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MindReal: How the Mind Creates Its Own Virtual Reality Paperback – October 7, 2010
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Ornstein himself is better than anybody else explaining consciousness and combining it with quotes from books on Sufism by the late Idries Shah who teaches through teaching stories, questions and answers, humor and other methods known since antiquity but not much used for serious subjects nowadays.
I was hoping that because the coauthor is an accomplished illustrator that the book might resemble a graphic novel, and that we could look forward to something like a plot, perhaps a mystery or two, and some suspense. Or even a clever way of explaining the book's theme (that our mind creates a "virtual reality" that we think is real). But alas, the theme is amply explained in words in the two page preface, and then, with very minor amplification, repeated for 171 pages.
I imagine that this book may well appeal to young readers who are interested in the mind, or to those who haven't read much about cognitive psychology or the neurosciences. But if you do know something about these topics, look to Ornstein's other, more scholarly books, which are excellent. If this book had been marketed as a children's book, I would have given it 5 stars.