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Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows, But Isn't Telling You Paperback – August 5, 2005
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- Science Books & Films
"How Weiner goes about understanding these conundrums is a fascinating journey that will make any reader astonished, frustrated, angry, and definitely curious about the human mind."
"What is reality? Can our brains comprehend the true nature of reality? Do we know anything for certain? Reality Check is an entertaining, sometimes light-hearted tour through the many mysteries of neuroscience, genetics and physics by psychology popularizer and businessman David Weiner. Weiner ... writes in a frank and direct manner devoid of technical jargon. He extracts the essence of the many facets of the mind-brain problem."
Science & Theology News
"David Weiner has written a delightful and impressively researched tour de force on how the brain works that includes wonderful side trips about DNA, the size of the universe and the foibles of religiosity. This is popular science writing at its best - clear, witty and marvelously informative."
Benjamin J. Hubbard, Ph.D.
Professor of Comparative Religion
California State University, Fullerton
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
If this book has a central theme, it is that the mind is a marvelous thing that you can use to do a lot of things, some good, some not so good. He cautions you, for instance on following the latest (or the earliest for that matter) religious fad that attempts to tell you what to think about everything. He makes it your task to do a 'Reality Check' on what you're being told and to make up your own mind.
Much of the book is on what you might call self help popular psychology. He describes the current research that is being conducted and illustrates how this might be applied in our daily lives. I particularly enjoyed his comments on religion. With 10,000 religions and 33,000 variations of the Christian religion alone, it's hard to imagine that they are all right. And yet the overwhelming percentage of us adopt the religion of out parents, unthinkingly, with no 'Reality Check.'
First, Weiner uses childish language and technics, "Hello, hello wake up -- all this is going on in your mind this instant." I don't know about you, but I find that pretty lame.
Even worse, Weiner fails to understand basic concepts that many junior high students do understand. Get this quote:
"Do you have brown eyes? If both your parents have brown eyes, then you will have brown eyes, because the gene that creates brown eyes is dominant over the one that creates blue eyes."
Wrong! The fact that brown is dominant is why the child of two brown eyed parents can have blue eyes. The child of two blue eyed parents, however, will have blue eyes. Shame on Weiner, and shame on his editor for not catching that.
In short, this book is written at a junior high school level, but the author should not be teaching our kids!
Many assertions are made in this book without sound scientific or objective evidence. For example, the author speaks of a "territorial imperative" as if it were a proven and well-substantiated concept in anthropology. The scientific evidence for this concept though is meager, and the author in no way documents any evidence for it anywhere in the book. In relation to this, he speaks in the book of something called the "Simmel effect", named after the sociologist George Simmel, and which asserts that in social groups that are ordered by rank, individuals imitate symbols that designate the higher hierarchal levels and abandon the symbols that designate the lower level ones. The author does not discuss the evidence for the Simmel effect, but does give one reference on the Web that is currently not available. There has been research into the Simmel effect that does show that successful status symbols begin to diminish as soon as they become dominant, but this research involved the use of simulation studies. It would be very interesting and helpful if more empirical studies could be conducted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking for insights into how the mind works, or implications of modern science on the mind. The book started off, however, talking about the brain and its functioning. Read morePublished on July 11, 2010 by firstname.lastname@example.org
What is reality? Can we rely on our brains to tell us what reality is? What about our emotions? Do they come from the brain, some other part of the body, or even from something... Read morePublished on March 27, 2006 by Arnold V. Loveridge
Reality Check by David L. Weiner is by far one of the better books I have read on human psychology. After working in Rehabilitation and Corrections for a number of years, I know... Read morePublished on March 18, 2006 by Camalla Adams
Very insightful, it was most of the information I was looking for. Thought provoking and easy to not technical like reading a car manual, I understood it and enjoyed. Read morePublished on January 9, 2006 by Brian C. Gresham
Reality Check is an easy-to-read, fresh spin on a scientific view of reality...Weiner offers lots of valuable insights that can be applied to improving the quality of your life... Read morePublished on October 25, 2005 by K. A. Smith
Very disappointing. Summing this book up in one sentence would read - "We're all genentically so similar it makes no difference, all religions are bunk, why don't we all hold hands... Read morePublished on September 26, 2005 by T. Pratt
`Loved the book. Weiner's writing style grips you in a way that only a few can accomplish; it's highly intellectual, yet practical and an easy read. Read morePublished on September 15, 2005 by Linda K. Stroh