- Paperback: 396 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780596007799
- ISBN-13: 978-0596007799
- ASIN: 0596007795
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mind Hacks: Tips & Tools for Using Your Brain 1st Edition
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About the Author
Tom Stafford has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and is currently a research associate in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. He is also an associate editor of the Psychologist magazine and has previously worked as a freelance writer and researcher for the BBC.
Matt Webb's background is in new media. His freelance activities include an IM interface to Google, which predated the Google API and is included in O Reilly s Google Hacks. He launched a project to find the Web's favorite color that was featured on BBC News Online and national newspapers in the UK. His current job in R&D at the BBC involves these kinds of projects internally, and gives him experience at addressing abstract social and technological ideas to mixed audiences. He was a popular speaker at O Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference in 2004.
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I liked the idea of the book, and when I started reading it, it seemed somewhat unengaging. Somewhere after the first 10 hacks or so that changed. I guess I started developing a feel for what it was all about. It's sort of textbook-ish, but nevertheless very interesting. Sort of like a lab manual and you are the lab.
I think other reviewers have given a pretty fair idea of what it's about, so I'll only make a few comments.
I think it's worthwhile reading their comments sprinkled among the references. There's some very good info there and suggestions about further reading.
A real show stopper item is how we use the external world as a database to help us see. That's a real twist. See the J. Kevin O'Regan web article, Hack #40. That reminds me. Some of the illusions on the web, particularly those on change blindness, are a little tricky. A good illustration is in this article. There's a section (single line actually) called "slow motion". You probably won't notice what happens in the animation until it stops, and you try to restart. Suddenly it jumps out at you. My point is that sometimes you have to fidget awhile with the computer. This is not a fault of the book.
Another show stopper (to me at least) is the experiment discussed in the chapter on integration, Hack #61. It appears that language is necessary to integrate information from our senses. In this case, geometry and color.
As of this writing, it's unfortunate the publisher hasn't yet put some of the book online. There are a few items I would like to search for that I did not highlight and cannot find in the index. The index is, however, quite good.
Another good current read on the mind is "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.
P.S. I'm looking for the story about the pilots.
Also, the visual appeal is somewhat lacking, on the inside of the book, or maybe that is just me.
Otherwise though, still an interesting book. factual info, which is always appreciated.