested, I watched the 10-minute video first. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amit Saha
5.0 out of 5 stars Just when I started to relax
When I look at my grandson, almost one year old, I imagine the way he sees things differently than I do. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Tom Letson
4.0 out of 5 stars Updating McLuhan: How the Internet and the human brain can reinforce...
Taking up where Marshall McLuhan left off and bringing his thinking into the 21st Century, Tiffany Shlain explores an extended metaphor in this tiny e-book published as an Amazon... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mal Warwick
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I don't find the internet/child's brain analogy worthy of an entire book. I also thought the prescriptives for both children and the internet half-cocked and poorly researched.
Published on December 19, 2012 by Cathy Reisenwitz
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful idea, a powerful book
There are few people in the world who can connect ideas from seemingly disparate worlds of science, technology, and the arts and convert them into powerful, yet easy to comprehend... Read more
Published on December 9, 2012 by Marina Gorbis
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